Only Kenya allows public servants to wallow in luxury at the expense of tax payers. Reports of a ball point pen being bought for Sh8,500 have drawn outrage.
And in as much as the Devolution ministry is under the spotlight for unprecedented expenditure, the extravagance cuts across all public institutions at both government and county levels.
Our thieving prowess has reached the ears of Robert Mugabe- who, himself, has a piteous record. Bob has mocked Kenyans as graduating with Bachelor of Stealing. Our negative image of reaping where we did not sow is trending worldwide.
Meanwhile, the thorny debate over the use of proceeds from the Eurobond reportedly stashed somewhere in Timbuktu or lying in individuals’ accounts is yet to be resolved. The financial crisis is real with the shilling trading for 102 to the dollar, inflating the cost of living.
However, the Jubilee leadership insists the picture is not as bad as the Opposition paints it.
We are reaping the fruits of our laid back attitude. A few years back investigators named the drug dealers within, we largely ignored the expose.We were told there were thieves stashing money abroad, we looked the other way. They told us tribalism was gnawing at the fabric of our nation, we ignored the warning.
“We were told there were thieves stashing money abroad, we looked the other side. They said the economy was shaky, we wasted more”
They told us the economy was headed to the abyss, we wasted more. They pointed out the plunderers amongst us but we instead clothed them in silk. And now we are raving and ranting on both Facebook and Twitter, impotently. Such apathy in no solution to our socio-economic and political predicament.
Public servants suspected of plunder must-step aside pending investigations. Efforts to save image by shifting blame will not do. Leaders with integrity issues should not undermine the public’s intelligence.
In the case of the Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru, the uproar, away from the sideshows is not personal culpability but rather integrity. She should take responsibility and step aside and wait for investigation results and shame her tormentors.
Most leaders imagine Chapter Six of the Constitution refers to “other” people and not them. They engage in hate speech and cry foul when questioned. We need stronger laws to arrest and charge such foul mouths to deter others who might be tempted to follow suit.
Many government officials face ethical challenges but when confronted, retreat into their political parties or tribal cocoons. Unless we deal with these ethical and integrity hurdles without fear or favour, we shall be confronted with social upheaval with devastating consequences.
President Uhuru Kenyatta should calm the fears by dealing with the looters. Mere rhetoric only fuels anger among overburdened tax payers. I rest my case.
This article was published on People Weekend on 7-8, November, 2015