Today I begin with a quote from Maya Angelou, an African-American Poet and Civil Rights Activist who stated that, “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t complain.”
Her words come to mind because of all the recent uproar brought on by KACC’s criminal prosecutions of public personalities who have allegedly committed corruption offences. In fact, the uproar is not about the organisation as a whole, but the man at the top of the helm, one PLO Lumumba.
If I may take you back to recent history, the KACC was touted as a toothless bulldog, whose bark was worse than its bite. Kenyans felt cheated by the apparent inability of the leadership to make notable prosecutions, especially those of the ‘big fish.’
It was even more excruciating financially, bearing in mind the substantial remuneration that was being offered as an inducement to do their work without any impediments. If I recall correctly, at one point there was talk of scrapping the whole organisation because we wondered if those resources could not be better utilised. Kenyans had reached their final straw.
Fast forward to 2011, and PLO Lumumba has been in office for approximately five months.
We have a man who is actually doing something. In a country of approximately 40 million people, prosecuting someone – and specifically a high profile personality is not going to be a popularity contest that he can actually win. No, and I am certain that he knows that the worst is yet to come.
However, he has come under fire from many sides for the most illogical of reasons; as if someone’s political affiliation should exempt them from adhering to the law. For others, it is simply because he has chosen to tackle specific cases in a certain manner contrary to their expectations. Many will only be content to shine the light on his work only when their livelihoods remain unthreatened.
Well, my dear Kenyans… it is time we stopped being two-faced. If we want a functioning anti-corruption agency, let us provide the checks and balances, but leave Lumumba to carry out his mandate.
We are all human, and must agree that there is no single perfect way to tackle a problem. For example, if you inquire the best method of eating a plate of hot steaming ugali straight from the sufuria from people of different affiliations, the advice you receive will no doubt be based on their backgrounds and experiences. But the end result will be the same.
At this moment in time, this plate is PLO’s to tackle. If you are unhappy with the way he is doing it, do not complain. I am sure KACC is open to honest and constructive criticism. Otherwise, wait until it is your chance to prove how much better you can perform the same task.
Sadly, the majority of us are rabble rousers who find solace in the loudness of our complaints. We complain not because we have a suggestion or proposed solution, but because we can. And we get caught up in the voices of those who have no desire to pursue the truth. Be careful what your voice inadvertently ends up championing.
To PLO and his team, I say congratulations. You have accomplished in that short time what many have been unable to do. We pray that you will not tire too soon; our country is better because of your hard work and dedication to the cause. It is your time and I believe that can only shame the naysayers by continuing to prove your worth to Kenya.