Who should be prosecuted in Kenya for corruption? Who will do that job?

8 mins read

We have two weeks to the election and the biggest item on the national agenda is fighting corruption so that public money and resources can be used to benefit the citizens and not for politicians to grab and be super rich which is what is happening today.

This could not have come at a better time. Even William Ruto now wants to fight corruption. Good for him because we do not want any Kenyan whining and being a cry baby once their corruption cases are put up and they go for trial.

Ruto says everybody should be investigated and prosecuted including the president or the former president. That is actually going to include the former deputy president or vice president if they have been involved in stealing public property and money.

Ruto’s talk about fighting corruption started with something they call state capture, which is their petty wars with the likes of Matiang’i, Karanja Kibicho and other state officials who they want to get rid off. That has zero significance to Kenyans.

The real state capture Kenyans want to talk about is when state officials like William Ruto and others go out there and grab state property like the KCAA land to build his Weston Hotel. That is physically capturing public property and you make it your personal property. It is theft of public property and in the Ruto case the matter is before the court of appeal right now and Kenyans want it resolved as soon as possible.

Ruto also has that 2,500 acre land in Taita Taveta which he got from the biggest land grabber in the area Basil Criticos. The people living around that grabbed land are squatters and cannot even get access to Lake Jipe in the area because the land thief has fenced the whole place blocking access to the lake and is using the water from the lake for himself in his farm.

We have Ruto’s running mate Rigathi Gachagua facing Shs 12 billion corruption cases and admitted during the DP debate this week that his account with Shs. 200 million has been frozen by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA). For people like Ruto, dismantling KRA and stopping them from investigating thieves like his DP is going to be their war against state capture.

Read: Ruto wants to buy Unga for everybody at Shs. 20,000 a piece instead of the Shs. 100

William Ruto and his UDA politicians want to capture the whole state for themselves and the best way to do that would be to destroy the corruption investigation agencies and claim you are doing that to stop state capture. Guess what? Kenyans want the state to capture the thieves not the other way round. That is what you are going to see after August 9, 2022.

So what is messing the war on corruption? Many things and this is what we want the Azimio government to solve from their first day in office.

Number on is that these corruption cases take decades in court and are never ruled on by the judiciary. There is all this talk about our independent judiciary but when it comes to corruption cases the judiciary has been awful. Kenyans are not asking them to just convict people but for God’s sake make rulings on these cases.

Every time a big political thief case comes to court, the hearing takes five minutes and the case is adjourned for a year. The lawyers for these thieves know that the judges are not interested in solving these cases so they have a million ways to get adjournments. It is sickening.

We even have a case like that of former Migori governor Okoth Obado charged with stealing over Shs. 500 million and a terrible murder case. Every time his case comes to court it is adjourned within few minutes.

The chicken thief is sent to jail in two minutes and the political thieves and even murderers have their cases going on for ten years or more. Where is the justice in all these. No president is going to do anything in fighting corruption when the judiciary refuses to play their role and makes all excuses to keep criminals in office.

Read: Fighting corruption becoming a big issue in the August 9, 2022 elections.

The next issue the Azimio government would have to deal with is to help hire competent and qualified investigators at the DCI office and the DPP office and get rid of the stupid infighting going on there between Kinoti and Haji.

The investigations are often shoddy and when the cases are filed in court there are endless loose ends and that is what the thieves use to get away with robbing the country. Chief Justice Martha Koome said that one of the reasons the corruption cases take forever is because sometimes the prosecution comes up with a list of close 100 witnesses and everything is all bungled up.

There has to be a standard by which these cases are investigated and charges drawn up. Wild goose chase among the prosecution only helps the suspects. Also given the level of corruption even within the investigation authorities, it is very likely that a bunch of the investigators are in fact working to help the suspects not to stop corruption.

The next government should roll in clean and competent investigators to do the job properly and start putting these thieves in jail. The other annoying thing is to keep hearing from the EACC that they have recovered hundreds of billions of stolen property and money.

They don’t tell Kenyans who they recovered the money from and when. If you catch thieves who return what they stole, those thieves should be in jail.

If the only price thieves pay after they get caught is to return part of what they stole then everybody will just grab public property and money and when you catch them they return it and if you don’t catch them they keep it. Is that really a form of justice for Kenyans whose property is being stolen every day by politicians?

Kenyans will expect to hear from both Raila and Ruto about their specifics on fighting corruption during their forthcoming presidential election debate. Perfect timing.

Adongo Ogony is a Human Rights Activist and a Writer who lives in Toronto, Canada

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