When we talk about Corruption, some people think of it as a crime of the few, while others think of it as a vice committed by leaders only. The truth is corruption cuts across the board. Corruption is as simple as when a parent favors one child over the other, or when a nurse fails to attend to a patient because of his or her status. It is when a leader fails to execute his duties as required by the Law. Corruption as well is as complex as the billions of figures that are daily broadcasted in the Media and none of it is attributed to development or the rightful intended purpose.
The thought that Presidents cannot be linked to such a menace is so likely, yet in Africa, it is the order of the day. The corruption sword is double-edged. The verdict on the Former France President Sarkozy who was in power from 2007 to 2012, is a good example a country like Kenya should emulate when prosecuting graft perpetrators, big or small, in their efforts to fight corruption.
Ex-President Sarkozy was found guilty of corruption and handed a three-year prison sentence after a court in Paris convicted him for trying to illegally influence a judge during his time in office. The conviction is likely to undermine any attempted comeback to frontline politics ahead of the 2022 presidential elections. Sarkozy was suspended for two years. The trial marked the first time in France’s modern history that a former president has gone on trial for corruption. Sarkozy’s predecessor, Jacques Chirac, was found guilty in 2011 of misuse of public money and given a two-year prison sentence for actions during his time as Paris mayor.
Even though Kenya has shown efforts in the fight against Corruption, more measures to curb Corruption need to be adopted to keep irresponsible and corrupt leaders out of office. Kenya should borrow the French style of dealing with graft perpetrators, whether serving or retired, Presidents or citizens all alike should be subjected to the full course of law to ensure justice and service delivery to Wananchi.
If Chapter six of the integrity act is fully implemented, among other corruption deterrence approaches currently enforced, Kenya is capable of being a self-sustaining economy. Chapter six of the Integrity Act requires leaders to be vetted and cleared by the EACC before vying for any political spot, the act holds leaders accountable and ensures their moral standards are upheld at the same time. In a time where Kenya is only a few months to the General Elections, Citizens have a role to play in the fight against this social ill either by voting them out or denying them access to the positions they aspire.
As Kenyans head towards the polls in 2022, leaders prosecuted for corruption should be denied clearance to vie for political positions as this will yield fruits in ensuring only leaders of integrity and impeccable characters are entrusted into leadership; leaders who will mobilize Kenyan resources into the right projects that are beneficial to Wananchi.
The notion that leadership is about self-interest and enriching oneself is a narrative that continues to nurture young corrupt leaders, who aspire to steal instead of serving the people of this great Nation. By far, Kenyans are hardworking people, but their sweat and efforts end in few individuals’ pockets. Corruption is evil and as Kenyans, we should shun it by all means. The French government has provided ground for benchmarking for the people of Kenya to perhaps use other workable solutions in fighting corruption. They have simply told the World that, when it comes to corruption and justice, there is no room for negotiation but to ensure corrupt individuals pay to the full despite their position.
This is the way to go for Kenya!