Five years have elapsed since Kenyans, from all corners of the republic, wiped the sweat off their faces and smiled in unison as new county leaders took offices. The air was heavy with news of cash flowing from Nairobi to the respective rural counties. Indeed, that is exactly what the new constitution envisaged and promised.
Five years later nothing can be further from the truth. Yes, the new rivers channeled by the new constitution brought highly awaited public funds to the marginalized rural districts but unfortunately little, if anything, found its way to the public pockets to ignite new flames of achievements. Instead, the money meant to end years of suffering for many peripheral counties has been used to turn many county leaders and their next-of-kins overnight millionaires. Tales of individuals earning meager monthly salaries building castles in barren rural homes are rampant.
Even though Kenya is known for its corruption world over this vice has risen to unimaginable heights as 47 new corruption hot spots rose from the ashes of new constitution set on fire all over the country. The reports by government audits have higlighted huge loss of public funds in all counties. Instead of fast-tracking development by opening vessel that ferry “blood” to the periphery our new system has opened 47 new wounds that bleed profusely. Kenya has therefore lost more than it can sustain.
How millions of shillings sent to the counties have not moved even a stone, let alone boulders of obstacles, in major sectors like health, agriculture or water is mind-boggling! Just where has all that money been poured? A hole in the heart of each counties? Indeed, in the centre of each counties lies a bottomless pit that is the belly of corrupt governors and their cronies. Few, like Machakos governor, have made a tangible difference but even there new findings as their terms finally wiggle to the final station expose similar trend of embezzlement.
However, the picture of how Kenya’s new kings are epitome of corruption is painted in peripheral counties where even a little positive change in major sectors like health, food or water would have caused an earth quake of appreciation from citizens. Instead, they have found themselves an a sea of condemnation as they return to the electorate to beg for second chances. Take for example the case Marsabit county where little has changed despite all the millions stream in from Nairobi.
Marsabit residents still spend their hours queueing for water in the scorching heat even though that should have been the first problem for the county government to settle. With the millions at the exposure of the MC government water should have literally flown down from Lake Paradise to the types of Sakuu. But that is a dream Sakuu people hope will come to live in another sunny day as they pay their hard earned money to purchase water sold at exorbitant prices. In health, the few major facilities should have well equiped, well staffed and well oiled to run like automatic machines yet they are falling apart like rusty metal discarded in a pit. More pain for the poor dying of treatable diseases. Pregnant mothers and babies cry on their way to graves past the high-walled governor’s mansion instead laughing all the way home to meet their loved ones! Such is the state we have been subjected to by our own sons service their overgrown bellies at our own expense.
So, as Kenyans go to the polls in the next few months it will be prudent upon them to shun tribalistic loyalties for calm and wisdom. It is this tribal loyalties that have created arrogant political royalties that drowned in filth. If only their was a law that will ban all corrupt leaders from vying for public offices again. Unfortınately, our system of governance breeds and fosters opportunistic, corrupt individuals!
As witnessed by the attitude of even the nation’s executive towards corruption Kenya’s corruption enjoys unrivaled impunity. Because of this only Kenyans can end corruption and enhance development by ending political careers of all corrupt political leaders. May be, just may be, next year will usher Kenya into new gardens of better leadership and godspeed development at all levels of governance!