MARKETING AFRICA MAL 18/17 mal 18:17 online - Page 58

tyranny and that of parliamentary democracy ought to be mutually exclusive, at all times. Now whole tribes will flow in this stream of ethnic zombification. It does not matter that they are professionals, or that they belong to the class of our spiritual superiors. We have learnt to hate people who do not belong to our tribes more than we love ourselves and our children. We would rather have a thief from our midst being in charge of government than an honest man from some other tribe. If we loved ourselves more than we hated others, public accountability would not be so elusive. In a few weeks’ time, Kenyans will go out to vote in the general elections. Indications so far are that the elections will not be based on any ideological agenda, except the ideology of negative ethnicity. The lie that is negative ethnicity is the most portent force against making public finance count. Politicians know that their tribesmen will vote for them, regardless of any other consideration. For the time being, it does not matter how much any one individual plunders the public coffers. When he or she goes back to the tribe, or the clan, they will support him or her. And s/he will use the same ill-gotten wealth to buy his or her way back to power. Inefficiency and impunity A systemic and organic challenge to making public finance count exists beyond the trinity of public finance, procurement and audit. It assumes the shape of a nexus that makes mockery of all pretext to public accountability. The auditing function has often not co-operated with the public finance and procurement in the conspiracy to raid public coffers. Historically, the Auditor General has made mindboggling disclosures about abuse of public finance by people in high places. Regrettably, no action has ever been taken against the offenders. These may be people whom we have cause to believe that they have stolen, or they may be people who have been negligent with public finance. The disclosures against them never go beyond the value of temporary shock to the taxpaying ‘‘ There is need to re-educate the educated professional class in Kenya. The educated intelligentsia must begin learning to maintain a certain professional aristocratic distance from the thieves in their tribe. The intelligentsia is an agenda setting class. This is the latter day Patrician community. When it coughs, the Plebs catch the cold. This class cannot afford to worship in empty tribal shrines if the country’s public finance is expected to begin counting and making a difference.’’ 56 MAL 18/17 ISSUE public. They are forgotten after a few days. Life goes on, until when the next wave of appalling disclosures comes around. Even the media is quick to drop its interest in the heist, as it follows one political red herring after the other. That nothing happens after the Auditor General’s report is good enough assurance and motivation for the stealing class to go on with the business of stealing. For they know that nothing will happen to them. This is impunity at its best. Next to this, they know that there will always be a tribal crowd out there to shout out in their support. Following strai ned relations between the Kenya Government and the development partners’ world in the 1990s, Kenya was arm-twisted into putting in place an anti-corruption parastatal in 1991. The Kenya Anti Corruption Authority went on to become the Kenya Anti corruption Commission and now we have the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission. Put together with the Directorate of Public Prosecutions, the Criminal Investigations Department and the Kenya Police generally, Kenya has what should be a formidable army against theft from public coffers. Besides, these authorities have the back up of the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament and other oversight entities that make ours one of the most policed public services anywhere in the world. Yet, conversely, Kenya remains highly ranked among the corrupt countries in the world. Last year (2016) February, a PriceWaterhouseCoopers survey indicated that Kenya was the third most corrupt country in the world, after South Africa and France. This report came two days after President Uhuru Kenyatta told Kenyans in Israel that Kenyans