Allow me to provoke your thoughts.
Robbery with violence in Kenya is punishable by capital punishment or life imprisonment. That does not deter hard core criminals because most of them have given up on life, and they would not mind dying vis-a-vis the prospect of quick riches. But the capital punishment too ensures that more hard core criminals are put away, and those who are released through back doors are gunned down by police, what we call extra judicial killings. There are many innocent victims of circumstances along the way, but still the country becomes safer than if all those Matheri Wanugus, shimoli, etal were on our streets.
Now consider this, corruption kills more people than robbery with violence. Some civil servant said that he had a sick patient, and he lives in Kitale. Since he is covered by “free NHIF medical scheme”, he went to the NHIF designated hospital only to be told he was assigned to a hospital in Kisumu, a town he’s never set foot. For purposes of seeking treatment he borrowed fare and took his patient to Kisumu. On arrival, the “Kangaroo hospital” told him his name is not on the list of covered civil servant in that hospital so he had to pay for any services. To cut the long story short, the dude lost the patient. Very sad story replicated from Lodwar to Kajiado, from Homabay to Malindi. Imagine a container in Embu is allocated 4million by NHIF while Mbagathi District hospital gets 200k? Imagine a Clinix mobile hospitals getting 200million while Kenyatta Nationa and referal Hospital KNH gets a million! And when they cannot treat the patient, they refer him to KNH.
People die from fake or lack of drugs in our public hospitals (That’s how my friend’s father died of Malaria of all things deep in the Nyayo era). People die from road accidents when drivers are trying to avoid a porthole (I lost a friend like that who had gone to Nakuru to watch rugby Ten-a-side last month). People die from unroadworthy public vehicles allowed on the road by rogue traffic policemen, people die from consuming toxic maize imported and dumped in our market, people die of poverty after retrenchment from public institution and parastatals that have collapsed; hitherto without any pension, golden handshake or parachute money (I am a victim), generations are lost and become destitute because they cannot afford decent education because of corruption (Our law states that anybody with C+ should access public university at normal fee rates, but because of “lack of funding”, they have to be more creative and look for ways out, and those who make to university are content with doing obsolete or substandard courses.
And my Friend,, what happens when a corrupt government official is caught with pants down? He is told to negotiate repayment with the government with no punishment (Read Pattni and Grand Regency, Read Katana Ngala with Mayors house …. and many more). Is this the law we want? Can’t we kill the living corrupt, as we produce more corrupt. At least that way, we will be balancing them instead of now where we’re just increasing their numbers.
And as we race to the general elections, MPs, Permanent Secretaries, Ministers, senior government managers, e.t.c will be heads over heals competing on who will loot more, so that the next government can find the state coffers empty.
And what will the next government do to finance budget deficits? It will sell the Kengens, Safaricoms, Telkoms, of this world. And the cycle continues.
And that is the inheritance we pass to our children