THE GHOST OF POLITICAL CORRUPTION:WHY IS IT THAT IT IS DEEPLY ROOTED AND ENTRENCHED IN OUR CULTURE AND SYSTEMS WHICH AT THE END OF IT ALL BECOMES A GIGANTIC PROBLEM TO ROUTE OUT?AND,WHY IS IT THAT THE OCCUPANTS OF THE ANTI-CORRUPTION AGENCY LEAVES OFFICE UN-CEREMONIOUSLY? BY;MUNGAI.

Talkabout a dragon you want to sneer and it fights back.Or,a case of a hunter who turns out to be the one to be hunted.Or,when the hangman who turns out to be the one to face the hangman’s rope.This is what we can summarise and describe the former anti-graft boss,Prof.P.L.O Lumumba,at his short stint at the disbanded ,Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission.And,it seems as if his script was written the moment he stepped in that office.After vowing to fight corruption till the end not knowing he was stepping on landmines his stint came to a cropper after what he was trying to skin claimed his own job.

For a man who stepped into office just a year ago promising to”slay the dragon of political corruption”so rampant in the country,his exit questioned his achievements.At early press conferences after succeeding Justice[rtd]Aaron Ringera,at the helm of the anti-graft agency,prof.Lumumba,exuded confidence that he was in the process of finalizing investigations into dozens of “high voltage files”and that it was only a matter of time before cabinet ministers,permanent secretaries and parastatal chiefs go to courts to face corruption charges.

Political corruption in the post colonial governments of Kenya has had a history which spans the era of the Jomo Kenyatta,Daniel arap Moi and to Kibaki.In the corruption perception index 2005,Kenya was ranked 144 out of 159 countries for corruption.It is estimated the average urban kenyan pays 16 bribes per month.Most of the bribes are fairly small ,but,large ones are also taken -bribes worth over kshs.50000{US$700}accounting for 41 percent of total value.There is also corruption on a large scale with each of the last regimes being criticized for their involvement.

Recently the former anti-graft director had let the cat out of the bag of how an assistant minister’s husband had tried to bribe him so that he can go slow on investigation concerning their company that was under the spotlight.So according to the director he laid a trap so that he can nail down the suspect,but,to the contrary and according to his words the suspect got the first hand information.Talkabout a move that had backfired ,and ,that’s why he went overboardĀ  with the information to announce to the world .And,whether it was a calculated move,or,not depended upon how the former director played his cards.

But,that calculated move of his backfired right at the onset,and,call it a case of playing the deadly Russian roulette game .The kind of criticism the former anti-corruption agency director has received is un-paralled .He could be wrong in the manner in which he chose to fight corruption ,but,the motive was faultless .Maybe he showed a bit of naivety in trying to outfox certain members of parliament ,but, that has got little to do with his ability and integrity.

After going overboard ,the culprit whom the target was aimed ,fired back accusing the director of hypocrisy.The assistant minister that the director had solicited money from him to run his foundation and went a step further to prove her case by producing a photo of her husband with the director during the funds drive.

The former director’s last nail in the coffin was nailed with the signing into law of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission Bill[EACC]that demanded that the K.A.C.C director with his deputies to vacate office to allow for new appointments.

P.L.O’S exit was expedited by Parliament decision to amend the Anti corruption and Ethics Commission Bill to remove a clause that had protected the jobs of the directors of the graft team to ensure continuity.Some were angered by war of words between PLO and Tourism assistant minister,Celily Mbarire over claims her husband tried to bribe him with kshs.100,000.

And,in a rare display of unity,the political divide were united in calling for Lumumba’s removal with parliamentarians variously accusing him of engaging in empty rhetoric and maliciously targeting them unde the guise of fighting corruption .Lumumba had sensationally claimed that Mbarire’s husband had tried to offer him a kshs.100,000 bribe to scuttle investigations into a corruption scandal at the water ministry.

But,why is it that corruption is so deep rooted and entrenched in our cultures and systems?And,why is it that the occupants of the anti-corruption do leave office un-ceremoniously?

That all the occupants of the anti-corruption top seat have had a history of leaving un-ceremoniously should be an eye-opener to those thinking succeeding Lumumba.This could be a trap for ruining people’s reputations and careers.A keen look will tel you that some of them are out to settle old scores .And,how Lumumba’s fate was hurriedly sealed by Parliament tells it all.

We seem to be undermining the extent of the corruption rot in the country.Corrupt networks have always defeated all efforts to route them.Probably we ought to examine how deeply entrenched and wide the corruption is so that we can know at what point in this web our institutions can start fighting back.


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