The excitement and anxiety that always accompany electioneering politics in Kenya has a characteristic way of drowning other salient matters of national importance. A foremost matter of immense national importance is the ongoing war against graft which was declared by President Uhuru Kenyatta almost a decade ago. National discourse about the anti-corruption war seems to be taking a backseat as the country moves into an electioneering mode. Discourses around sustenance of the fight against corruption should form part and parcel of the ongoing electioneering politics. Politicians aiming to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta in the 2022 general elections must show their commitment to sustain the fight against corruption.
After his reelection in 2017, President Uhuru Kenyatta, revved up the engine in the fight against corruption. Unlike any other time in the history of the Republic of Kenya, the President created one of the most politically enabling environments in the country’s fight against graft since independence. The multi-agency led war has since 2018 registered significant milestones with very high profile individuals including cabinet secretaries (SCs), Permanent Secretaries (PSs), and parastatal chiefs being indicted for corruption. In the same vein, a significant number of cases involving politicians and top government officials have been successfully prosecuted by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (ODPP) including those of John Waluke who was found guilty of defrauding the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) of Kenya shillings 114 million in June of 2020. And just recently, former manager of the National Social Security Fund (NSSF), Francis Moturi and other three co-accused were found guilty and convicted. Moturi was handed a fine of Kenya shillings 2.4 billion or serve a 14-year jail term.
The deeply entrenched culture of graft has denied the country much needed resources to fast-track development and thus requires relentless zeal to bring its perpetrators to book. Those persons that aspire to succeed President Kenyatta should show commitment to the anti-graft war, just as the President has done over the last few years.
Over the last few years, the government has committed huge national budgetary allocations to public investments including on critical infrastructure. Kenyans can only reap full benefits of the massive infrastructural developments if the war on graft is sustained. Kenyans should remain watchful of the unfolding political scenarios and only go for leaders who would remain instrumental in championing the war against corruption.