Let the truth be told; the EACC has never intended to fight corruption

Saturday February 20 2016

Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission CEO Halakhe Waqo at a press conference on corruption cases in Kenya on February 19, 2016 PHOTO | ANTHONY OMUYA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission CEO Halakhe Waqo at a press conference on corruption cases in Kenya on February 19, 2016 PHOTO | ANTHONY OMUYA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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Someone must be supplying very dangerous inebriating substances to some Kenyans. This is the only explanation I have for the dreadful but also comical behaviour we exhibit around the anti-corruption struggle.

If you doubt me, please proffer a more rational and convincing explanation for the antics from your anti-corruption authority, the wave of affidavits, the alleged interjection of the ‘professor’ and, overall, the plainly illogical manner people in authority are communicating.

Nothing in these scenarios demonstrates any logic, at least not the logic I was taught. I think that the late Prof Francis Imbuga would be embarrassed that he did not rise up to this level of creativity in his time.

I miss Prof Imbuga, he of the Betrayal in the City and Man of Kafira fame, whose witty commentary on our political realities is unmatched. Prof Imbuga is among the few Kenyans who wrote serious political commentary and got away with it.

The irony is that some of his books found their way into secondary school curriculum and became examinable texts. Few in the government censorship business had figured out that much of the content of these two books drew largely from everyday experience in Kenya and Africa.


He even got President Moi to sit in at a performance at a local university and laugh at what might, in many ways, have been about his own demented governance system. Prof Imbuga perfectly exemplified how courage can be mobilised as satire to deliver powerful political critique. He told the truth laughingly as John Ruganda concluded.

But I am not sure that Prof Imbuga would have imagined into existence the comedy that defines our current ‘fight’ against corruption. I am also not sure that he would have imagined that Kenyans could continue to treat as serious the parody that the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission sustains in the name of fighting corruption.

How come we Kenyans cannot see that the EACC was never intended to fight corruption? Even the directors and commissioners are now bored at your inability to see it and have decided to let you know they do not intend nor care about fighting corruption.

They wonder how come you Kenyans cannot see that the people in charge of that commission have not read and understood their mandate. How come you Kenyans have refused to see the fact that Dr David Ndii has been more effective in exposing corruption than the EACC?


How come you Kenyans do not remember the numerous times your President has promised total intolerance to corruption and, each time, he does nothing serious and sustainable about it? How come President John Pombe Magufuli in Tanzania has visibly cracked on corruption within 100 days of being in power and your own President has not even dented corruption in any serious way since you elected him in 2013?

The question we must answer is how come you Kenyans are easily cheated by silly promises and your attention diverted by foolish antics, be they from the high and mighty or from self-appointed professors. Why is it easy for us to retreat into comical laughter as a way of ‘easing’ the pain corruption inflicts on us when in fact these do not constitute sustainable solutions?

I appreciate how funny it is, for instance, for dead people to be suffering in poverty, but laughing at that should not detain us from seeing how our system of leadership is totally screwed up.

The truth of the matter is this; unless citizens of this country get really tired with the corrupt and crack the whip on their fake leadership, corruption will persist and become banal while we amuse ourselves with the antics the political elite manufacture to amuse us. Let us agree that the EACC will never fight corruption.

Godwin R. Murunga is a senior research fellow in the Institute for Development Studies, University of Nairobi. [email protected]