NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 15 – Kenya Anti Corruption Commission (KACC) Director Patrick Lumumba on Monday accused the government of abdicating its duty to protect Kenyans against external transgressors, noting that more than 50 Kenyans had lost their lives to Ethiopian militiamen over the past four months
Prof Lumumba, who spoke during the launch of a training programme on political reporting for journalists, said that Kenya risked being a failed State with the government periodically failing to defend its people.
At least 20 Kenyans were killed on August 5 when Merille militia raided a village in Todonyang’ area of Turkana and walked away with over 200 heads of cattle. In May, 40 other Kenyans were killed by the raiders in a similar fashion.
“Those who observe this country keenly say that we are in danger of being a failed State. Sometimes we think that they are lying but they are not,” he said.
“The Merille can get into this country whenever they want; the Ugandans can get into Migingo and hoist their flag and the Al Shabaab can come into our borders freely. What do we say about that?” he asked.
Last Thursday, the government announced that it had partnered with the Ethiopian authorities to curb insecurity along the shared border following increased killings with the ravaging drought crisis continuing to bite.
During his weekly briefings, Government spokesman Alfred Mutua said that the two countries would work together to bring sanity along the border and ensure that the militia responsible were prosecuted.
“You cannot get rid of your neighbours. They are like your siblings; you don’t choose them you happen to have them so what you have to do is maintain a system of stability where you can interact with them. These cross border wars never help anything,” he argued.
But Prof Lumumba argued that the government had failed to protect Kenyans against the ravaging drought, by not placing adequate mitigating measures, despite being warned in January.
He also observed that the unemployment rates in the country continued soaring even though the coalition government had pledged to address the issue when it first assumed office.
“The trick of feeding ourselves was long talked about by Joseph in the Bible before the birth of Christ. During times of plenty you keep for the lean times. As I speak to you our friends of goodwill, from the United States of America and from the devastated people of Japan are giving us maize,” he quipped.
He further urged the media to uphold high levels of integrity and strive for objectivity so as to safeguard Kenya’s national interests.
Prof Lumumba also called on the media to thoroughly interrogate the values and principles held by leaders for the benefit of the country. He noted that the media bore the greatest responsibility of facilitating reform by overseeing the country’s interests.
“When our President was unwell he did not go to Kenyatta Hospital – he went to Britain. When our Prime Minister had an eye problem he went to Germany. When our minister was unwell with cancer he went to the US. So, will you ask them what it is they plan to do about health?” he posed.
The anti graft czar also urged the media to be responsible in its reporting so as to prevent a repeat of the 2008 violence where the media took sides and polarised the country.
He further accused some scribes of corruption claiming that they periodically accepted bribes in order to file their reports in favour of certain individuals.
“Barrack Muluka and I will remember that day in Khwisero constituency when after a meeting we witnessed a senior politician inviting journalists under a tree and giving each one of them money. And lo and behold! It is the nonsense that that individual spoke that was given acres and acres of pages in our newspapers,” he claimed.