Written by West Fm
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“The accomplice to the crime of corruption is frequently our indifference” by Bess Myerson
They get elected to the office when they are ordinary, plain, lean and materially boast of nothing. They are just you and me.
The metamorphosis is fast and furious. No questions are asked. They are then cheered. They are worshipped. They are revered. The electorate is awed. The magic wand of political office Kenya style, Western Province style, North Rift Style. The comedy of Africa’s inability to harness democracy to develop its people. Those entrusted to be the people’s trustees turn into cannibals eating the same electorates only hope of economic transformation and rise from poverty.
Is there a relationship between the thriving of corruption, impunity, deepening, of poverty among the majority of the electorate, mismanagement of public resources and the supersonic speed of the rising of the fortunes of the elected leaders, senior public servants, ordinary public servants?
The only people whose wealth portfolios and feel good, body weight can have grown at may be over “1000%” or even “100,000%” are those elected as Members of Parliament, Councillors those appointed to the highest echelons of the public service like Permanent Secretaries, Chief Executive Officers of parastatals, Ambassadors, Cabinet Ministers, Chairmen of parastatals, Commissioners of Constitutional Offices and other high ranking and strategic offices in the public service and tasked to superintend the utilization of National Budgetary resources to lift up the ordinary citizen of Kenya.
- The salient features of the metamorphosis of these elected leaders and senior public servants from literary poverty to wanton wealth is characterized by among others the following:
- They have since entering elective or nominated public office or gaining certain levels of promotions become magically wealthy and embark on construction of country mansions when only the other day they either had no rural homes or modest ones.
- They acquire high end properties in the cities beginning with Nairobi and others when only prior to ascending to those offices they either lived in modest owned homes or were tenants or even had no homes there.
- They are perpetually swimming in money and keep constant company of beautiful women and other hangers -on and are forever in the best hotels, clubs in towns spending money twenty four hours enjoying the good life.
- Majority of them become plumper smoother and increase their waist lines and become a complete opposite of the lean, fit, thin persons they were a while ago before ascending to the new offices.
- They certainly acquire harems of mistresses or even now marry additional wives and they are in high demand for women dying to keep their company and share the spoils of office, the massive wealth.
- They suddenly own and change fuel guzzling vehicles at will and they are mobile 24/7 hours. Some become owners of fleets of vehicles.
- They can afford to pay school fees for their children in the most expensive primary or secondary schools in Kenya or even outside Kenya. They can even afford to now educate their children in universities overseas and pay millions in fees.
- They are insurance covered by their employer the Government of Kenya and hence go only to high cost private Hospitals in Kenya or overseas when they fall sick or their families and they do not give a damn any longer about the pathetic state of public health facilities where their electorate are condemned to seek for healthcare if it ever comes or to await preventable death.
- They are able to contribute generously at all harambees in the Constituency for all manner of activities, weddings, churches, schools, women groups, funerals. The harambees are never ending. They are constant inflow and increase as we head to General Elections.
- They are able to fly in and out of Eldoret, Kisumu every so often and contrary to a few years before entering office when they will take buses to and from Western in an effort to be cost effective.
They no longer wear locally tailored suits or clothes as they are dressed and groomed by self anointed consultants and they don all imported designer clothes and other accessories that cost serious money.
Yes as one British Commissioner once opened they display ostentations lifestyles akin to eating and vomiting on ones shoes.
The list of the financial largesse of these elected office holders, these high placed public servants is long and unending and grotesque to say the least. And the drama is enacted in the theatre of stifling poverty for the majority of the electorate, the sovereign people of Kenya who under the Constitution these elected leaders and public servants ought to be serving and improving their lot
The plain truth is that the lifestyles show cased by those politicians and public servants cannot be supported by the salaries, allowances paid to them. Even the subsidized loans they get by virtue of their offices cannot meet a fraction of the starried lifestyles they lead and the wealth they are able to command in record time upon entering those offices.
The electorate must ask themselves the question then whether there is a direct correlation to the electorates perpetual state of poverty or descend into deeper poverty or zero growth in their wealth and their elected leaders and senior public servants stinking levels of opulence and unexplained good financial fortunes once they enter office. Is it not corruption, yes corruption and impunity that oils, irrigates the stupendous wealth those elected to public office and senior public service officers are able to command in a short while. After all most of them do not run any model business venture and in any event no business venture unless it is drug trafficking can generate the kind of money these characters command and dissipate indiscriminately
It is only the electorate who must wake up and put to hold, stop the corruption and stinking state of affairs prevailing in the region and insist that the elected leaders must be held to the sword, to account as to how they are able to display lifestyles, become wealthy overnight by demonstrating how they are free of corruption creating the wealth they exhibit openly? In the United States of America President Barrack Obama has every year explained to the American nation how much money he earned that year through his publicly declared tax returns? Can any of the political class declare publicly their wealth and how it has been acquired? Do they even pay tax on all those ostentatious displays of wealth? We submit nay.
Can the electorate in Western Province and North Rift require all those seeking elective public office to declare their wealth and how they acquired the wealth and insist every year they do so. For how else can the electorate know whether their leaders are working for the electorate or presiding over the looting of the public budgetary resources directed to the region in cahoots with public servants? The ogre of corruption will only be slayed in this country if those entrusted to manage and oversee the application of budgetary resources are held strictly accountable so that they do not convert the public resources entrusted to them for the welfare of ordinary mwananchi into a theatre of looting and plundering for their personal aggrandizement.
Is it not surprising that these elected office bearers who suddenly become affluent once they enter those offices or senior public service offices cannot tell what growth rate Western Province and North Rift achieves in each year. They cannot say how many of their electorates have moved out of extreme poverty each year or how many have sunk deeper into poverty. They have no idea on how to give traction to the economy of the region and thereby economically empower the residents.
To fight corruption, to fight impunity by public servants, elected leaders, the electorate must challenge and hold to account those who they elect to lead them and those who hold public service offices to account for their obviously unexplained acquisition and command of personal wealth overnight. To do nothing is to entrench corruption, impunity, public service mismanagement of resources and waste. And yes, generation 18 to 45 it is your present and future being stolen by these thieving politicians and public servants who roam the region and you most stand up against these corrosive public theft, corruption and impunity. Elect men of integrity into elective office for them to cleanse the political and public service off the toxic corruption and impunity robbing you of your national entitlements and opportunities at the prime of your life.
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