Kenya fails to mark World Anti-Corruption Day as funds meant for the event go missing
This article written with the headline above by Mark Mutah, published four years ago, is reproduced here for the record
As if to give credence to the notion, ‘Kenya is a bandit economy run by corruption cartels’ events that were scheduled to take place to mark the World Anti-Corruption Day last Friday were cancelled at the eleventh hour after money earmarked for the celebration went missing.
Some of the things that were supposed to be done on and around December 9 across the country —as was the case word over — included road shows, concerts, skits and mass media public education campaigns. This was to create awareness and sensitize members of the public on graft matters.
Preliminary investigations showed that the theft suspected to have been carried out over a weekend when government offices were closed was perpetrated through the Infamous Fraud and Misappropriation Information System – IFMIS.
It is now expected that the usual script will be played in the coming days with ‘fake suppliers’, ‘LPOs’, ‘invoices were fed into the system’, ‘passwords were stolen’ being words and phrases that Kenyans will hear with increasing frequency in the coming days.
No one at the ministry responsible is, however, planning on resigning as it would be a betrayal of all the other corruption suspects who have stayed put in various capacities in government.
On calls that all the top officials at the ministry responsible be fired, some officials who spoke on condition of anonymity said that axing them would be the wrong thing to do because with a bandit economy like ours, everything would grind to a halt if people stopped stealing public funds.
Our award-winning Anti-graft rhetoric.
“If you fire us and hire new people, that will mean spending a lot of time teaching them the inner workings of government including how to abuse IFMIS… by the time they have identified the loopholes in the system which they can then use in order to steal public funds, the economy will have collapsed because there are no proceeds of corruption circulating in the economy which is what keeps it humming… ah, the good old days when agriculture was the backbone of the economy!” said one obese civil servant while wiping brows of sweat from his bulbous face.
Even some level-headed members of the civil society are also not sure that calling for the suspects to resign is the right thing to do because they will just join politics where they might even do more damage.
“It’s a catch 22 situation… damned if you do, damned if you don’t!!” one activist lamented.
The ease with which theft of public funds is being perpetrated has alarmed sports betting firms who are worried they might lose customers as the fact that tenderpreneurship is more lucrative than soccer betting keeps being reinforced among Kenyans.
“This thing of people realising that actually the quickest way to become a millionaire is through IFMIS and not wasting their time glued to computer screens at cyber cafes scouring for every bit of information on upcoming football matches is detrimental to our business… if it continues I might have to start looking for a job elsewhere, preferably in government!” said one executive at a betting firm.
The theft of funds meant to tackle corruption comes at a time when world-renown literary judges, reviewers and critics have said that the government of Kenya stands a high chance of winning a major literary prize in the near future because the statements, promises and pledges it has been making to fight corruption qualify as fine pieces of fiction.
“Woe unto the literary critics who have been claiming that East Africa is a literary desert… you will soon have to swallow your words! Our corruption rhetoric is award winning material,” gushed one local publisher.