OPINION: Wanjiku can live with the scar of corruption

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Call it chai, soda, kitu kidogo, mafuta (fuel) and lately I hear it has been codenamed chicken. Corruption is the name.my dictionary tells me it is a dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power, typically involving bribery. You can still say it is the action of making someone or something morally depraved or the state of being so the definitions are endless and that’s the beginning of confusion. What you call corruption is probably not what I call corruption. This is a relative term and that is the problem.

Happy Anticorruption day is in order. However much there is nothing to be happy about or rather celebrate as a country. Great soils of Kenya, our country is popular and we can attest to that; Athletics, innovation, AIDS, selfie president and even bigger on corruption. This is the good news; Kenya was the first country to sign the United Nations Convention against corruption which was adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 31 October 2003 at United Nations Headquarters in New York.  Kenya must have had the best of leaders then or I should think so because as a result, we are among the leading country by this I mean 4th country worldwide on the corruption grid. How great!

Let’s just agree we are formality addicts everything that seems cool to sign we are definitely up for. Corruption was still existent in 2003 and even before we joined the consortium. Corruption has become sophisticated and part of our lives now. Well, I attended the anticorruption event earlier today and just like security, the experts insisted #breakingthechain begins with you and I. I felt obliged to a task I can’t promise to fulfill. It’s unstoppable the rope is already rolled so deep and well planted for my action to make any impact. Infact, the only possible result will be the eviction of me and not corruption. That is Kenya for you.

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No, don’t think for a minute I have lost hope, it’s just that you cannot close your eyes to reality. Githongo has been here since I can’t remember. Apparently, he is Kenya’s most prominent anti-corruption activist who compares corruption to terrorism that is truly jeopardizing our country’s state. He has always called out the Kenyan government matters regarding corruption. Well, I cannot tell what his inspiration is really but one thing I am sure about is the fact that he is seriously chasing his own tail (if he still is). His allegations and accusations have only cost government officials jobs and earned him life threats as expected and now caused exile from his homeland.  Anyway, Githongo is not our chief concept today because there is not much he has done for Kenya but rant and put egg on our name.


Government institutions and headquaters have this post reading ‘A corruption free zone’ on entry. Quite interesting, formality again.  The latest on corruption was quite interesting; the chicken eaters. Kenyan election officials apparently pocketed millions of shillings in bribes to award huge printing contracts to a British company over a two year period according to London court. Smith &Ouzman paid millions to IIEC official to win printing tenders.

I would say I do not really care for the marinated chicken eaten or not and I bet you would too but here is where you come in as a taxpayer; the scale of the corruption alleged by the prosecution is worth 50 million KSH. Therefore, costs were inflated by up to 38 per cent to cater for the kickbacks and here they were passed onto those funding the institutions that contracted with Smith & Ousman. Long story short, corruption will always cost you as a citizen however minor it is. I have learnt to live with that.


Corruption is the order of the day in this ‘corruption free’ labeled institutions… I hear even where the law is made members of the house ‘buy’ each other to gain support. See? To them, that is not corruption that’s how it is maybe they call it survival for the fittest and yes it is. Back to the normal mwananchi, corruption is giving that cop chai either because you had not fastened your safety belt or because the alcoblow gauge indicated drunk. ‘Kanju’ are another nortorious group of connivers. They will take you round town and anywhere before you qualify for their cells just because you did not bribe them. Who wants to sleep in those cells anyway?

The pressure comes from above and that is exactly the cause of our rotten corrupt society. Anti-corruption organizations multiply by the year and so does corruption. The police have the highest reputation and contribute to the better part of corruption in Kenya but that is just what is out there. Corruption is a thing done unknowingly in Kenya today and it is nothing to write home about anyway. Despite all the campaigns and education against corruption, Wanjiku has learnt how to live with the scar of corruption and that is a fact.



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