The ills in a society are a reflection of the hearts and minds of its people. The laws it develops and implements are also a reflection of its communal and national ideals. For more than fifty years now we have nurtured a culture that glorifies theft and even benefited from it directly and indirectly.
From our bedrooms to our workstations, we have perfected the science of corruption as we steal from each other and bribe our way for goods and services. Yet, in a twisted fairy tale, we often set different standards for those in power and authority. Indeed, that the fight against corruption is not the preserve of one person or one institution, and dealing with thieves of whichever calibre will require a concerted effort from all of us.
Leading the charge in this fight against corruption in Kenya is President Uhuru Kenyatta. Since coming to power in 2013 President Uhuru has set the record of the first president to publicly name and fire state officers that were suspected of engaging in corruption. His 2015 State of the National Address in Parliament saw several public officers relinquish their positions amidst investigations into their conduct.
His allies in this battle are the constitutional offices of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), and the Judiciary. Collectively known as the MAT agencies, these institutions have brought to light the ills of corruption as conducted by both public and private enterprises. They have investigated and brought to book individuals that were keen on robbing the country. They continue to strategize on asset recoveries even as they strengthen their systems and processes.
In the short term, these measures instill a sense of action from the government. In the mid-term, our institutions are being strengthened through competitive recruitments, increased collaborations, and enhanced political and public goodwill.
In the long term, however, taxpayers must have candid conversations on how they will shun corruption in their private undertakings. We cannot demand what we are unwilling to give and our fifty-year rot will not be remedied without personal, communal, and national commitments towards anti-corruption.