By Mwalimu Kavemba
A simple discussion with any Kenyan on the challenges we face as a Nation will certainly bring corruption at the very top of the list.
Actually,Most of the other challenges would be sorted by more than half if the Dragon called corruption or theft of public funds could be slayed.
Corruption only benefits the few well connected individuals at the expense of the larger population.
Corruption leads to deterioration and collapse of essential public services like public health and medical services which forces the public to use their meagre resources to seek for the same services from the private sector and at exorbitant cost.
This leads to impoverishment of the people to desperate levels leading to many other social evils.
When theft of public funds and wastage is stopped,money meant for Public Services such as health,educaction,infrastructure and security becomes available leading to improved services and hence an improved standard of life to the common Mwananchi.
It then follows that any political leader who is keen on finding a sustainable solution to our challenges has to make fighting corruption their top priority.
This is because it will free the much needed resources which will then be directed at activities and programmes that are of value and benefit to the general public and not just a few.
This becomes the main reason why Governor SONKO should be supported in the approach he has adopted of making the fight against corruption his top agenda.
It will allow him to secure and safeguard the resources meant for the City and then proceed to use the same in offering services to Nairobians.
A look at the latest report by the Controller of budget covering the last quarter of 2017 will confirm to the doubting Thomases that his crusade against corruption goes beyond lip service to solid action,as for the first time since 2013 the issue of failure to bank all the locally collected revenue in the CRF account was not raised.
Most of the billions lost and unaccounted for by the previous administration had everything to do with their failure to bank all the locally collected revenue in the CRF account and the accompanying habit of spending money at source which were all in contravention of the Constitution and the Public finance management act.
The Governor was able to streamline this in less than thrèe months after taking over City hall.
This is mainly the reason why revenue collection has greatly improved in City hall,enabling them to pay staff on time and without relying on the devolved funds transferred from the National treasury.
The other thing that governor Sonko has focussed on in line with his key agenda of fighting corruption is streamlining of the procurement department.
This is quite logical as the stage that follows the securing of funds is ensuring that they are put into good use that gives the public value for their money and the best way to do that is to put in place a transparent and accountable procurement process which is conformity with the law.
Several officers from the procurement department who were suspected of colluding with suppliers to inflate prices were suspended and new ones appointed.
This explains why Governor SONKO found it prudent to establish the team led by distinguished lawyer PLO Lumumba to look into all pending bills before they are paid so as to get rid of ghost suppliers and ensure that there was value for money before they clear any Bill for payment.
All these are actions that seem to be well intentioned but also explain why the Governor is under so much fire from those who had gotten used to benefitting from a corrupt city hall.
How else do you explain the sustained campaign both in mainstream and social media aimed at painting him as a failure and unfit to hold oficce and only a few months into his five year term?
None of them has focussed on these game changing actions by the Governor but have been quick to over publicise propaganda.
It’s worth noting that upto now no single substantive allegation has been made against the Governor,leave alone being proved!
Governor Sonko is facing the heat because he has stepped into uncharted territory by daring and directly confronting the entrenched corruption cartels based at City hall.
It would be a tragedy for the City to allow Governor Sonko to lose out to this cartels and thus the reason why all well meaning Nairobians should rally behind their Governor and support his efforts towards cleaning up city hall!
Instead of criticising and condemning him,we should be urging all other leaders in both the National and County Governments to borrow a leaf from him by confronting the corruption cartels which we all know are resident in their respective jurisdictions and that keep on fleecing the public off their taxes as captured by the office of the Auditor General in his annual reports.
Governor Sonko is very much on the right track and should be supported by all for the good of the City and the Country.
Other leaders have a lot to learn from him.
He has identified the biggest problem that needs to be dealt with and has gone ahead to face it head on!
The groundwork has been set and on a solid anti corruption foundation,it can only get better now that the Governor is set to start implementing his first budget since coming into office in August last year.
It does not have to be business as usual!
It can be done!
Viva Governor SONKO!