What should the President tackle in his State of the Nation Address? The nation is witnessing what could possibly be the second wave of the Corona virus. The recent surge of COVID 19 cases has forced the government to tighten restrictions and enhance enforcement of the guidelines set out by the Ministry of Health. Will he address the way forward on matters education, whether to keep schools open even though numerous schools have reported positive COVID 19 cases? Or maybe he will talk about his big 4 agenda and add some B.B.I. flavor into the mix.
Whatever he will talk about, I hope he tells us why Kenya is loosing so much of her revenue to corruption. How far have we reached with prosecuting and convicting those responsible of looting this great nation?
When Uhuru Kenyatta was campaigning for the presidency, he promised Kenya to slay the dragon that is corruption. On top of the Corona virus, Kenya is still dealing with the plague of corruption. It is as if we as a country take one step forward and then turn around and take a couple steps backward, just lying to ourselves.
The rampant surge of corruption is mostly sourced from government projects especially in procurement. The Director of Public Prosecution’s (D.P.P.) report states that ksh224.5 billion has been lost since the second term of the Jubilee administration.
The D.P.P.’s report, which was handed to President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday, shows that cases worth Sh157 billion were registered between January 2018 and June this year. The other Sh67 billion worth of cases were recorded in 2017 and before.
Is this “war on corruption” a reality, or is it just a smoke screen? This war on graft has taken out top state officials, such as Cabinet secretaries (C.S.), principal secretaries (P.S.) and governors. But the pace of prosecution has been slow and there has been little to no convictions.
Yes, there have been some arraignments of senior county officials and 11 governors. 1 governor, Ferdinand Waititu, Former Governor of Kiambu’s head was put to the sword and impeached. In the last two and half years, seven C.S. and P.S. were charged for corruption.
Former Treasury C.S. Henry Rotich; ex-Treasury P.S. Kamau Thugge; ex-E.A.C. P.S. Susan Koech; ex-Agriculture P.S. Richard Lesiyampe are among top officials who were kicked out of government on graft charges.
Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko, Ferdinand Waititu – formerly of Kiambu, Busia’s Sospeter Ojaamong, Migori’s Okoth Obado, Tharaka Nithi’s Muthomi Njuki, Samburu’s Moses Lenolkulal, and Garissa’s Ali Korane are among high-profile county officials charged with graft.
It has been alleged by numerous Politicians; including impeached governor Waititu that this so called war on corruption is just a witch hunt and nothing substantial might result from this purge. That it is meant to punish those who are not towing to particular political agenda. Which begs the question, is this corruption purge meant to whip politicians to a particular path or are we treated to political circus and old lady tales?
The D.P.P. told the President that slow judicial processes, legislative gaps, inadequate witness facilitation, failure to fully utilize technology and state officers remaining in office after being charged as some of the factors slowing the wheels of graft fight.
In 2018, the D.P.P. yielded conviction for cases involving amounts totaling Sh522 million. Cases of Sh77 million were acquitted while those involving some Sh42 million were withdrawn.
In 2019, the office attained a 96.3 per cent conviction rate for cases involving Sh2.8 billion. Cases involving Sh65 million were withdrawn whereas those of Sh45 million were acquitted.
In the first half of 2020, the D.P.P. managed a 71.2 per cent conviction rate for cases involving some Sh225 million whereas Sh91.5 million were acquitted.
President Uhuru, while receiving the report on Monday, asked the D.P.P. to focus on state officers misusing public resources. Saying that, successful prosecutions will inspire Kenyans’ confidence in the war against corruption. Indeed, that we do need Mr. President! Because we will hold you to account, and we look forward to hear you address this issue in your address.