Kenya is a land of controversy. The country appears to be glued on the wheels of corruption and a great percentage of people seem to have accepted the fact and “moving on.”
Stats show that more than 2.2 trillion shillings have either been stolen or misused within a period of three years. Of all the cash that the government controls, slightly above 500 billion shillings can correctly be accounted for with the rest going down the pockets of few individuals.
The misuse of public resource among government officials in Kenya is just on another level and it is time Kenyans stopped thinking that it is “normal.” It is not normal. As taxpayers, we should start asking questions starting with the what we see daily, things that we thing are “common.”
Days beck, the Chief Justice of the Republic of Kenya, David Maraga, was involved in a road accident. It was on a Saturday. The CJ and his wife were on their way to church. As people ran online to wish the CJ quick recovery, my attention was drawn to the car that the Judiciary President was using.
The CJ was using an official government car with a government driver for “personal” errands. He was going to church. Was that official? Absolutely not.
The incident brought to the surface just how government officials assigned cars misuse them for personal errands other than the sole purpose that they were assigned to.
The law requires a state officer assigned a government vehicle to only use it for the purpose of enhancing service delivery within government. The vehicles also have official hours with which they are supposed to operate. For instance, government vehicles should not be on the road past 6pm. They should be packed to the nearest police station to continue with the journey the following day.
The most common way government officials misuse government vehicles is for instance, using the vehicles to take their kids to school. That is against the law. Some have the audacity to use the vehicle to take them or their spouses to salons and social joints.
Police vehicles are part of the most misused government vehicles. Some have been turned into personal vehicles that are used to ferry goods and people at a fee especially in remote areas. It is true that there are no public vehicles in such areas but does the law permit the use of government vehicles then charge for the same?
Devolution brought with it some small gods called governors. Most of public resources are being squandered and misused in counties. For instance, most governors use police officers assigned to them as right hand men and women to run their personal errands. County vehicles are also assigned to family members and never used for county services. Remember the case of Kakamega where the daughter to the governor would show off in an official car meant for the governor?
The government should rewrite the rules and set out clear guidelines on how government vehicles should be used and the penalties of going against the same.
The government pumps billions of shillings in state agencies but never follows up to see how the money us used. Allow me to use an example of Galana Kulalu irrigation scheme. The government used over 7 billion shillings to plant maize in the scheme and harvested maize that was less than 20 million shillings. What do we call that? A clear misuse of public funds. Look at the Irrigation Board itself, more than 20 billion shillings cannot be accounted for.
The Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission (EACC) is mandated to fight corruption. The commission receives billions of taxpayers’ money to help them carry out their work. Compare the money they receive and the number of convictions. Compare the money they receive and the value of property they have been able to recover… What do you see? A clear misuse of public resources.
Look at IPOA. They are supposed to check on police, investigate any criminal activities involving the police including extra judicial killings. In 6 years, they have received 10,000 complains and in 6 years they have only managed 3 convictions. What a joke? What do we see again? Misuse of public resources.
Something must be done fast.