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Kabura’s day in parliament’s ‘court’ sadly a hilarious show

Wednesday November 2 2016

The most popular issue at any time in Kenya is financial scandals in the public sector. Once a scam is “leaked to the Press”, every one sees an opportunity to ‘reap’ from it.

The ‘investigative journalist’ gets an opportunity for accolades for exposing the “heist”. The newspaper editor gets a good headline and rests easy knowing the sales target is hit.

MPs hurriedly convene a quasi-judicial committee to inquire into the scandal, claims forms for a huge sitting allowance at the ready.

The EACC boss savours the moment to showcase his ‘zero tolerance’. Politicians on both sides seize the moment to pledge loyalty to the boss. The opposition chief relishes the moment to prove his opponent is corrupt and undeserving of leadership.

In the cacophony of all these, the water get so murky that the thief swims away unnoticed.

Must it be this way?

Kabura ‘won’ NYS tenders; there must be a criteria for applying and being awarded a tender. She supplied goods or did not, provided documents or did not. Payment has a procedure: Voucher prepared and examined, cheque written and dispatched.

My Point: The entire process was not done by Halloween ghosts but public employees who earn a salary for doing that work. The process, whether manual or digital, has an audit trail. Why can’t it be that simple — following up on the process, asking the relevant officers the questions and taking action where a fault is found? Indeed, we are all a very ‘upright’ lot.


* * *

The drama at the parliamentary committee session where MPs were treated to a real contest by “Your Majesty” and whom they failed to corner the way they had planned was a tragicomedy.

Some of the legislators were below par and seemed not to have done their homework. Even the chairman had the audacity to tell Kenyan he is an electrician by profession — which made things worse because a lawyer was, indeed, the proper person to have led the questioning.

Kabura said the Sh52 million were hers; did she need a receipt from whomever she paid the money? Do the MPs tell their domestic servants to sign whenever they pay them their salary?

No wonder the lady was just having a good time — like another one who appeared before the same team some time ago.

PR GITHINJI, Kiserian, Kajiado

* * *

The interrogation of Josephine Kabura exposes the dark underbelly of corruption in Kenya.

Kabura’s constant ‘memory lapse’ tells the truth: There was no business that she did; she was just a ‘spanner girl’ who was used to steal huge amounts of taxpayers’ money.

If this scam is to be satisfactorily solved, the real player(s) need to be brought to book. But with impunity stinking to the high heavens, that would just be a pipe dream.