OPINIONPeople Daily

Resolute approach critical in graft war

As part of the war on corruption, Kenyans need to embark on ernest conversation on integrity and the glaring ethical gaps which confront us.      

Such conversation should, however, buttress the current resoluteness and decisive actions already on track but perhaps needless to stress, neither be driven by or seen to be driven by double standards, politics, hypocrisy or malice.

Kenyans want their country back and restoration of national pride and the dignity of a people. Kenya and graft must stop coming across as synonyms. Recent high profile arrests and prosecutions besides resonating, also send upbeat vibes.   

As President Uhuru Kenyatta re-purposes the agencies and instruments to slay the graft dragon, it behoves us to brutally interrogate what in our social, economic, education and political models predispose us to fall easy prey to negative instincts of self-entitlement, self-gain with frequency and proportions that enhance our vulnerability.         

Kenyans will not be turned into angels overnight but making accountability on  integral part of how we do things must be rendered inescapable and Uhuru himself said; “we need to make graft painfully unrewarding and expensive to get into.”

The current assault on graft reveals that our general ethical infrastructure not only has grave deficiencies but is also distorted by ethnicity; itself another huge challenge. It must not be that alarm bells by media, watchdog and regulatory institutions which incessantly and constantly expose graft should all amount to exercises in futility with little or no repercussions.

The wastage, the  plunder nearing industrial scale and the loop holes,including graft that render the taxman unable to mobilise resources to meet budgetary goals must be dealt with.   

In the reloaded phase of attack, law enforcement efforts which in the past were tepid and half-hearted are now resolute. Chapter Six of the Constitution on Integrity was not crafted for the birds!

The call for lifestyle audit and wealth declaration are desirable moves and there should be no fear for people who wish to serve the public to be held accountable. The tendency where public servants whose official earnings are well known yet the property they own are hugely incommensurate with such incomes cannot be allowed to continue.

Lifestyle audit should blunt equity aversion encourage fairness and allow strengthening of mechanism for scrutiny and appreciation for integrity.   

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