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Saturday, August 02, 2008

A Culture of Corruption


For many years I have been an independent entrepreneur in Kenya and one thing I can tell you is that generally there is absolutely no respect for honest businessmen. Kenyans only respect wealthy people and they don’t care how that wealth was made.

Those who even casually study the world of business will tell you that building up a business to sizeable proportions takes time, quite often years. This is in sharp contrast to corruption where it is easy to make crazy amounts of cash overnight.

The sad result of all this is that Kenyans look down on honest entrepreneurs trying to make it the hard way and glorify corrupt overnight millionaires. That is why if you tell anybody that you are in business, the next question they will ask you is what business you are in. If you mention anything that links you to “Jua Kali” or a struggling start up, they will quickly lose respect. So the big question here, is how do we encourage Kenyans to go into business which is much more beneficial to the economy on the long term, when everybody knows that the way to make money is the crooked corrupt way. How many generations of Kenyans will it take for us to correct this perception that corruption pays?

I have myself witnessed numerous corrupt deals where people have used their position in government and even private companies to make a lot of money overnight. This includes the games people play with quotations. You see it is mandatory that for anything to be supplied to government, purchasing officers have to get 3 quotations for it. So what is done is to have 3 different business names handy complete with company rubber stamps. You then supply all three quotes but make sure that they are all very high. So whichever company wins the tender, you win because you control all three. And what is more you get to make a windfall in profits.

If the boss insists that he wants a certain company to supply because of their quality and reputation, all is not lost. The government official approaches the said company and tells them that he is in a position to help them win a lucrative government tender and asks them if they can “do the needful.” There are cases where cash is even paid upfront.

This kind of system can prove to be deadly. There is a famous case in the 1990s where a businessman called Kimani Kongo supplied chalk to the Nairobi City Council purporting it to be chlorine. Chlorine is usually used to treat water and although many wise Kenyans do not drink tap water directly from taps without treating it, there are numerous other poverty stricken ones who do not have an option. How many of them fell sick after city water was treated with chalk or not at all? How many ended up dead because they got sick and could not afford proper medical attention? Incidentally this gentleman stood in the last general elections for a parliamentary seat in Dagoretti constituency.

Corruption in Kenya is at all levels and many times, the games played are more or less the same right across the board, with slight modifications. The leaked Kroll report made an astounding revelation. That there is a registered legal entity known as the Government of Kenya. It still exists even as you read this. It is linked to Nicholas Biwott with other directors listed including Prof George Saitoti and ODM’s former Finance Minister Chris Okemo among others. The implications of this is that any cheque being issued to the government of Kenya can easily be cashed by this privately owned “business.” Now this is one scheme that clearly puts corruption in Kenya a notch higher than what our brothers is Nigeria have become world-famous for.

I will end this post and this series with a scene that I am sure has been played and re-played over and over again right across the country.

It is Christmas and two sons arrive with their families at their upcountry rural home. One comes by matatu and arrives tired and dusty heavily laden with luggage. The other son arrives in his big four-wheel drive car. Now which son are the parents more pleased to see? Which son are the parents more proud of? Naturally the four wheel drive car was purchased with corruption cash. But who wants to know? So what do you think will happen if somebody one day approaches the matatu-traveling son with a corrupt deal? Or even lures them into crime?

How can we ever hope to end corruption when Kenyans will not respect people for what they are but will instead only look at them for what they have?

Read my earlier article on corruption in high places that tells a simple story to illustrate the little talked-about impact that corruption has on ordinary Kenyans.

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25 comments:

Anonymous said...

Corruption cuts across the board from land grabbers of the Mau Complex to filty thieves like Ruto, Jirongo, Kosgey, Kirubi etc. It just boggles the mind that characters like Ruto should be allowed anywhere near government. It's just sickening that son of Jomo who enjoys illegally gained wealth should even be dreaming of ruling this great country. Kibaki just watches as crooks loot with impunity while KACC is just busy chasing chicken thieves while guzzling our taxes. We need a new generation of leaders if Kenya is to prosper. Oldie Mwai Kibaki is already a lame duck president and one has to be a dreamer to expect any significant change of policy from the govt. Only a new constitution will save Kenya. The presidency has to be made less powerful and less attractive if tribal bloodshed is to be avoided in 4 years time. Unfortunately we have a president who is in his sunset years and doesn't give a monkey's what happens to this country.

M-Pesa

Nbi Kenya.

Vikii said...

I am prepared to get into politics and loot. This is a country I long lost hope for.

For the first time I have seen a post I fully agree with.

M-pesa, what does a new constitution have to do with curbing corruption. The one we have now doesn't allow for official looting, does it? What we need is a complete change of attitude. All of us. Ama tuamue tu roho safi sii wote tuwe wasanyaji.

Taabu said...

Vikii,
Don't lose hope and as you often say do your GOOD part and ashame the DEVIL CORRUPTION. As for you being ready to join politics and lot I WON'T ALLOW you (BB). It may be enticing but hell no Vikii, you ca do better than that, ama?

b-carotene said...

So where is this taking us, Chris? How do we change culture(s)? Education for sure, but there's no better education than that which builds in consequences into the overall experience.

M-Pesa leads us into one starting point--reduce the executive powers, which have in most cases of grand corruption, aided and abetted, and increase the power and authority of other arms of govt as a check on the executive. It seems to me also that very harsh punishment as a deterrent must accompany any form of corruption, at whatever level and rewards offered to those that expose corruption.

But then again, the above would be ineffectual if the causes of rule breaking are well beyond the individuals, say for example, poorly remunerated civil servants.

My point is that tackling corruption requires an integrated set of measures at different levels, working to improve and/or shape the incentives of different actors.

Anonymous said...

KENYANS SHOULD KNOW THE TRUE FACTS OF KIBAKI ILLNESS AND WHY PNU IS IN A HURRY TO NAME SUCCESSOR-

SNAP ELECTIONS WILL BE SOONER THAN MOST KENYANS THINK~

THIS IS THE SAME DISEASE KIBAKI MENTIONED TO RAILA TO CONVINCE HIM THE KIBAKI HAD NO CONTROL OVER HIS HEALTH AND TO AGREE ON GRAND COALITION SINCE IT WAS FOR A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME (WHERE KIBAKI WAS GOING TO BE ABLE TO MAKE SENSE OR BE IN STATEHOUSE:
AND WHICH DISEASE IS THIS SO LETHAL??

ALZHEIMER!!!
a disease that slowly destroys the nervous system and affects the functionality of the brain.
In early stages the disease makes one repeat words without knowing;(example kibaki's continuous repeating of words- lolote!lolote!! hivyo hivyo!and it has become worse- even sometimes medication he is taking does not help- example in parliament recently when he kept repeating the same sentences.... and was shown live on T.V and many people watched on youtube through KTN & NTV.

KENYANS WAKE UP STOP SLEEPING THE FIGHT IN PNU FOR SUPREMACY IS BECAUSE KIBAKI'S DISEASE HAS SPIRALED AND CAN'T BE CONTROLLED FOR LONG.Uhuru, Martha Karua, Kalonzo Musyoka , Saitoti all know this

but you see Kibaki Promised all the above the slot 1 using his illness.

In the case of ODM and Raila kibaki Knows very well that Raila won the Presidency yet again he used his ALZHEIMER!!!to gain pity and convince Raila that he won't be around for long - Raila to agree on a short period for a coalition government then he Kibaki will stop the bloodshed and order thre mungiki and the police to stop the shooting and massacres(it was bluntly put to Raila)
yet again he has renegaded on his word...at the expense of kenyans and many that died because of his kibaki madness.

For those who are wondering yes Kibaki promised all this people the same using his ALZHEIMER!!!condition as a bargaining chip!

Read on..............


http://www.scribd.com/doc/549038/KIBAKIS-ILLNESS1

ritch said...

Guys, what's wrong with ths Anon 7.24 AM. His ranting is far too innocuous. What's it with the capital letters and pasting the same thing in each and every post. Yesterday I posted a piece on the American Embassy bombing in 1998 and he was here in the comments section to spoil everything - (people recollecting the tragedy that befell Kenya in 1998). He posted the same thing he has posted today. He did it so many times. He is a real party pooper. {Please desist from your uncultured "behaviour".}

Anonymous said...

Honestly these guyz you call thieves are my heroes , when i was young i used to adimire them in their well cut suits , fancy cars and beutiful women , give me the corrupt life anytime as opposed to living in kibera.

b-carotene said...

anonymous 7:24, sounds like you yourself are infected with some virulent form of brain retardation, evidently worse than your spurious allegation of Alzheimers. Bure kabisa.

Taabu said...

Chris,
I suspect in your last analogy of the two brothers you really treied to be politically (read gender) correct. Infact yours is a variation of often told joke that some women will readilly confess that they would rather cry in a BENZ than laugh on a bike.

As you aptly capture in your title corruption has become the single culture common to all 40+ Kenyan tribes, only that others do it better and grand. Just like the inverted v2030 premised on trickle down corruption can only be effectively fought from the top by example. True, individual effort is paramount (Vikii I am here) but until and unless you fell your efforts will not be fraudulent trashed by wave of a hand/note you motivation is wiped.

Where to go? Re-education and change of attitude to stop worshipping primitive wealth accumulation. In the present set up only a comprehensive and representative katiba that devolves power and severely PUNISHES corruption can provide that start. Who will bell the tired but randy cat? Anyone out there?

@Ritch,
Relax. Anon 7.24 deserves no response. Like a spoilt brat ignore him and he will relocate in shame. KK is a market place and asking him to behave is just too much for a mad man ready to complete the composition in the stalls.

Anonymous said...

8;05
you can't wish Kibaki's illness away- why don't you put your money where your mouth is- ask Dr. Gikonyo or would you prefer the stolen health reports to be posted here?? if you look at all the blogs closely on the internet you will find a copy of the report:):) on the internet

stop cursing- facts are facts Kibaki mzee ame kwisha- sickness that can't be treat- but can be contained for a while:) pole sana as much as Kibaki Loves statehouse ans even cold bloodlessly ordered the slaughter of innocent kenyans for it- God played him a death card:)

Anonymous said...

7:40
ritch
Truth hurts and if you can't accept reading it then go find out instead of throwing insults here on kumekucha-
proof me wrong on Kibaki's illness- my father share's doctor Gikongo with him- for his conditions-

proof me wrong- post his latest Dr. Gikonyo's physical report here- i dare you...

meanwhile i Know for a fact that a kibaki successor has to be named soon and pnu has to bring it's act together or else.......

b-carotene said...

@8:19. You dropped your screaming caps. Thank you. Now we can talk. What's Dr. Gikonyo's tel? For some really very strange reason I fail to trust your (bogus) allegation of illness. Might you have contacts for Hon Rt. Raila's doctor? Would like to inquire on his eyesight and overall health.

Anonymous said...

anon8:06


Taabu
when the truth unfolds- I expect an apology from you- you see this spoiled brat is trying to enlighten kenyans on what is really happening on ground with facts.

yes i maybe a rich spoiled brat totally agree- but it comes with the privilege of getting fast class information from rich connected parents:) go figure Taabu insult me all you want but the truth is the truth and i will not back down....

Anonymous said...

Taabu,

What is the meaning of BB?

Vikii said...

yes, don't back down but please post your father's and the President's medical reports under a relevant post.

And again, we have read and understood it. How many times do you want us to read it?

Taabu, you said we should not lose hope? Asi!

Anonymous said...

b-carotene
I fail to see why you are on the defense on Kibaki's illness??
Raila's eye surgery was plastered all over the newspapers around the world and some pnu members even implied his eye surgery was worse then it was reported- the guy was wearing some shades for a while??

what is your point?? the blogger on here says Kibaki is sick- instead of being in denial?? shouldn't we be praying for him?? ama you want to wish the disease away??

If indeed Kibaki has ALZHEIMER then it does make sense to watch him on national T.V repeating himself all the time....

now someone should dig up this fact for the national interest of kenya.

Kenyatta's death?? we still don't know for sure the exact date he died--------------- do we??as kenyans?? I don't think so.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8.34, BB means 'Big Breakfast'

b-carotene said...

@8:45, going by your claim, then we can safely conclude that a couple of posters here also have alzheimers--judging by the way they stutter and repeat their toxic selves all over the blog. But that wont be fair, so why not just post authentic medical records?

Anonymous said...

anon8:57 AM you said
quote.

""""conclude that a couple of posters here also have Alzheimer--judging by the way they stutter and repeat their toxic selves all over the blog."""""""

you are sorry human being- show me any blogger from kumekucha who has been on media or live T.V ktn or Ntv repeating themselves like kibaki??
you can't wish away kibaki's sickness by insulting other bloggers stop wasting your breath

Kibaki has ALZHEIMER and the only help you can give him or patients like him is to invent the new pill that can treat the disease - nothing short of that will remove the disease from Kibaki- So deal with it or else stick your kikuyu head in the sand the usual denial way...

b-carotene said...

anon@9:57am.
I can see I'm wasting my breath on you. So I'll instead point you to recent developments in alzheimer's research, which are hopeful.
See: http://www.cnn.com/2008/HEALTH/conditions/07/30/alzheimer.drug/index.html
So your crazy allegations are just that and worse--storm in a teacup.
In the meantime, if requesting for evidence and clarity makes me a Kikuyu, then am a Kikuyu damu. What are you?

Anonymous said...

THE UHURU KENYATTA BBC-HARDTALK INTERVIEW THAT EMBARRASED KENYANS.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


[b]Lord of mercy,…..this is embarrassing……[/b]

Before I even get to the [b]Mungiki question[/b] which saw [b]Uhuru [/b]displaying a strange and highly dramatized [b]defensive show[/b]….. [b][color=Brown]Uhuru has no idea about basic issues going on currently in a government that he serves in a very senior capacity.[/color][/b]

[u]The fella does not even know what the role of the TJRC is, despite having participated in its creation by parliament.[/u]

[i]Listen for yourself in the youtube clip below - around the 3rd minute - at Uhuru defining the role of the TJRC (which by the way the BBC /Hardtalk reporter had to correct him - stands for Truth, Justice & Reconciliation Commission and not ‘Truth, Justice and Restitution Commission”[/i] .

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2PSnUrmHvSY&feature=related

[b]Uhuru says “ [i]the TJRC is a commission that has been set up to deal with the events that occurred as a result of the last election[/i] ”[/b]

[u]The reporter then interjected to correctly INFORM Uhuru (he wasn’t even listening) that there were in fact two different commissions dealing with the whole matter of elections and the violence after announcement of the results ( (a) the Kriegler Commission on conduct of the elections and (b) the Waki Commission on post election violence.).[/u]

[b]Now this pathetic showing is from Kenya’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Trade. [/b]

I guess the big silver spoon in the mouth.... the many Kenyatta family corporate interests, including illegal logging in state forests like Mau,..... cutting new trade deals in his docket, .... who knows how much time he was spending with Mungikis when the Accord process was going on,........and jostling with [b]succession [i](Kenyatta-heir-tosha)[/i] projects [/b]under Kibaki's shadow as Karua says,..... have all distracted and clouded Uhuru’s mind that he is in fact quite removed and uninformed of key developments at the national level.

[b]His mind [u]could be[/u] deeply immersed in plots to replace Kibaki, in a quest to continue the path his father Jomo charted for Kenya, which saw us slide into one of the poorest countries in the world.[/b]

[b] [color=Brown]Very sad. How can Kenya’s Deputy PM not distinguish the difference between the TJRC, Kriegler Commission & Waki Commission, yet have the audacity and entitlement to fight silly presidential succesion battes with Karua every single day?[/color]

What kind of mediocrity and balderdash that still accords some people a sense of entitlement to the Presidency is this.... from these supposedly force-imposed heirs?

Karua is definitely more competent and aware of current goings on than this disastrous Uhuru fella.[/b]

On interview skills...

[b]Check the video clips and see for yourself in amazement at Uhuru walk straight into every trap set by this reporter. [/b]

Kenyans need to watch this.

At least here is a British journalist asking a politician pertinent questions never asked in Kenya.

From this performance, Uhuru is definitely better staying away from international media spotlight, which Moi and Kibaki deliberately dodged for decades for very obvious reasons.

I’ve highlighted some of Uhuru’s less than savvy and quite interesting responses at the end.

The hardtalk reporter cornered Uhuru with the [b]Mungiki question[/b], a question he probably never expected and which he chose to dance around with an unintelligent diversion to the Rift Valley militias.

Nobody was asking about the RV militias - Uhuru naively implied a justification for the Mungiki response ([b]revenge[/b]) , and did not deny the claims about Mungiki’s State House visit reported earlier by BBC.

His defensive and diversionary response was quite telling. It’s instructive to note that Uhuru did not deny the BBC report that Mungiki had contacts with State House on killing revenge missions.

[b]Then on land reforms - lord of mercy. The guy was totally decimated, watch for yourself.[/b]

[b]On the pointed question about Kibaki rigging and the US government report on exit poll analysis showing Raila winning by 6% of the vote.[/b] Judge for yourself….see Uhuru replaying the “[i]result was too close line[/i]”…..6% is more than half a million votes for heavens sake….close and too close are two different things….then watch Uhuru’s lazy retreat to the guilt-laden phrase [i]’I personally believe Kibaki won, but we are now past that[/i]” ya right!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ImreW9AHm3g&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5HUccQspubI&NR=1

Some interesting responses from Uhuru.

[b]Q - [color=Red]Is it true that If a President in Africa wants to hang onto power so badly, he can survive the reversal of results of a democratic election if he is so determined to cling to power? [/color][/b]

[b]Uhuru[/b] - …[i]I think what you need in the events like this… is something like a coalition, something unheard of before in the African continent, which can work and bring people together as opposed to pulling them apart.[/i]

[b]Q- [color=Red]Do you believe given what we’ve discussed happened in Kenya that you are in any position to tell Zimbabwe what to do[/color][/b]

[b]Uhuru[/b]- [i]My position is very clear….[b]I am not sitting up on any high pedestal claiming one side or another[/b]…we want to see an end to bloodshed….just as we wanted to see an end to violence in Kenya...... and we are glad that we had friends (as Kenya) that wanted to see an end to the violence.... and they came and helped us resolve our problem… ::) [color=Brown] (do you guys remember Mutua, Karua, Uhuru & Wetangula's line - they have come for tea, we don't need help, this is an internal matter..eh?) [/color][u]anyway Uhuru continues[/u]

[b]I am not putting it upon myself to stand on any high horse to say that I have a solution for Zimbabwe… its not for me to dictate who is who and who should be what!!!!![/[/b]i]

[b]Q - [color=Red]President Kibaki has become a part of the solution that you have described in Kenya, are you therefore suggesting to me that President Robert Mugabe can be part of the solution in Zimbabwe?[/color] [/b]

[b]Uhuru[/b]- ( vigorously nodding in approval and quickly jumping to answer even before the question is finished) [i]Absolutely, YES! Absolutely…. We support that and we encourage it.[/i] (take a keen look at the reporter’s face)

[b]Q - [color=Red]On whether there would be any ACTION taken on the Commision to look into the post election violence (in view of the terrible record with almost a dozen previous commissions). [/color][/b]

[b]Uhuru -[/b] …there is commitment from both sides,…..I do believe there will be action….


[b]Q - [color=Red]Is serious land reform going to be part of constitution reforms. [/color][/b]

[b]Uhuru[/b] - Yes!

Then carefully watch Uhuru stammer badly while interjecting the reporter on this next question.

[b]Q - [color=Red]You of course being son of the man who many Kenyans regard as being responsible for many of the land reform issues that have been unresolved for many years[/color] [/b]

[b]Uhuru interjecting[/b] - >:( [i]If if if if if if if if if there are issues to do with land they will be discussed. You can come and join in the discussion[/i] (notice the frown of painful anger in his face - I guess also the reason for the stammer).

Reporter also interjects

[b]Q - [color=Red]Well I’d like to be in the discussions, I’d like to know whether you from the Kenyatta family will put your own land on the table and[/color]…..[/b]

[b]Uhuru [/b]- (never lets him complete the question) …[i]we will support whatever position that will be adopted by Kenyans…we are Kenyans ……we will argue, debate and say I think this is the best way to deal with it and come to an agreement[/i]

[b]Q- [color=Red]How much land does the Kenyatta family own?[/color] [/b]

[b]Uhuru [/b]- [i]That’s not a question I am going to answer...I don’t need to answer that question because that‘s not an issue.[/i]

[b]Q-[/b] [color=Red][b]But you will need to answer that question in the course of a debate on land reforms in your country?[/b] [/color]

[b]Uhuru-[/b] (over-talking the reporter) [i]I will not answer…I will not need to answer that question because land reform is not about a person…land reform is about a nation….so if a nation decides its going to take policy in a specific direction…and as a citizen of that nation, you join and you follow that policy[/i].

[b]Q -[color=Red] So you want to tell me if the policy mandates you declare how much land is in your family’s hand you will then be able to tell me?[/color] [/b]

[b]Uhuru-[/b] [i]Its not that I wont tell you…I don’t need to tell you…I don’t need to sit on BBC and say that this is what I have or don’t have…I don’t need to do it….alright….its there, it’s clear…and whatever decision that is going to be taken is not going to be taken against a certain individual or a certain family[/i]….

[b]Q - [color=Red]Some people will have to give up some land, you may be ONE OF THEM? [/color][/b]

[b]Uhuru[/b]- [i]Well, if that is what is going to be decided, so be it and that is the way we shall move (with a cocky smile)…whats the problem.[/i]

[b]Q - [color=Red]The problem perhaps is that some Kenyans wont believe you…wont believe that you will ever do it?[/color] [/b]

[b]Uhuru [/b]- [i]Well, why don’t we wait and see Steve….we’re still going to be here I hope…unless the Bus runs us over tomorrow[/i]

Now,

[u][i]Contrast these land related questions above - then also contrast Uhuru’s conspicuously contradictory, divergent yet defensive responses (for instance the line - no decision will be taken against an individual or family) - probably a subconscious and self betraying reaction[/i]. [/u]

[b][i]Uhuru has basically revealed what Moi and his son Gideon repeatedly warn about (Uhuru himself has previously echoed the same words)- that land issues are emotive, dangerous and sensitive. Basically a coded message that they will fight to hang onto their vast tracts of grabbed public land. The message is right here.[/i] [/b]

On skepticism by Kenyans who see cabinet Ministers earning $ 18,000 per month (one of the highest in the entire world) while ordinary folk make an average of $ 33 per month ($ 400 per year).

After admitting it was a [b]bad signal[/b], Uhuru betrays himself by pouring out his true feelings when he declares that the reporter is accusing the government yet a budget proposal by the same government intends to tax MPs….Does Uhuru even understand the bottomline here?

The reporter repeats to him…I’m not talking about taxes, I’m talking about salaries and allowances……Uhuru doesn’t still seem to get it.

It is good this fella is being slowly unmasked. [b]Kudos to BBC.[/b]
Save this in your archives fellows

Anonymous said...

He has alzheimer's too.

Anonymous said...

anon 10:17 AM
Stop confusing the issue it will not go away....
watch the man who has alzheimer's called Emilio Kibaki- watch him closes recently just last week at a function "repeating himself" and the famous abuse stack in his brains "mavi ya kuku" he keeps calling kenyans!!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2qDzjiNa6T0


God does not sleep you kill and murderer innocent kenyan's Emilio kibaki - you get an incurable diseases called alzheimer's - you day like a cabbage- you deserve worse death Emilio Kibaki- god has been too kind to you......

Anonymous said...

anon10:15 AM

read more

Reported on BBC April 2008
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7319393.stm


if you are trying to console yourself that Kibaki will be ok with his disease you are wasting your time- it is too late he has it in advance states:)

Statehouse will soon be history to the likes of you:) I can see the fear in you. too bad the old senile kibaki stole from kenyans there right to vote and he deserves a worse disease than Alzheimer's he is a murderer and a thieving thug.

Anonymous said...

but I av just eaten my supper n Kibaki disease has not affected me na kesho panpo majaliwa bado am going to my business akufe ama aendelee kuongoza kenya no difference mwizi kikuyu na mwizi jaluo wote ni wezi wawili!!!
bring those money n see if I will refuse u jst make noise coz u dont av the opportunity!!!

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