Citizens Against Corruption Kenya Uphill Struggle Against Corruption

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By Blamuel Njururi – CEO Citizens Against Corruption Kenya (CACK), Nairobi, December 20, 2019

In January 2016, I had sent a concept on taming rampant Corruption within the corridors of Justice to then Chief Justice Willy Mutunga who responded “This is excellent. Please discuss with Naim Bilal of DPAC (Director Public Affairs and Communications) how you can allow us to use it.”

It is said God works in mysterious ways. It is also said man plans, God executes.

The short and the long of the two statements is that no person can determine the course  chosen by fate except the invisible force called God.

Citizens Against Corruption Kenya (CACK) would like to share a string of events that show clearly that the hidden Hand of God is ruthlessly whipping corrupt public officers removing them from top-notch offices to live in shame the rest of their lives. 

To a large extent those who have been basking in conceited deceit thinking that their big offices, their high connections and numerical ethnic backing, can insulate them from arrest and prosecution for Corruption are learning too late that they have been under highly toxic delusions. 

The metaphor of the Camel going through the eye of a needle being easier than the rich entering the Kingdom of Heaven is unfolding before their eyes – The Qur’an “The Camel and the Eye of a Needle” – Sura 7, The Elevated Place. The Bible“The Camel and the Eye of a Needle” Matthew Chapter 19.

  • Could many Kenyans imagine a sitting Cabinet Secretary tumbling from the coveted Treasury office that breeds future Prime Ministers and Presidents in many countries tumbling from air-conditioned thickly padded office adorned with millions of shillings furniture, to a stinking prison remand cell – sharing the shame attached to criminal prosecution with his Principal Secretary? 
  • Could Kenyans conceive the image of a beautiful Lady Deputy Chief Justice plummeting from the top echelons of a justice system to hang onto the reeds in a fast-flowing river of humiliation before a subordinate magistrate facing Corruption charges. And she continues to embarrass herself in misplaced confidence of past favours.
  • Could Kenyans fancy a person entrusted by the President to head his Delivery Unit and later assigned to deliver the capital city from the shackles of neglect ending up in police cells to face Corruption charges?
  • Could close to a million voters in the capital city of Nairobi ever expect their billionaire Governor Mike Kioko Mbuvi Sonko to bite police officers 329 kilometres away from City Hall fighting tooth and nail to resist arrest only to be charged with Corruption?
  • Could Mombasa residents comprehend how the people entrusted with ports along the coast and shores of lake Victoria could swindle the Ports Authority of billions of shillings to line up their pockets?

These five cases are clear examples of how widespread Corruption is in Kenya and how the pillars entrusted to support the Nation of Kenya firmly against the turbulences of economic demise are the very same people destroying their motherland. People hell bent against the War on Corruption in Kenya.

It is evident that however well-educated and placed in positions of responsibility many Public Officers often choose to fed for themselves at the expense of fellow citizens and their motherland. They have no shame stealing from millions of fellow citizens living on less than a dollar a day, dying of preventable diseased and living in slums with no flowing water, no toilets and no health facilities – 69 long years after independence. 

Such Public Officers do not care about Corruption, are not interested in curbing the social menace. They are all out to use their offices to enrich themselves by looting Public Coffers. They actually believe Corruption is a Lifestyle worth enjoying even in graveyards of fellow citizens.

In reality Corruption trickles down as poverty in a society – Kibra, Mukuru kwa Njenga, Kwa Reuben among many other slum settlements in the capital city of Nairobi and elsewhere.

Over the last four years, Citizens Against Corruption Kenya (CACK) has given top Public Officers the opportunity to join in the War on Corruption by initiating inhouse Anti-Corruption Awareness thereby engaging fellow citizens in Public Participation in the Fight Against Corruption – all in vain. 

Among the key pillars in Jubilee government who hold the view that President Uhuru Kenya’s War on Corruption is foolish waste of time include none other than his own deputy William Ruto who does “not believe that Corruption can stop and leader from delivering in Kenya”. That is what Ruto told Kenyans in a Citizen Television talk-show last April. In all his daily public utterances Ruto never mentions the word Corruption – even in his often quoted Bible verses.

As Ruto was outrageously defending Corruption, both him and Uhuru had failed to deliver on projects promised in their election manifestos of 2013 and 2017. Such projects included Kimwarrer and Arror dams into which over Ksh 21 billion drowned. When the dams scandal broke Ruto dismissed claims that Ksh 21 billion had been lost saying it was “only 7 billion”. 

Ruto then publicly wondered “in whose government was the money lost?” posing the question, “the government headed by Uhuru as President and me as his deputy?” – height of buffoonery or utter contempt upon Kenyans.

Ruto’s trusted disciples who share his view as demonstrated by their actions include former Finance Cabinet Secretary, Henry Rotich, Deputy Chief Justice Lady Justice Philomena Mbete Mwilu, former Nairobi County Clerk, Peter Kariuki, Governor Mike Sonko and Kenya Ports Authority top notch. They all rubbished Citizens Against Corruption idea of propagating Public Awareness against Corruption and have been handsomely rewarded accordingly.

Taking into account that Kenya loses a third of her budgetary finance through Corruption, it appeared to Citizens Against Corruption, only natural that Treasury should be the chief gatekeeper to stop the bleeding – now at a whooping trillion level. It is in the interest duty that a Finance Cabinet Secretary would take Anti-Corruption Awareness concept seriously – but apparently not in Kenya.

On March 19, 2018 Citizens Against Corruption and Inter Press Service wrote to Rotich a concept paper proposing that Treasury takes the lead in Corruption Public Awareness in a bid to curb the runaway public coffers plunder. He neither acknowledged receipt nor responded to what he may have considered a waste of his valuable time as he was busy forming a company to buy land where the dams would be built to sell back to government and make billions. Now Rotich is dancing to Uhuru’s Stop Corruption hit.

It was under Rotich watch at Treasury that a junior officer earning Ksh 16,000 per month could make over Ksh 630 million in six years from fake consultancy services. No wonder he has been charged with corruption over Kimwarrer and Arror dams and he is wanted for many other projects. Read: https://www.nation.co.ke/news/Wamalwa–Rotich-to-be-quizzed-over-Sh38bn-Itare-dam/1056-5387202-ih0ln6z/index.html

The last action that suspended Treasury CS Rotich and suspended PS Kamau Thugge took before being kicked out was to selfishly pay themselves Ksh 3.7 million each for preparing the 2019/2020 budget. The Budget is usually a task of a large Treasury staff but the two decided to dip their fingers into the public coffers on learning of their suspension.

A demonstration of anti-corruption branding Treasury CS office Pink, the international colour for integrity and transparency

In January 2016, I sent a concept on taming rampant Corruption within the corridors of Justice to then Chief Justice Willy Mutunga who responded; “This is excellent. Please discuss with Naim Bilal of DPAC (Director Public Affairs and Communications) how you can allow us to use it.” 

I held three meetings with Naim and found out he was not interested and was bidding for time for Mutunga to leave Judiciary earlier than his contract as he had declared. Naim is now heading the state mouthpiece Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC).

In February 2017 after the new Chief Justice David Maraga took over, I sent him a fresh concept. He marked it to his Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mbete Mwilu, who I was told said that was a matter for Transparency International not judiciary. Today the gloomy shadow of Corruption is writing a dark chapter on Mwilu’s legacy.

During the then popular President Uhuru State House Summits, I was invited to one on Corruption and Governance on October 18, 2016. I was determined to give the President an answer to the infamous question he posed that day, “Mnataka nifanye nini jameni? Mimi silindi ufisadi, ni nyinyi mmeshindwa na kazi,” (What on earth do you people want me to do, I do not protect Corruption, you are the ones who have failed in your jobs). He was addressing the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission (EACC), Office of Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP), Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and Judiciary top notch gathered at the Summit. 

Unfortunately for me, the Summit ended abruptly, with claims that it had run out of live broadcast time, denying me and many others the opportunity to offer any ideas for the way forward. Uhuru was hastily smuggled away before I could reach him. 

I gave the document to the then President’s Spokesman Manoah Esipisu after exchanging pleasantries. It was not until December when he acknowledged the document and informed me he had forwarded it to the President’s Delivery Unit then headed by one Peter Kariuki. After several calls and emails Kariuki reluctantly gave me an appointment to see him four months later one week before Easter of 2017.

I made a presentation to Kariuki explaining that the Fight Against Corruption will never succeed unless and until citizens are engaged in its Public Participation. He marveled at some of the awareness merchandise produced by Citizens Against Corruption Kenya (CACK) and offered for sale to economically empower youth, women and people living with disabilities. I explained to him all those products, ranging from textile items to wall clocks and electronic gadgets can replicated all over the country – creating millions of jobs, expanding agricultural activities and giving birth to a wide range of industries.

Kariuki promised to get back to me after talking to the Head of Civil Service Joseph Kinyua and I knew I had reached a dead end. I am still waiting for his response perhaps after his Corruption case and hopefully sentence ends. Kinyua had failed to respond to earlier letters on the matter in December 2016. 

Read more on Sonko and other salient Corruption supporters in part 2.