BWIRE: Graft purge must outlive dramatised arrests

As usual, there is dramatized arrests and leak-led exposes on corruption going on, as established and determined by the various investigative agencies. Good work that the interventions are as indicated targeting big and small fish in the cases.

The theft and looting of public resources must be halted and the beneficiaries made to feel the pain of indulging in such immoral and criminal activities, but within the confines of the law in general and respect for human rights in particular.

Thorough, intelligence based and focused investigations targeting all the players in the corruption channels will determine the success of the exercise, from the investigation, prosecution and action against the perpetrators, including looking at the level of responsibility of the players.

The intention and intervention is highly welcome, as seen from communication from the Head of Civil Service Joseph Kinyua, on the urgency and commitment by President Uhuru Kenyatta on the issue of dealing with corruption in light of the Big Four Agenda.

Corruption has cost our country big time, and the extent of illegal financial flows has adversely affected delivery of public service.

The realization of the Big Four Agenda and the presidents legacy cannot be met in an environment that allows such wanton grabbing of resources meant for facilitating service delivery to the public and the impunity that has accompanied the theft of public resources.

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The multi-agency teams working on the current onslaught should not let down Kenyans and the President in this, and it is the quality of work as will be seen in the convictions across the board and not the quantity and drama of arrests that will matter.

Kenyans of goodwill must volunteer evidence, information and related to make the exercise a success while at the same time, the investigating agencies must maintain professionalism and employ a nonpartisan approach to arrests and prosecutions.

Both big and small fish and their networks, irrespective of political, family, business and or old school connections. The networks are strong, ugly and prepared for the fight to the latter, and to break them, the authorities must go for both horizontal and vertical cobwebs, in state agencies and the private sector, including civil society and religious bodies, which are the major players in corruption in this country.

Justice must not only be seen to be done, but must be done.

Before getting involved, the players in the corruption game, do all the rehearsals, including asking themselves how not to get caught, fighting or compromising the system, the cost of being caught, or defending themselves and profit margins involved. It’s a long chain, complicated, and involves input from professionals.

The legal framework to deal with corruption in Kenya is intact and elaborate and with military precision, the investigative agencies can get and make convictions- but care must be taken to deal with the perpetrators equally including those who abet the vice.

Corruption cannot happen in the public sector without the involvement of the private sector; they are the main suppliers of goods and services to the government and they play a huge role in the game.

While corruption is a global phenomenon and largely associated with the Government, the level of corruption within the private sector warrants serious attention by the companies themselves and investigators and prosecuting agencies.

With the passing of the right to information law, Kenyans including the media (though some of them are major advertisers) must demand information from companies that are doing business of public nature.

How effective has been the anti-corruption pact signed through the Kenya Private Sector Alliance? What role are the religious bodies playing in the exercise including refusing the huge cash gifts they receive from well-wishers?

Professional bodies including those of journalists, lawyers, accountants, auditors, engineers, doctors, architects must come out strongly to deal with their members who are corrupt.

ICT is now a major player in corruption, tax evasion and money laundering globally. The agencies must up their game in using technology in cracking the these networks.

Victor Bwire, works at the Media Council of Kenya and has interest in Good Governance

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