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Kenyan’s Are Unconvinced Govt Is Fighting Graft

The chairman of Kenyan’s anti-corruption campaign steering committee says the country has lost faith in the ability of President Mwai Kibaki’s government to fight corruption. Reverend Mutava Musyimi said the government has done very little to prosecute those who are alleged to have committed various acts of corruption, including members of the government. Musyimi also adds that in all the districts his committee visited, the public expressed the need for the media to provide more coverage of corruption.

Koigi Wamwere is Kenya’s Deputy minister for information. From the capital, Nairobi he tells VOA English to Africa reporter Peter Clottey that the government’s attempt to fight graft has lost steam.

“I think that Kenyan’s would be entitled to lose faith because I too feel that our campaign against corruption has stalled in the sense that we have managed to put institutions into place. We have created some laws that are meant to punish those people who are engaged in corruption, but the truth of the matter is that beyond that we haven’t done much,” he said.

Wamwere said the Kibaki government has so far failed to punish the perpetrators of corruption.

“We have not punished, we have not prosecuted successfully; we have not jailed anyone of these people who are openly known to have been corrupt. To the extent that corruption has not been punished, people know for sure that it cannot just disappear by itself. So, I think, yes, Kenyan’s have the right to feel disappointed,” Wamwere pointed out.

He said the public is yet to know the details about the recent investigations into corruption scandals that have rocked the country.

“Actually, since the commission that was investigating the Goldenberg scandal, we don’t even know what is the position. People who are known to be corrupt and who should actually be in jail are now fighting for the presidency; others are leading parties and fighting to come to parliament. So all these are indicative of the fact that we have given up on the fight against corruption,” he said.

Wamwere said President Kibaki’s government is not politically motivated in its fight against graft.

“I think it’s lack of political will. In a way, it is dictated by the fact that the government feels that it needs the political support of some of these corrupt people. Also we must accept the fact some of our media houses are owned by people who have been associated with grand corruption, and they have therefore done a very good job of cleansing these people in the eyes of the public, thereby, intimidating the government. There are also many elements in the government who probably feel that their job in government is to make money and not fight corruption,” Wamwere noted.

He said the capitalist system of governance is the genesis of corruption.

“It’s a system that worships greed and money. It’s a system whose logic is that it doesn’t matter how you become rich, the important thing is to get rich. It’s a system that despises morality it’s a system that doesn’t care about values that make us human beings or allow us to share what belongs to all of us,” he said.

Wamwere said the capitalist system is not the right system to alleviate poverty.

“It’s a system that cannot fight corruption, and because it cannot fight corruption it cannot also fight poverty in the real sense of the word. Even as the country grows and economic growth increases, you still find that because the logic behind the system is corrupt, you find that the growth that is earned they cannot reach the majority of the people, who remain poor and whose poverty continues to grow in its intensity,” he said.