Corruption in Kenya suffers from multiple personality disorder.This is an obvious diagnosis given it’s shifting identity.We lost the war on corruption before it began, because of the biased multifaceted approach of dealing with the vice. Any exposé on corruption prompts divergent views in the country’s social sphere. Pseudo activists pop up with all manner of conspiracies, based on facts and imagination. As is the norm,the fanfare of advocacy lasts for about two weeks.A sad pattern is noticeable amidst the fanfare. A pattern that brings to fore, the symbiotic relationship that exists between tribalism and corruption. It becomes clear that, we abhor corruption only when we have nothing in common with its proponents and, tolerate it when suspects are of a shared heritage or interest.
Accusations levelled against suspects quickly become a non-issue, as they canvass to their kinsmen or party officials for support. Astonishingly, the suspects get enough supporters after peddling half-truths. The allegations then become communal and, are unilaterally declared a witch hunt against the suspects’ community.
Allow me to put it in perspective.When accusations are made against politicians allied to the opposition, government supporters conquer the social sphere with bravado. With reverberating condemnation, they will ask for the suspects’ head on a platter (albeit politically) .Supporters of the opposition, at this point ‘become’ heedless to the current affairs.They feign ignorance and, refrain from any discussions on the corruption scandal. A few supporters of the opposition , with the guts of a beggar, rise above tribal and party lines to condemn ‘their’ person. An act that usually sparks imminent ire from kinsmen.
This pattern is coherent across the divide. Accusations levelled against government officials elicit angry reactions, from supporters of the opposition. An overnight shift in tide occurs, as tribes and parties affiliated to the opposition direct a barrage of attacks to pro-government citizens. Government supporters will remain quite about the state of affairs. Donald Trump’s rants at this point appear more important than the state of the nation. Similarly, only a handful of government supporters condemn the act of corruption.
We have sunk so low by rationalising corruption just because our friends, tribes or parties are involved. A wrong should remain wrong regardless of a perpetrator’s identity. Surely, are we so comfortable with the future of our children being robbed from them, even before they are conceived? Are we so comfortable when our politicians enrich themselves to their infinite generation, as we suffer and struggle in our present day existence? The solution to the corruption menace lies with us. Our whining might not stop corruption immediately, but it will spur action from the political class. The relationship between corruption and tribalism is one that has to be severed, for the benefit of our children. It would really be of help if we became unanimous in our tirade against corruption,irrespective of tribe, party or any association therewith.