Seven thousand high ranking thieves of public funds in Kenya could soon fill up jails after President Uhuru Kenyatta announced that he had released 7,000 jailed petty offenders to create space for the thieves. It is an announcement he has repeated several times following what he says is his disappointment with the results of the fight against corruption.
President Kenyatta made the latest announcement during the Mashujaa Day celebration in Machakos town on October 20, 2016 And he told the new Chief Justice Mr. David Maraga, who was at the function. “I have now created room for the big thieves of public funds. It’s your duty to have them jailed.”
And on his part, Maraga has said, “Corruption is a dark blot on the judiciary. I will fight corruption as part of a new culture at judiciary.”
Saying that he had done his part by providing facilities for those entrusted with fighting vice, Kenyatta blamed the police, judiciary and anti-corruption agency – for failing to prosecute corruption cases.
President Kenyatta has been accused of being the stumbling block in the fight against corruption. So far, no high ranking thieve of public funds have been jailed or fined since Mr. Kenyatta took office. But the President has time and again warned senior Government officials to desist from stealing public funds because, “If I cannot sleep, you will not sleep!”
But corruption continues to increase regardless. In the Corruption Perceptions Index Kenya is ranked among the most corrupt countries tying with Azerbaijan, Nepal, Nigeria, and Pakistan.
It is estimated that the average urban Kenyan pays 16 bribes per month. Most of these bribes are fairly small but large ones are also taken – bribes worth over 50,000 Kenyan shillings (€600, US$700) account for 41% of the total value.
And a recent survey showed that most Kenyan youth would readily take a bribe because they saw nothing wrong with abribes if it enabled them to reach their goals of being rich.