By Donald Kipkorir
Without involvement and participation of State Officers, there won’t be Corruption in Kenya. It is reported that of our annual budget of Kshs. 3 Trillion, a third of it is pre-factored in the budget by Corruption Cartels. All Public Projects in Kenya are Special Purpose Vehicles to skim the pre-budgeted Kshs. 1 Trillion.
Yet, if we really wanted, we can actually end Corruption today. Article 77(1) of The Constitution is very clear that a State Officer cannot be in any other employment. State Officers are all elected and appointed Public Servants from the President to the Sub- Chief, Chief Justice to the District Magistrate, Chief Of Defence Forces to the Warrant Officer, Speakers Of the National Assembly & Senate, Senators and MPs and members of all Constitutional Commission.
The meaning of Provisions is what they say. 99% plus of Kenyans were alive when we enacted the Constitution in 2010. We are the Constitutional Generation. We therefore give the original and textual interpretation. The words of the Constitution mean what they say.
Article 77 (1) is clear when it says State Officers shall not be in any other employment whilst they are State Officers. Employment is being in a situation in which your own Company or business or another person or company pays you in cash or in lieu for carrying out certain work or assignment or services. In lieu payment includes shares options, Holidays, Insurance cover or property.
It therefore means that State Officers should during the pendency of their public service rely on their salaries only. We know their salaries. The President can therefore not be able to buy a new car every year nor even a new car every two years. The President ought not to afford to build a house worth more than Kshs. 100m for that is his salary for five years. Unless he can show us that he had the money before we elected him President.
A Senator who had nothing when he was elected, cannot be able to have property and vehicles worth over Kshs. 50m, being his salary for five years. Senators and MPs who are lawyers or Doctors are not allowed to practice. They cannot earn legal or medical fees when still in Parliament.
The intention of Article 77 meant thst once you are elected or appointed to State Office, same day, you put your business in Blind Trust, resign from all employments or business and focus on public service only and earn your salary only.
EACC is obligated by Chapter 6 of the Constitution to enforce the Chapter on Integrity in Public Service. The Leadership & Integrity Act must have been drafted in the night by a Corruption Cartel. It doesn’t give seriousness to fighting Corruption in public leadership. The Act ought to be repealed and new one enacted. The Constitution states that its enforcement and obedience is mandatory and binding.
In US & Europe, those elected President, Prime Minister or MPs leave office with the same property when they got elected. In Kenya, State Officers become Billionaires or Multi-Millionaires within two years of election. No other career in the world is as profitable as being a State Officer in Kenya.
When we want to end Corruption, Article 77 (1) is the Key. EACC holds the key. But it seems it gave the Key to Corruption Cartels for safe keeping.
Until then, our fight against Corruption is night-running! It is whistling in the dark.