Human beings are perpetually and naturally inclined to crave survival and dominance; these two innate predispositions drive many of the human desires which in some cases push some people into using unorthodox means to try achieving ends that they deem to ‘maximize’ their survival or dominance within any given social setting. Corruption is inarguably pervasive in Kenya and has reached proportions that necessitate that each and every Kenyan is involved in fighting it. For the first time in Kenyan history, the country’s top leadership led by President Uhuru Kenyatta has made the fight against corruption a top governance agenda and therefore deserve unwavering support by Kenyans of all walks. Many cases of corruption have been filed and prosecuted in courts and many Kenyans convicted of corruption charges have been imprisoned, impeached from their elective seats or dismissed from public service.
Successes that the country has registered in the fight against corruption attest to resiliency of public institutions charged with fighting the vice. Investigate agencies like the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), the Kenya Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) and the public prosecution body, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) have staged an epic battle against a barrage of corruption cases since 2018. Hundreds of corruption cases remain pending in courts and billions of Kenya shillings remain tucked with some of the unresolved corruption cases before the courts. Successful trial of many of the pending graft cases is contingent upon many intervening factors including witnessing of the cases before the courts of law.
Corruption does not happen in a vacuum but in socialized contexts where intricate networks of persons with nefarious plots to defeat the course of justice use amorphous or well-structured social networks to defraud government institutions of taxpayers’ money. In addition, unethical leadership in some of the government ministries, department and agencies have been exploited by callous persons and entities to perpetrate graft particularly with government tendering process being one of the most affected. The alleged Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) walk-ins who ended up bagging Covid 19 personal protective equipment (PPEs) tender at the height of Covid 19 pandemic in the country possibly elucidate the socio-cultural rot which upon which graft has thrived for ages. Kenyans must be ready to dissociate from the culture of graft by being ready to account for their actions and decisions especially those that have been given duty to deliver service to Kenyans.
Many corruption allegations in Kenya have always presented intriguing mix carelessness by commission or mission on the part of some of the government ministries, departments and agencies which have been caught in corruption scandals. This has mostly occurred in the form of questionable companies with no evidence of any financial bottom lines to do business with the government. Innumerable dubious entities have won questionable tenders from government entities with many of such contracts ending into graft. The question is; why are some government entities not abiding by the conventional procurement rules? What of Kenyans that have been charged with the responsibility to ensure that the government tendering process follows due process?
The culture of corruption has flourished because a few people believe ‘getting rich quick’ set them apart from the rest. However, the folly of this dystopia crumbles when common public services and amenities are inadequate or in poor state because money meant for them have been siphoned into through dubious means. Kenyans must therefore appreciate the need for collective effort in rooting out the culture of graft which is threatening survival of the state. When all law abiding Kenyans turn against a few graft lords and their scions, vulnerabilities which predispose the country to graft will diminish and the social spaces where graft is perpetrated will no longer be tenable for the vice.