The 2017 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) indicates that Kenya scored a paltry 28 points out of the possible 100, an equivalent of a D minus. The CPI ranking is determined by a measure of the overall extent of corruption (frequency and/or size of bribes) in the public and political sectors of a country. The CPI uses a scale of zero (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean).
The 2015/2016 audit report released by the Auditor General in March 2018 is shocking and exposes consummate levels of repugnant plunder of public Coffers. The report reveals that out of the total expenditure of KSh. 1.25 trillion, only KSh.43.4 billion (3.45%) was incurred lawfully and in an effective way, while the rest was either not lawfully or effectively incurred or the same could not be ascertained. In terms of revenue collection during the same period, the report reveals that out of the total revenue recorded of KSh.1.19 trillion, only revenue amounting to KShs.33 billion (2.77%) was collected and fairly recorded while the rest was either not fairly collected and recorded or the same could not be ascertained by the Auditor General.
This month alone, we have been treated to numerous media exposes of abominable looting of the public purse through which shameless racketeers have amassed billions of shillings unabated. This includes the theft of: whopping 9 billion shillings from the National Youth Service (NYS), 1.9 billion shillings from the National Cereals and Produce Board, 647 million shillings from the Kenya Pipeline Company, 2 billion shillings through the National Tree Planting Programme targeting primary schools and 10 million shillings from the Youth Enterprise Development Fund (YEDF).
This latest resurgence of theft comes in the wake of the launch of the Building Bridges initiative by His Excellency President Uhuru Kenya and Right Honourable Raila Amollo Odinga. It is worth noting that corruption, which is one of the key priority areas of intervention for this initiative, is described by it as an “existential threat to our Kenya”. That notwithstanding and as alarming as this characterisation of corruption is, there is not much to write home about with regard to concrete plans by the Building Bridges initiative to address this matter. This, together with the lacklustre response of the executive on the various scams, has furthered furore among the citizenry and reduced their faith in this initiative.
What is apparent to us in these and other numerous public scandals that remain unresolved to date is the entrenchment of the deep state. The alleged fight against corruption will remain a mirage until a time it is described for what it is, namely, abuse of entrusted power and theft of public resources to advance narrow personal interests. It is clear that the executive, legislature and judiciary have miserably failed to take drastic and decisive measures to unmask and punish these merchants who occupy the highest point of the food chain and fuel the corruption racket.
We thus have lost faith in the ability of the government to reprimand thieves. We no longer believe the Kenyan State is committed to genuine punishment of those that steal from ordinary Kenyans. Mr. President it is no longer enough to threaten and promise action, you need to act and lead by example. You need to earn our trust or you too should to resign.
WE THE CITIZENS OF THIS COUNTRY DEMAND THE FOLLOWING:
- HEADS MUST ROLL as we escalate political responsibility to the top. We demand resignations of all heads of Ministries who have allegedly been accused of theft, abuse of office or incompetence resulting in the misappropriation, loss and waste of public funds. All Cabinet Secretaries whose ministries are being investigated for different scams need to immediately resign whether or not they have been charged. It is no longer enough to arrest the Permanent Secretaries (PS), directors, managers and accountants.
- Mr. President, STOP REWARDING THEFT, attempted theft, incompetence and abuse of office. We demand resignations from all public officers reshuffled after theft, abuse of office and misappropriation allegations from 2013 to date. We need top level responsibility.
- We want ALL THE MONEY BACK. Prosecutions of people who stole millions when tens and hundreds of millions of shillings were stolen or misappropriated is NOT ENOUGH. The banks MUST disclose the ultimate beneficiaries of the funds and support the relevant agencies in the recovery assets so acquired.
- We demand that banks which facilitated these scandals be investigated and punitive actions taken against the institutions and individuals found culpable. We also demand that Central Bank of Kenya expeditiously freezes the accounts of the culprits involved.
- We demand the immediate cessation of all public officials and their families conducting business with GOK for this creates endless conflict of interests that perpetuates public theft.
- The government must immediately undertake a forensic audit of the integrity and efficacy of IFMIS in facilitating sound public finance management and the ownership and conduct of the companies involved in managing the system.
- All public officials need to make their wealth declarations and assets of their immediate family PUBLIC. They must also declare all shareholding held directly and/or indirectly, (that is in affiliated, family owned or controlled companies). That includes you Mr. President.
- STOP RECYCLING THE SAME PEOPLE IN PUBLIC APPOINTMENTS for it’s the small and privileged clique that monopolises and controls state resources without due regard to public interest and ends up facilitating corruption. We especially reject appointments of retirees and the systematic exclusion of youth and women professionals and demand appointment of people of integrity. GOVERNMENT HAS BECOME THE EMPLOYER OF CHOICE FOR THIEVES AND CRIMINALS.
We challenge public servants, bank employees and the general public who have information relating to any theft of public funds and others resources to come forward and report to the relevant authorities. We also call up the public to continue protesting against this endless greed and theft of their resources and demand for accountability in all the governance processes.
STATEMENT BY CONCERNED CITIZENS OF KENYA