Kenya losses approximately 1 trillion shillings to corruption every year translating to 6 trillion shillings for the period Jubilee has been in power, an analysis of Auditor General’s report has revealed.
Scandals seem to be perpetual, and corruption has never been at a culminating point the way it is right now. It would seem we are not going to get rid of the vice completely unless we go by what Timothy Njoya suggested, that we hang 2 or 3 cabinet secretaries if we want to end corruption.
The latest is the dam scandal that involves Kerio Valley Development Authority (KVDA) officials who cannot account for 63 billion shillings set aside for the good cause of ending water shortage in Elgeyo Marakwet County.
The fight against corruption is somewhat picking up, and President Kenyatta has been on record disparaging the performance of his members of cabinet claiming it is below par. Majority of these members are currently under investigation in regards to a set of various scams.
President Uhuru seems to be skeptical about his own people, which is why he chose General Samson Mwathethe, Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF), to head the Blue Economy initiatives claiming that his cabinet secretaries couldn’t be trusted for their first instinct is politics and money.
However, Kenyans are no fools, and they know that the 6 trillion shillings lost to corruption could have done a lot to Kenya’s economy.
So, what could 6 trillion shillings do?
1. 10 state-of-the-art hospitals to complement the Universal Health Care
Kenya’s health sector is on its knees. More and more people are spending their hard-earned cash to get medical access. Some are sinking into poverty, a state they are reduced to following illnesses that warrant treatment from abroad. If only Kenya had the resources, the facilities, and the equipment to do help ease the burden, we all wish.
Thing is, it doesn’t take much to build a good hospital, a referral hospital for that matter. In fact, building ten more referral hospitals would only consume about 500 billion shillings from the looted funds.
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If Kenya did that, perhaps the pressure put on the already existing referral hospitals could be less. Maybe we’d have no incidences of wrong surgeries, child deaths and many more.
Kenya at the moment has 8 referral hospitals. They include the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH), Nairobi Women’s Hospital, Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH) in Eldoret, Kisii Teaching and Referral Hospital, Mathari Mental Hospital (Nairobi), Mbagathi District Hospital (Nairobi), Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital in Kisumu, and Kiambu County Referral Hospital.
The construction of these hospitals could have been a huge boost to President Kenyatta’s Universal Health Coverage agenda.
2. Build Phase 2 of the SGR
Kenya is already burdened with massive debt from China for infrastructure across the country. Experts have, as a matter of fact, warned that the country risks losing its strategic assets if the trend continues.
The second phase of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) – which is already feared to have no return for money – is expected to cost the country a total of 570 billion shillings.
Phase 2A, that runs from Nairobi to Naivasha, will consume 150 billion shillings, while phase 2B from Naivasha to Malaba will cost 370 billion shillings. The negotiations for funding are still ongoing.
Now if Kenya was that smart and there were no funds lost to corruption, the government would have comfortably spent 570 billion shillings for the project and avoid borrowing! It would have significantly reduced the total debt and made other projects sustainable.
3. Put water shortage to an end by building more than 50 dams
The dam scandal features 63 billion shillings that cannot be accounted for. People in various parts of the country are crying for water. They are starving because there is no water for their livestock and crops.
Still, the government officials are going around in circles making the dam projects across the country a mirage. Delays, financing issues, and lethargy contractors are killing Kenyans, yet only 300 billion shillings is enough to build 60 dams across the country.
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4. Wind power plants
That is right, by using approximately 340 billion shillings from the looted amount, Kenya could have constructed 5 more wind power farms assuming the cost would be the same as that of the Lake Turkana Wind Power, which consumed only 68 billion shillings.
The project is set to add 310MW to the national grid and its construction involved a 400km transmission line from Lake Turkana to Suswa Sub Station in Nairobi. The project is complete, is fully operational and it is set to reduce the price of electricity to consumers.
5. Nairobi-Mombasa dual carriage highway
The estimated cost for the Nairobi-Mombasa dual carriageway is about 300 billion shillings. The US was contracted for that purpose and while the Kenyan government was pushing for a Private Public Partnership (PPP), Washington was lobbying for the country to acquire a loan to fund the project.
Further negotiations are still expected, and all this could have been avoided if some selfish individuals were not the lords of thieves. The money stolen is famous scandals could have easily funded the project and save the country from more external debts.
6. 5 new ‘Ruto’ stadiums
When the Jubilee government was busy acquiring votes, the Deputy President William Ruto expressly said that they would build 4 more stadiums on top of the 5 they had earlier own promised in 2013 with his counterpart, President Uhuru.
Well, has anyone seen any new stadium yet? The promise remains empty, just like other perpetual and sentimental promises made like the laptop project among others. These empty promises stripped Kenya a chance to host the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) because we didn’t have a ready stadium!
Ideally, Kenya can be one of the best countries in Africa with the requisite sports infrastructure if it had actually built the stadiums.
Supposing the cost for each stadium is 30 billion shillings, out of the 6 trillion stolen so far, only 150 billion shillings could have been used to make the sports industry in Kenya something of a marvel, but no, leaders thought, ‘well, we need to eat first; we’ll play later.’
7. Big Four Agenda
President Uhuru’s Big Four Agenda still remains like a dream and is greatly under-funded. The aforementioned projects cumulatively amount to 2.16 trillion shillings, which means out of the 6 trillion looted over the 6 years, 3.84 trillion shillings remain.
The 3.84 trillion shillings could have been used to realize Uhuru’s Big Four Agenda as follows; Manufacturing 1.3 trillion, Healthcare for all 1 trillion, Affordable Housing 1 trillion, and Food Security 500 billion shillings.
Now, who can deny that the funds would’ve done something that could elevate the country’s economy tremendously? It is all clear, and unfortunately, the looters will continue stealing, pushing the country further into economic crisis.