“Then Moses left Pharaoh and went out of the city. He spread out his hands toward the Lord; the thunder and hail stopped, and the rain no longer poured down on the land.”
Exodus 9:33. The power of this biblical portion jumps from the pages of the Holy text. One can almost imagine the ancient Egyptian city, see the pyramids, hear the thunder. Rain however is something many around the world actually complain about. Not for us Kenyans. For those of us who have farms and grow from our blessed soils, we know that there is nothing holier than rain.
The beautiful thing about rain in Kenya, is that when it rains, it pours.
Unfortunately, the same thing cannot be said about our economy. As the nation progresses, and as we grow as a nation we should be ashamed of ourselves. One part of the country moves forwards while another moves backwards. Disparities are all around us. The rain of wealth is localized, soaking some, while leaving others desperately dry.
One of the main reasons for these unfair gaps lies in another mosaic theme; the plague of corruption. Indeed, in the same aforementioned Exodus book, 10 plagues are explicitly mentioned. As a reminder those plagues were water turning into blood; plagues of frogs. Biting insects and wild animals. Livestock disease and boils. Fiery hail. Locusts. Darkness. And the Death of the first born.
For Kenyans, the plague of corruption combines all of the above.
When analysing the figures at the heart of the current scandals it is clear why much of the country feels we have been left ravaged by wild animals and suffering in the darkness. The famous Eurobond scandal reaches Sh250 billion. The Kenya Pipeline Company scandal, almost Sh70 billion. The now well reported NYS scandal: Over Sh10 billion. When I see these facts and figures on paper and look at the poverty and struggle of real life Kenya, I feel as if we really are the modern-day Israelites, slaves in an ancient Egypt.
But salvation appears to be on the horizon. While I’m not comparing Uhuru directly to Moses, it seems we do have a leadership trying to put down this plague and lead us to the promised land.
Scandals are being attacked head on. There have been arrests upon arrests in the NYS. Over fifty at the time of writing. While at the same time, the public Service CS Margaret Kobia has put a complete stop to all the processing of payments (nearly Sh6 billion) in the organisation.
Then there is the issue of Kenya Power. Millions and millions of dollars have been lost in dubious deals, improper purchasing and funky accounting. And so too the Kenyan Bureau of Statistics. They have all seen workers and senior officials arrested and charged.
In the gallant effort to free the people of Kenya from this bondage, Uhuru and team have also taken their efforts further afield. Through international agreements with Switzerland, moneys have been frozen. Bank accounts serving expatriated Kenyan cash in the traditionally neutral country can no longer serve as black holes for stolen money.
A similar deal has already seen over Sh100 billion worth of cash returned to Nigeria from Switzerland. The Standard recently reported that, “The deal with Switzerland, another tax haven that was brokered by President Uhuru Kenyatta could see as much as Sh72 billion returned to Kenya.”
Likewise, with Mauritius. The Government there recently announced that they too are working on a deal with Uhuru’s government, similar in format to the Swiss deal. Mauritius is a well-known tax haven and its laws have provided a legal cover for many illegal activities over the years. An international effort is certainly needed to stamp out this plague once and for all.
So as Isiah 45:8 teaches, “Drip down, O heavens, from above, and let the clouds pour down righteousness; Let the earth open up and salvation bear fruit, And righteousness spring up with it. I, the LORD, have created it.”
Society can only heal itself through the downpouring of righteousness. We must all – led by our leaders – take the straight path. Let us not veer into corrupt ways and let us return those who have already strayed. Only then can we as a nation reap the fruits of plenty.