The birth pangs of a new Kenya

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No one said it was easy, and perhaps had it been, someone else would have done it.

However, only President Uhuru Kenyatta has had the steely courage to face many obstacles to cleanse our nation of bad practices and lead us to a new Kenya, where corruption and graft is a thing of the past.

It is clear that these last few months since Uhuru’s self-proclaimed ‘war on corruption’ began, that things are happening in Kenya that have never been witnessed in our history. The heads of large corporations, governors, senior officials and high-ranking bosses have been brought to justice when it has been found they might have contravened the law.

We have a no-nonsense DPP who even his greatest detractors claim that he cannot be bought, and the people are buoyed by these changes.

However, great change takes time and usually not without some pain along the way.

The purge against corruption has sparked off a cold war within the Cabinet, as Cabinet Secretaries engage in a blame game that was not common in previous administrations.

The infighting is evident, as Cabinet Secretaries have openly, though at times in diplomatic language, and sometimes not, blamed each other in recent investigations touching on contaminated sugar, Ruaraka land, maize scandal and influx of counterfeit goods.

The fact that Cabinet Secretaries are now shifting uncomfortably in their seats and worried that some of their, often well-meaning, decisions and practices, could land them in hot water.

One example is the importation of duty-free sugar between May 12 and August 31, last year that the Industrialisation ministry was concerned had opened an unregulated window prone to abuse by unscrupulous businessmen.

This in of itself is not a bad thing, but the fact that it could be open to abuse has some involved deeply worried.

A similar process is occurring on the Ruaraka land issue, where questions have been raised over inappropriate or improper land acquisition.

Whatever the rights of wrongs and the end conclusions of all of these investigations, the bottom line is it will make many senior officials hot under the collar and that is a major by-product of Uhuru’s war on corruption.

Those who are corrupt, and we are saying any of the cases above involve any sort of corruption or mismanagement should face the full force of the law.

Nevertheless, just as importantly, those who are not corrupt but have control over major financial and economic resources should take extra special care to ensure that all practices are undertaken with full assurances and that no one further down the line could take advantage in an unscrupulous manner what would otherwise be a policy meant to help the people.

This means that every Cabinet Secretary must take full responsibility for their actions and employ people below them they can completely trust. They must follow the process that they undertake from beginning to end and know that if something goes wrong, as the Americans say: “The buck stops here.”

The greater the power, the greater the responsibility. As it should be.

This will have an enormous effect on tender, procurement and decision-making processes because from now on they will need to be squeaky-clean. They should care about every single shilling of our nation’s money as if it is their own.

This new culture of greater oversight will in turn provide the people with far greater confidence that those in charge of the public purse are using it diligently and wisely.

These are truly the birth pangs of a new Kenya, where corruption and graft will be rooted out, where no one is above the law, and where our leaders show great care and concern for every contract they sign or any action they order.

Our leaders, led by Uhuru, are beginning to show how government should be run, by the people for the people, where justice shall be our shield and defender.

Haki iwe ngao na mlinzi.

Long may our new Kenya reign!

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