There’s an ongoing debate about whether we need new laws to give all a chance at the Kenyan dream or whether the laws we have are sufficient enough to level the playing field; in which case the blame shifts to those charged with the responsibility of implementing these laws.
Both arguments have pros and cons but on the matter of runaway corruption; those arguing for a new set of laws or a complete overhaul of the system are closer to solving the problem with corruption in Kenya than insisting we implement laws that can’t deal with an evolving society.
The thinking here is that Kenya, as a former British colony, was run as a company rather than a country and all the laws by extension were made to serve the interest of the colonialists and keep the indigenous people submissive. We simply inherited the entire system at independence, substituting the colonialists with the ruling class. This is supposed to explain why the police for instance always appear more, a negative force than a service, or why the politician is such a revered individual yet it doesn’t take any special skills or education to become one.
There have been many attempts by well-meaning Kenyans to change the system and the promulgation of the 2010 constitution 8years ago was the closest thing to overhauling the entire system. And while it was a step in the right direction; we are yet to realize the full benefits of the 2010 constitution. We still have a Kenya of the haves and have-nots and justice still appears elusive for the majority poor.
Consequently, the constitution may have streamlined our laws with the present realities such as having an entire chapter dedicated to integrity or an impressive bill of rights but majority Kenyans are still reeling from the psychological effects of the old constitution. This explains why the laws are unable to sufficiently deal with the corruption culture.
What’s even more disturbing is that although religion is expected to help address ills in society, it continues catering to the government by viewing any form of criticism against the government as rebellion – something synonymous with satan. It doesn’t matter the merits of the argument. Religion therefore becomes more an enabler of corruption in that sense.
Nothing proves that more than an election year. Leading politicians become suddenly religious, moving from one church to another donating huge sums of money that are not commensurate with their public salaries. In turn, the clergy tell their congregants that politician x and y was God’s choice and voting otherwise was going against God’s will. This has also been used to undermine any opportunity to scrutinize further a contentious poll. These religious leaders don’t question the source of the money they’re receiving either.