OPINIONPeople Daily

Corrupt parastatal chiefs must face law

The ongoing graft war has gobbled up lots of taxpayers money to stem blatant abuse of office by people in authority and in pursuit of stolen cash.

While the war has been full of promises, not much has been done to stem the vice as several State agencies churn one scandal after another.

The most recent scandal at Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC), which led to the exit of chief executive Joe Sang on Tuesday, has lifted the lid on how billions of shillings were siphoned from the firm in a fiction movie-like scheme.

For instance, it’s incomprehensible that the firm could just lose 11 million litres of fuel without trace; not even sludge similar to River Thange impasse! Such tall tales are best told to the mountains.

It, therefore, must behove Kenyans to ask what makes senior State officers so confident in their blatant abuse of office schemes. Their impunity has hit unimaginable levels to the extent that they defy parliamentary — and even court summons.

Unfortunately, the virus of political patronage, favouritism, nepotism, anachronism and tribalism— the true DNA of  impunity— makes it possible for some of those we appoint to key positions, to be insulated from being held accountable.

In what can be seen as a case where meritocracy is not important in some of these appointments, it must be remembered that before Sang was appointed, a top performing chief executive who was acting in same capacity, had to be bundled out of office in mysterious circumstances.

Such are the happenstances which continue to make multi-billion shillings KPC be seen as a hostage to political and commercial interests where appointments are always at the behest of political and commercial forces. This brings us to the question; what happened to reforms which were meant to curb wanton loss of funds and wastage in the country?

The country must come to terms with the magnitude of ongoing graft and confront the devil afflicting people chosen to most positions of influence.

While these things could have political ramifications, the push and pull around intra-party affiliations on the one hand and the Handshake must not be used to hinder economic growth. Something must give. We we need reforms that govern people in the topmost offices making a strong case to sideline those with political machinations to some sensitive offices. Those implicated in corrupt deals must face the law.

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