BY ENG PATRICK OBATH
The Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) is the national apex body of the private sector in Kenya. KEPSA’s membership is in excess of 80,000 Corporate Organisations through their Business Associations in all sectors of the economy including manufacturing, banking, infrastructure, , tourism, energy, ICT, agriculture, fishing among others.
KEPSA provides a unified voice for the private sector to engage and influence policy formulation and implementation through the public-private partnership model.
All modern states had to work with the Private Sector on governance. The new Constitution recognises and mainstreams the role of the Private Sector in public affairs. The people of Kenya and its leadership exemplified by Parliament and the Executive led by the two principals, are espousing a paradigm shift ushering in a culture change in tandem with the new Constitution.
It is indeed a major change in our country facilitating an enabling business environment to boost economic growth, while ensuring the long term goal of eliminating corruption, which has been a major scourge on national resources and inhibiting social and economic environment. According to data from the National Enterprise Survey on Corruption conducted last year by the Kenya Anti Corruption Commission, corruption is rated as the second major obstacle affecting enterprise growth and development at 53.4 percent.
The Kenya Anti Corruption Commission has also been rejuvenated and is doing a good and commendable job. Kenyans feel that finally, “justice might indeed be our shield and defender” as espoused in our national anthem is a credo coming true.
KEPSA applauds the government on the progress being made to curb corruption in this country. The government should work with other stakeholders to inculcate a preventive culture rather than curative methods of stopping corruption which cost much more public money.
On its part, KEPSA signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Kenya Anti Corruption Commission in September which marked the joint action by KACC and the Private Sector to fight corruption. This was in realisation that the Private Sector met the supply side of corruption and the challenge is for the private sector to accept responsibility and fight corruption as it took two to tangle.
Indeed the public officers would not succeed in letting the vice thrive if the private sector shunned away from bribery and corruption generally in all its manifestations.
The new Constitution also relies heavily on the integrity of the person. The traditional culture of the public service should be transformed towards better corporate governance in line with Vision 2030.
All public appointees to the various commissions, task forces and committees should undergo mandatory integrity tests so that besides professional qualifications, they resonate well with matters of integrity, honor and values. There should be no manipulation of public office for personal gain. Laid out processes and structures need to be followed by all Kenyans.
Proper management of State resources generated by Kenyans should be effectively and efficiently managed to make Kenya completely donor free as Kenya is not a beggar state. All Kenyans including government officials should abide to the rule of law. All cases of corruption should not be politicised or be discriminatory on tribal or gender lines.
There should be no side shows to destruct Kenyans from investigations being done, no double standards applied and those who admit wrong doing should not wait to be asked to step down for investigations but should set good examples by stepping down. Investigations too, need to be completed expeditiously. Those who don’t change, change will change them!
Therefore as we usher in the new era, we urge the Government and Parliament to continue this campaign to eliminate the culture of deceit and corruption. The Private Sector thrives in competition and will do whatever it takes to ensure Kenya’s rating in the world on corruption improves.
(Eng. Patrick Obath is the KEPSA Chairman)