Let Us Remember the Past African Civil Wars as We Allow Corruption to Thrive

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Reports showing that Kenya is losing billion to corruption in various government units have become too characteristic of this country. We have experienced grand theft of public resources for so many decades without anybody being brought to account right from independence. The corrupt and their ilk of ‘leaders’ who had reportedly looted hundreds of millions all these decades still cruise free about town and some have even since gotten public endorsements to continue ‘leading’. Seemingly, Kenya was founded on corruption and this is the norm.

As we engage in daylight thieving, remember that a majority of the 20th century African civil wars that resulted in deaths of millions of people were blamed on embezzlement of public resources. A case in point are the over decade long Civil wars in Liberia and Sierra Leon in which over 300,000 people lost their lives and millions of others left with injuries. At their beginning, presidents Doe and Momoh were blamed for overseeing the looting of billions of national treasures, sidelining factions of their citizen, silencing voices of dissent, buying foreign support. When war finally broke out, they were justified on grounds of high poverty and unemployment indices, disease, political uncertainty and general sense of exhaustion by publics.

Kenya has come close to experiencing war severally. The 1982,1992,1997, 2007/8 and 2017 skirmishes reminds us of our vulnerability to such atrocities. In fact, during the 2017 elections, Kenya was saved by Raila Odinga’s statesmanship, and I know not all will agree with this. Had Raila decided to help his supporters pay back the ills they have suffered for all these post-independence decades, Kenya would have burned.

Our republic has had this corruption circus for far too long. It is time we realized that corruption threatens our well being. We have played by the rules of the jungle for long enough. Heads must not only roll, it is time the corrupt be made to experience physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and all other forms of pain as they have caused this society all these decades. It is time our 82 prisons hosted these low-profile thieves. Let them suffer the agony they have fed this country in betrayal of our trust. Let’s we-write our history for good.

Riddle me this? How can theft be so rampant in a country that has 9 idle maximum-security prisons, over 120 courts that are staffed with hordes of judges and lawyers, working CID and prosecution departments with ‘sober’ and educated men and women who take hefty paychecks every month, a multitude of forensic auditors both in public and private service, a sane executive, a parliament with among the best paid legislators globally? How has this theft been allowed to go on for so long? Are we so childish, stupid or illogical?

It is a high time we treated impunities with punitiveness, an eye for an eye, ruthlessness for ruthlessness. In the same way that schools, hospitals, transport systems, government offices and communities cannot function, or at least have peace, make the corrupt know no peace. Let merciless thieves know no mercy. This is what any sober parent would do to an evil child. Even God promises to pay evil with fire. How can we, as a nation be so lenient and ignorant (stupid)? In a country that has laws and an educated but jobless youth majority, this has gone too far.

We are setting a very bad precedence for our generations just like our fathers did for us. this is how unsustainable national cultures are born. This is how civil wars begin. It has to stop. Corruption cannot be the only topic being discussed in our media stations year after year. Is it not sad that whereas over 80% of our adult citizens have never seen a million shillings, some evil Kenyans can afford to run away with 1000 times that amount of public cash and go unpunished? Are we not at all sympathetic to majority Kenyan tax payers who toil from morning to evening in farms under the scorching sun, the factory and other workers who stand at workplaces for hours daily to make a living and in effect pay taxes? How do we ignorantly afford to keep sinking lower and lower as a society? Have we killed our humanity?

It is time the well-meaning Kenyan leaders, right from the president and his deputy, if at all they do mean well, took up the responsibility of re-patching and laundering the corruption burdened garment, the Kenyan nation. It is time we consciously worked to avoid gathering a recipe for another African civil war. The ordinary Kenyans are tired and you can only push people so far.