kibaki should not waste this opportunity to punish corruption

The Kenyan Education Minister Prof. Sam Ongeri is not among the big fish in Kenyan politics. Neither are his assistant and the Ministry’s permanent secretary. Firing them and making them face the law will not have any awful political consequences for the president and his non-existent party. But it will serve Kenya. I think that this is a wonderful opportunity for the president to demonstrate that there are sacred programs that should never be compromised with – like the free primary education program, or healthcare.

Several months ago I thought that the president and his premier would punish those who stole government maize for re-export even as Kenyans starved to death. No one has been punished yet. Word on the street is that bigwigs in the Agriculture Ministry and perhaps even the premier’s son were deeply involved, plus a number of MPs. Now almost SHS 200 million has disappeared from the Ministry of Education. This is money that was intended to finance free primary education. Kibaki cannot afford to turn a blind eye to this.

In other news, the UN wants Guinean dictator Capt. Moussa Camara (and his henchmen) to be tried for crimes against humanity following the massacre of over 150 protestors in late September. Mr. Camara is currently recovering in a Moroccan hospital following a botched assassination attempt. The attempt on his life is believed to be a result of infighting within the junta over who should take responsibility for the September massacre.

Elsewhere, the president of Nigeria continues to rule in absentia. President Umaru Yar’Adua has been ailing in a Saudi hospital for a while now, prompting calls for his resignation. Nigerian politics aside, I echo these same calls. Nigeria is the undisputed leading country in West Africa. The chaos in Guinea and to a lesser extent in Guinea-Bissau and the Ivory Coast require mediation and regional engagement. Nigeria can provide leadership on this front, plus it can send troops (to Guinea especially) to keep the peace. The region needs Nigerian leadership (yes, I know I just said that). And that means having a strong and engaged Nigerian president.

3 thoughts on “kibaki should not waste this opportunity to punish corruption

  1. i liked the title.But reading on to realise that these guys ought to be punished just because of their insignificant political effect made me groan with despair.

    Corruption is corruption,whether by the so called big fish or the small ones.Consequently it’s perpetrators need to be punished on an equal scale whether they bear political significance or not.

    i would have understood if what you said came from a siting politician who is protecting his political future,but from you!!!!!

    ken the future of this country belongs to us.we need to claim our rightful position in the continent.and what better way than to divorce ourselves from the thinking that has long pervaded the leadership class in Africa!

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  2. Ndoloh, thanks for the comment. I am just being realistic here. The thing is, cultural changes take place in small steps. Kibaki, Raila, Ruto and Uhuru will not be punished because they are powerful. But if someone gets punished, it will set a positive trend. I think this situation offers a nice opportunity for that. I am not saying that only small fish should be punished, I am just saying that it would be a nice place to start.

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  3. ndoloh the political implications of punishing the big fish are enormous for our country. I think Ken is saying we shouldn’t bypass such an open opportunity…

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