Citizens have been urged to join hands and assist the government in the fight against corruption, as this is the only way Kenya can achieve a corruption-free state. Speaking in Bumula and Mt. Elgon Sub Counties, The National Anti-corruption Campaign Steering Committee (NACCSC) acting director, David Gathii said that, the fight against corruption is not only dependent on the government, but it requires concerted efforts between the government and the citizens at large.
The remarks came after a one week tour in Bungoma County where the committee had pitched its tents as it investigated both national and county government sponsored projects for any traces of corruption. Bumula Medical Training College in Bumula Sub County and The High Altitude Training Center in Mt. Elgon were some of the recipients of this watch. Members of project committees were also brought to task as they accounted for the progress of the projects since they were incepted.
Members of the public also had the privilege of being educated on matters of corruption as they asked questions on how they could step in and fight corruption, as they had been challenged.
In Bumula Sub County, for instance, the medical training college was found to have spent Kshs. 7 million, out of the stipulated Kshs. 24 million. The project committee successfully accounted for every coin spent, prompting NACCSC to term it as a corruption free project. The School of High Altitude training in Mt. Elgon also satisfied the committee as being devoid of corruption, being one of the few such projects in the country to have reached the finishing stage without cases of corruption being reported.
Speaking after the session, Deputy Commissioner of Bumula Sub County lauded the efforts of NACCSC on fighting corruption and at the same time urged the government to move with speed and release the remaining funds so that the project may be completed on time.
“We want to thank the NACCSC for its efforts on fighting corruption. However, we want to urge the government to give us the remaining funds so that the project may be finished by December,” he said.
Speaking during the sessions, Gathii, urged residents to avoid corruption deals as that is the main reason why most projects are never completed. He added that most Kenyans sit back and watch as corruption cripples a project while some cheer it up since they know they will enjoy the proceeds from the same. This has led to the collapse of many government projects.
“This goes on to say that where corruption does not infiltrate a project, then there are results to show. However, if people keep on refusing to reveal the corrupt dealings, then we shall remain retarded in development.” He said.
Other than shunning corruption, residents were also educated on how corruption could infiltrate a project and lead to the collapsing of the same. The residents were urged to elect good leaders who would help in the fight against corruption and not those who had a long history of corruption.
“If somebody embezzles funds in a small project, what would happen if you give them a bigger position? Will they not embezzle everything?” asked Gathii.
He urged residents to unite with the government in the fight against corruption, saying that the fight is a collective responsibility and should not be left for the government alone. The committee castigated them for taking a back role and watching as corruption barons continued to cripple the country.
“Most of the times citizens are sidelined in the fight against corruption. Kenyans should know that the fight against corruption is first an individual responsibility before it becomes a collective responsibility. Let’s not just depend on the structures put in place because even those structures require oversight for them to be accountable.”
Speaking at the same event, Bishop Patrick Siyevusa, the acting chair of NACCSC- Bungoma, pledged that they will keep on educating people on corruption until they totally eliminate it.
“Social audit is about educating people on dangers of corruption and how they can help the government in the fight against it. Most of the times citizens are uninformed about what is happening in their constituencies. We, therefore, come in to educate them, so that they may also know what is happening,” he said.
The campaign is part of the government’s strategy to fight corruption that seems to be rising in the country. It aims at educating Kenyans on how they can take an active role in the fight and it will tour the whole country as it looks into both National government and County government funded projects funded projects and fish out any lack of accountability and truthfulness.