By Dorcas Sarkozy
We have been that road before. At the height of Narc administration, when the government enjoyed the people’s goodwill and massive support. Kibaki’s reign, taking the cue from wanjiku, set out to slay this dragon that had brought our economy to its knees. Corruption had permeated every facet of the economy.
Something had to be done, and done fast. We witnessed citizens arresting corrupt traffic police officers. Talk of man biting dog. That is when we started hearing of wealth declaration. Everybody, starting from the top was supposed to declare their wealth, assets, bank balances, property, salary, businesses, annual turnover, etc. As quickly as the proposal was mooted, it fizzled out. Apart from employees being coarced into filing wealth declaration returns, nothing much came out of it.
The issue of wealth declaration has been revisited. So far only two corporate chiefs have played ball. Bob Collymore of Safaricom and Joshua Oigara of KCB. Allow me to laud these two gentlemen for their bold move. No wonder their companies are posting astronomical profit margins. My crystal ball tells me not to expect more CEOs, senior government officials and parastatal chiefs to follow suit.
For most of these privileged class doing so is akin to opening a pandoras box. Their wealth is ill gotten. How does someone declare that he owns land the size of a province? Pray, how do you build a house worth 2 billion when your salary is less than kshs. 1 million a month.
Do you expect our MPs to start declaring their wealth. These guys have been dogged by corruption claims on several instances. They make a fortune in false mileage claims. The watch dog committees are dogged with corruption. They are now threatening to impeach their speaker, Justin Muturi for exposing them. Just as they will always band together to raise their pay, any bill proposing open declaration of wealth will be dead on arrival in Parliament.