Top 10 campaign issues: Corruption - The past, present and future

It was highly anticipated that this will be a core issue in deciding the next president of Kenya. Corruption. A quick browse of is just a tip of the iceberg. One remembers Goldenberg, Angloleasing, Nd'ung'u Land Report, Githongo dossier, the Kroll Associates, tribal clashes report, the pre2002 grabmaniac, our city council regime and other scandals that have hit the airwaves and our court corridors to know how gigantic corruption is an issue in the presidential campaigns. Only, it is a silent top campaign issue. Why?

Kibaki started it with his infamous address in Uhuru park in Dec 2002 - corruption will cease to be a way of life in Kenya, it will be a thing of the past. My government will adopt a zero tolerance on corruption, just to paraphrase him. Kenyans were happy, they even started civil arresting policemen who were caught taking bribes from matatu operators.

The mood at the time in Kenya was saintly and people were happy that billions of Kenya shillings stashed abroad will soon be repatriated. Goldenberg commission was established and it was just a matter of time before those who conned Kenya were brought to book and made to pay every penny with interest. Then the long wait started and before Kenyans could climax their celebrations, right, left, center, Kibaki government was hit by corruption allegations, corruption perception sky-rocketed, KACC became toothless and it was business as usual for the corrupt. Zero-tolerance? Kenyans know better.

Kibaki is seeking a second-term and the anti-corruption fire is smouldering if not put out completely. In his camp are personas whose Goldenberg, Anglo-leasing and other corruption scandals are near synonymous. Zero-tolerance on corruption is no longer the rallying call. Former president whose governance record was the bashing of post-multipartism opposition whom Kibaki once headed is campaigning for Kibaki. To the Kibaki team, all re innocent till proven guilty.

Enter Raila, the purported 'Moses' who will lead Kenyans to Canaan. He is said to be zealous to clean up Kenya, the mess it is. You may be tempted to think that he eats, drinks and sleeps eradicating corruption in Kenya. Unfortunately his campaign energy is not in this direction. He tried at first but he could not sustain it. In his political expediency he needed some people that were mentioned adversely in some of the grand corruption schemes in Kenya to achieve ODM's regional balancing. He adopted several of Moi's orphans whose names cannot stand the anti-corruption test.

Raila once promised to put Moi to task on his governance record but that did not go down well with the voting loyalty and he had to go back on his word. Raila's name also appears in the Ndung'u Land report. he has defended himself saying that the author was malicious. At one time Raila was enthusiastic of implementing the Ndungu land report, after a clean up of names sneaked in. This has slowed down Raila's energy and zeal for a clean country such that he can only guarantee through his teeth while looking left, right and center to fight old and future corruption.

Mr clean, Kalonzo Musyoka, saves the day or so he thinks. He has dared anyone to associate him with ill-gotten wealth and so far so good. Critics have been quick to point out that in all the Moi and Kibaki corruption he adopted a hear no evil, see no evil, do no evil policy. Even if he knew or saw the blatant plundering of Kenya through corruption he chose to keep quiet instead of taking action or even resigning from a government whose ideals he did not agree with. So far the corruptiometer favours him more than it does Raila or Kibaki.

Corruption, according to Justice Aaron Ringera of KACC fights back. It has fought back and has managed to drown if not silence the three top contenders for the presidency to a level that anti-corruption crusade is not getting the right attention in our campaigns. If it exists it is only done in whispers to ensure that it does not topple the voting patterns.

With due respect, Pastor Muiru and other contenders for the presidency have not put a case strong enough to resonate with the Kenyan voter, so we will leave them out in this analysis for now. How sad for Kenya. Even Kamlesh Pattni the architect of Goldenberg, turned preacher, is running for an electable post. He gets a sizeable audience wherever he goes stashed with lots of cash handouts.

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