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Corruption in Kenya; A brief on causes and how to manage.

So Ringera is finally home, and as a resulty many Kenyans are now happy. The few that were nabbed under his tenure like former Tourism permanent secretary Rebecca Nabutola, are still doing their rounds in court, and will still have to answer to their corruption cases.So will many other non-high profile individuals that the Kenya Anti Corruption Authority nabbed in the same tenure.

Despite this effort by Ringera and his team to fight corruption, many Kenyans are convinced that Ringera would have done a better job. In fact, many were calling for Ringera's dismissal based on his perceived dismal performance.In short, they were convinced that Ringera was not doing a nice job.

What they did not take into account was that Ringera was doing quite a nice job, accroding to his employer. Given that the big corrupt cats that Kenyans want arrested are Ringera's employers, how did they expect him to go after them.

The chances of the KACC going after such people are equivalent to KACC arresting you for tipping someone to do you a small favour, like finding a file at your District Headquarters. Corruption in Kenya is quite entrenched, and so is impunity. This can be blamed on the patronage system, where Kenyans rely on their friends, relatives and friends of relatives to get jobs and preferential treatment. In some cases, you have to know someone for them to do what they are employed and paid by the government to do. With such a patronage system, we view our patrons as God fathers, whom we cannot punish for their mistakes, and who are in fact doing us a favour and not a dis-service.

This is made worse by the high competition of resources in Kenya. Access to resources in the country such as jobs is limited. Therefore, when it comes to acquiring such resources, Kenyans employ unethical means to get an upper hand. Such unethical means include bribing, sexual favours, exchange for other preferential treatment amongst others.

We also happen to be a jealous lot, and especially jealous of those who are filthy rich while we toil and sweat to break to their ranks. We will therefore look for ways to bring down the filthy rich to our socio-economic level when we find it increasingly and impossibly hard to get to their level. Such measures will include finding out how the got their wealth and persecuting them for methods they employed to get to their wealth . We will label them 'corrupt' when they receive small favours. Of course , the same way that 20 litres in a tank is a small amount of water, so is lake Victoria to the Pacific ocean. Similarly, that small gift of 200 shillings to you will be equivalent to a gift of 2 million shillings to a filthy rich person.

They are no more corrupt than most of us are.

We should therefore look for a better way to tackle corruption in Kenya. Best amongst this is legalization of corruption. We should recognize corruption as a major and important part of our society which we can not do without. We should establish a legal corruption fund footed by the taxpayer. The corruption fund should be run by a secretariat that should consist of officials appointed on a tribal basis, and appointed by the president (and prime minister) at their own discretion.

All projects carried out by the government(both local and central) should then have an opportunity of drawing “miscellaneous funds” from this corruption fund. The corruption fund should not account for its expenditure. It should be located a sizable amount of funds in our annual budget. We should then establish strict accounting procedures for government projects, such that their usage of funds meant for the actual project is above board, with the exception of the “miscellaneous” funds derived from the corruption funds. Of course we should give this corruption fund a sweet sounding name like, "miscellaneous project fund" that attempts to cover the nakedness of the fund. Like a miniskirt, it should serve to cover enough to stop us blowing the whistles.

This way, we will be able to account for corruption, budget for it and have government projects been completed and working to our satisfaction. Who said that we cannot have our a cake and it eat. We will leave the corrupt officials in charge of the projects to fight for their share from this fund, anonymously of course.

That, gentlemen and ladies, is how we can honestly tackle corruption without hidden agendas.

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