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Corruption: Only Time Will Tell Who
The True Sons Of This Nation Are?

Coastweek -- Kachumbari came back from one of his routine visits to Nairobi the other day and marvelled at how green the City was, writes TETI KAMUGUNDA.

The Central Business District or CBD was a lot greener that he remembered from the last time he paid any attention to this aspect which was almost ten years ago.

A former Town Clerk of the then City Council had made it his business to plant trees at suitable intervals on all the sidewalks in the CBD and also in the areas adjacent to it.

That exercise was pursued vigorously and we now bask in the fruits of his labour.

This exercise to plant trees continued when the same official was moved to the Ministry of Environment under the miracle worker – the late John Michuki of the matatu “Michuki Rules” fame.

After working his magic at the Ministry of Transport and Communications, he served in various other Ministries during the political realignment that happened in Kenya following the first five years of the Kibaki era.

He was appointed to the Ministry of Environment and Mineral Resources where he started the transformation of the agenda of that Ministry with the same gusto that he had operated with in the Ministry of Transport.

He started the clean up of the Nairobi river as well as the City of Nairobi and it was in this effort that he recruited the former town clerk of the City of Nairobi to become his right hand man – and guess what, the combination worked wonders.

The area around Kipande Road and Kijabe street that used to be a garbage dump was quickly cleared of the “chokoras” who were operating from there and the rubbish removed.

There were also myriad garages and vehicles workshops dotted on that landscape that contributed to the eyesore that backed on to the Nairobi River and create pollution through the garbage that was generated from the activities of those establishments.

These were ruthlessly cleared and the area levelled and trees planted.

This was part of the grand scheme of restoring the Nairobi river - and the other two major rivers that trisect the city - into clear sparkling streams with walkways as well as recreational areas along the river banks.

The section of the river between the Museum bridge and Globe Cinema roundabout was to have been widened and deepened to create a recreational lake.

However, this was never to be.

The Minister became very active in the International Arena in matters Climate Change as well as Environmental Governance.

This was as a result of the spectacular work that was being done by his wonder worker – the former Town Clerk of the Nairobi City Council. Sadly, the Minister took ill and three years into his whirlwind period in the environmental arena he passed on.

But why all this?

The tornado that was Michuki was able to transform anything that he touched.

He was not an expert in transport and neither was he a dyed in the wool environmentalist.

He was a graduate of Economics and Public Administration from Worcester College.

He had the Midas touch that would turn anything that he engaged in into gold.

In it’s current state Kenya sorely needs people like him to take the issues that are ailing this nation and cure them to help start the transformation of the country.

Our roads are becoming a dangerous place to be in.

The population of cars is increasing exponentially as the corruption money percolates into the economy.

The behaviour of the public transport sector (matatus and heavy goods vehicles) is getting worse by the day and the carnage on the roads is nothing to write home about.

The hardware on the roads is being vandalised with wanton abandon and no arrests are being made.

All the rules that are supposed to govern the operation on our roads are purely things that one reads to pass exams.

After getting the valued driving license than the drivers begin to learn how to drive!

We have issues about garbage.

Our rivers are polluted with sewage and the water towers in the country are being decimated.

The decisions on what needs to be done to correct the deforestation are known but there are so many political intrigues playing out that no action is possible.

Everyone all of a sudden has a stake in the issue.

People have grabbed and encroached on the towers and politicians have gone back to the “watu wetu” cries in the battle for votes at the next election forgetting that the same “watu wetu” will have no livelihoods left after the deforestation and will become beggars at the doorsteps of the very same politicians.

Land is a hot issue and we see the intrigues that are playing out with the tussle between the national Land Commission, the Ministry of Lands, the County Governments – and yes the grabbers and wheeler dealers whose job it is to create as much smoke as possible to allow them to grab, sell, resell, on sell and transfer as quickly as possible down the chain so that it will be difficult to unravel the ownership once the corruption and prosecutorial agencies catch up with the malfeasance that has been committed.

I could go on and on about the simple things that are turning this country into a nightmare of a place to live and work in – leave alone invest in.

What chance do the people at the bottom of the pyramid have in this thieving grand scheme of things ?

The corruption that has found its way into the very fabric that is supposed to hold our nation together ?

The political class that has taken the Trump trumpeting of “Make America Great Again” to “make politician X great again” ?

The obsession with unjustified and unaffordable salary increases, greasing of hands for action to happen and the proverbial “benchmarking” scams ?

In order to stop all these actions that are a drain on Kenya Inc there is need for strong Michukiesque hands on the rudder that is steering the flotilla that is the government of Kenya.

The head of this flotilla has laid down the gauntlet with his fight against corruption which has been declared and is being followed ruthlessly.

However, this is never a one man show.

Every Cabinet Secretary must do exactly the same in their Ministry and take the fight down the line with the same ruthless and no holds barred style that the House on The Hill has started.

It requires that every single Governor in the country must do the same within their country governments starting with themselves and then again percolating down through the hierarchy at the county level.

Tighter and transparent procurement, life style audits, wealth declarations that are made public – the list is long.

It is telling that the President is the only one currently making all the noise about fighting corruption AND leading from the front by applying everything that he declares to himself first.

Where are the Cabinet Secretaries ?

Where are the Governors ?

Why have they not decreed the actions that they will take and acted starting with themselves.

Or are they afraid that someone will spill their beans should they also start shouting loudly and taking stern action ?

Only time will tell who the true sons of this nation are.

Those who are willing to stand up and be counted as the ones who made a difference to the values of this country.

Those who were able to emulate the late Michuki and take a no holds barred approach to righting the Kenya Inc ship

I certainly look forward to writing about the brave Cabinet Secretaries and Governors who will step up and lead the fight against corruption from the front in support of the Presidents push to change the ethos of this nation.

Without this fundamental change, any positive and transparent development initiative will meet with hurricane force headwinds that will stifle the true potential of this nation.

As Kachumbari says, bold honest leaders with impeccable integrity are a rare breed.

Does Kenya have them in the current crop ?




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  This year’s rally will be
flagged off at Sarova
Whitesands on November
23rd and finish at the same
venue on December 1st.


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