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Columnists

War on graft will not be easy but it must be fought

corruption
Scarcity helps creates a culture of corruption. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

As a society we are generally agreed that corruption is a big danger to the well-being of Kenya now and in future. We are already suffering immense consequences of corruption and we have no choice but to eradicate the menace if we hope to sustain as a nation. The cancer of corruption has made life unbearable for many in Kenya.

It has eaten generations in terms of lack of employment opportunities, poor schooling, ill health, poor infrastructure, insecurity and many other ills in our society. Unfortunately not many see corruption in their day to day lives as the beneficiaries of the vice come in the society as if they are there to help the people and are quite often rewarded by the victims of the evil through positions in various areas that keep them secured.

In essence the ecosystem that corruption creates is such that it is self-perpetuating and yet very protective of itself. Evil knows how to protect itself. Only that unfortunately the society structures and systems in place in Kenya are so weak that this evil exploits that fully for its own benefits and perpetuation. Thus fighting corruption in a country like Kenya is never easy but has to be destroyed before it completely obliterates the society to total oblivion.

One would be tempted to ask, why as a society we are this corrupt? Why does corruption also seem to be more in poor countries? Is it possible to defeat corruption in states or countries that are poor? There are no straight answers for this. Every nation on earth has some level of corruption but some are quite minimal. Some states may look or have no easy evidence of corruption within them. But if you look at their transactions with other countries or those of their citizens in other countries you can spot some levels of corruption. However, the poorer the country the more the corruption especially within its boundaries. Scarcity of resources and economic opportunities spurs the growth of corruption. This growth inevitably ensconces and intricate itself in the body politics.

In essence scarcity helps creates a culture of corruption. Just study the most corrupt countries in the world. They all exhibit a level of scarcity in terms of development and economic opportunities for their citizens.

The fight must have very strong supportive systems and structures and as we have seen need be strengthened through multi-faceted set up which is strongly supported by laws. It means it should have a multi-agency set up with a strong embodiment in laws, otherwise it will be easy to sabotage it.

It should also be systematic and continuous and heavily supported by strong Intelligence gathering framework. It should be able to operate without fear or favour and must target all areas possible and permanently in continuity in processes and discharge of operation. As part of the anti-corruption matrix we must develop economically. We must do anything possible to develop and in the right way. We must create employment through right economic and investment strategies.

The other obvious one is to fix our political culture, systems and structures once and for all and continuously devises progressive laws and economic strategies. Bad political culture, poverty and unemployment scourge are fertile grounds on which corruption thrives.

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