President Uhuru Kenyatta has on occasions shown resolve to fight the plague of corruption, having taken the highest office with a promise to Kenyans of his commitment to fighting every form of graft in the country.
Even with the delinking of the Office of Director of Public Prosecutions(ODPP) from the Attorney General’s Office in order to specialize and streamline its focus on prosecution of cases, the vision of President Uhuru to end corruption is dwindling with many other leaders committed to the fight corruption, showing signs of resignation over the issue.
The president caused quite the reaction earlier this year after stating that over Ksh2 billion was being stolen from the government on a daily basis.
The former head of Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission Philip Kinisu, before his resignation from the commission in September 2016, revealed that the country had been losing a third of its budget – the equivalent of about Ksh700 billion- to corruption every year.
The shrug of resignation by top government heads has given the wealthy and corrupt in the country, a breathing space to perpetuate and engage in their money laundering schemes and other corrupt behavior.
The wealthy in Kenya have found significant loopholes in which to maneuver and execute their high-level money crimes.
One of the tricks that wealthy Kenyans use to hide corruption and get away with it is the use of offshore accounts in hiding money collected through corrupt means.
This makes it a toothless task for authorities in trying to charge these individuals based on the reference of transactions of their domestic accounts.
Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) recently revealed their intention of tracing about Ksh5 billion hidden in foreign countries by high net worth Kenyans.
KRA’s revelation in itself was very telling of the utility of the trick by corrupt wealthy Kenyans who know they would have to answer to their high levels of unaccounted wealth, should they stack up money in their domestic accounts.
Another trick up the sleeves of the super-rich and corrupt in the country is filing multiple cases in court in order to slow down the execution of corruption cases.
Most suspects in cases involving graft in the country file multiple cases to derail the main case from being expedited and a conviction given faster.
Their cases consequently end up being protracted and they end up taking years in court, delaying justice, and sometimes dispensing away with the pertinent justice. Court cases that take long trial time in Kenya often result in being tossed out or forgotten altogether.
The wealthy in Kenya also know the weakness of the Judiciary in the execution of high-profile cases, with almost all of those cases ending in little to no convictions.
According to the Global Corruption Barometer (GCB) report of 2015, a third of Kenyans are of the opinion that the judiciary is corrupt, a fact well known to wealthy Kenyans.
The judiciary is expected to be an independent body as is stipulated in the Kenyan constitution, yet it is colossally undermined by allegations of corruption that paint it as incapable of delivering justice.
The enforcement of anti-corruption legislation is lacking due to the weak judicial system in the country, consequently leading to slow or ineffectual results in dealing with corruption being perpetuated by the super-rich in the country.
Corrupt wealthy Kenyans see this weakness of the judiciary as an attacking point in their quest to perpetuate and carry out illegal businesses and break the law while making millions.
The ODPP has prosecuted numerous cases involving graft in the country with almost no enforceable convictions at all, at the end of those prosecutions. The office celebrated its first high-profile conviction success in the graft case against Sirisia MP John Waluke who was on Thursday, June 25, sentenced to 67 years in prison.
He was fined Ksh727 million or 10 years in jail each upon default for fraudulently receiving Ksh297 million from the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB). The two were later released after they appealed the conviction.
Wealthy Kenyans are able to pay the hefty court fines that regular Kenyans cannot, therefore almost always finding a way to get away with corruption cases easily.
Numerous commissions of inquiry such as the inquiry into the Illegal and Irregular Allocation of Public Land and the inquiry into the Goldenberg Affair have all been met with a significant challenge in implementation.
The corrupt and rich in Kenya also know how to use politicians who always seemingly evade the hand of the law.
The Task Force on Public Collections or Harambees 2003 revealed that corruption is linked to politics. Wealthy Kenyans know this and use it to their advantage – using stolen funds to buy political goodwill through populist handouts.
They also use police by sometimes paying them to hide their filth as reports show that corruption is rampant within our police.
According to the Human Rights Report of 2016, Kenya National Police Service is ranked as the most corrupt institution in the country. The bribery culture is rampant among Kenyan Police with bribery being an effective way by the wealthy to access the police.
According to the Global Corruption Barometer (2015), 3 out of every 4 Kenyans see police officers as corrupt.
While the corrupt and wealthy continue to stack up their wealth in fraudulent manners, and the poor in the country get poorer, the fight against corruption soldiers on with the curbing of the corruption menace seemingly far from our grip.