The Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission (EACC) and Religious leaders in Kenya have formalised a collaboration pact in which the two bodies will unleash a new campaign against corruption, which will also involve Citizens Against Corruption (CAC) participation.
The EACC Chairman Archbishop (Rtd) Eliud Wabukala led a breakfast meeting of the two organisations to fine tune a collaborative agreement which will see a greater involvement of Faith-Based Organisation take a more aggressive anti-corruption evangelism.
The new anti-corruption push comes at a time when the government has injected Ksh 18.1 billion into the 2017-2018 Budget for Youth empowerment. Citizens Against Corruption will guide participating youth clusters to take advantage of this generous facility to secure funding for commercial manufacture of awareness branded products to generate income for members. CAC will also work closely with the Youth, Women and Disabled National Funds to channel support to its clusters in a bid to establish cottage industries and reduce unemployment in the country.
During the breakfast meeting Citizens Against Corruption National Coordinator Blamuel Njururi expounded on how the Religious organisations can use products and messaging platforms developed for the initiative intended to directly engage ordinary Kenyans in the war on Corruption. Other officials from Citizens Against Corruption included Pastor Rosie Mititu Wachira in charge of religious groups coordination and Jonathan Mwaniki County governments liaison director.
EACC Chairman Wabukala applauded the Citizens Against Corruption concept while the religious described the initiative as an innovative game changer. Njururi told the meeting that CAC had branded Corruption with a symbol that would be used on every day use items in homes, offices and roads to generate unprecedented awareness and advocacy.
The following are notes of the CAC National Coordinator Blamuel Njururi message to the meeting Religious Leaders Breakfast Meeting, PanAfric Hotel, March 28, 2017
- I am extremely privileged to stand before distinguished drivers of conscience and redemption in our society with great hopes that we all can turn Kenya citizens against national socio-economic enemy Number 1 – CORRUPTION.
- There is no doubt that very many New and appropriate Laws have been introduced to curb and punish Corruption in Kenya but as we all know, a law is as good as its implementation by both the citizens, the enforcement agencies and the Judiciary.
- It is however, impossible to legislate adherence to any law and its effective control over human behaviour.
- There are some who say, quite illogically, that laws are made to be broken but, unfortunately, that is very real in Kenya when it comes to Corruption and behaviour on our roads. – Examples are the high rate of accidents because of Traffic Police and motorist’s corruption, National pillars involvement in major corruption scandals like Goldenberg, Anglo-Leasing, offshore thefts in CMC and Kenya Power frauds as well as Chickengate corruption among many others.
- That is where Religion comes in. Religion has the power to shape human behaviour through persuasion, reason and conviction of the mind by asserting personal belief that certain actions and behaviour are bad, are evil, are anti-society and above all, destructive to one’s reputation, respect and public standing.
EACC Chair Wabukala addressing religious leaders at Breakfast meeting
- People go to places of worship to seek solace and fortitude with their maker. The tranquility in places of worship provides an environment for soul searching as well as celebration of the joy of life. Religion is a powerful tool in transforming mental and spiritual well being of fellow humans.
- Kenyans are regularly told the Government is not fighting corruption, the President does not have the political will, the Government is corrupt and many other claims. Governments are run through Constitutions and Laws of the land. In Kenya that applies to both Central and County governments. Governments as corporate institutions are incapable of corruption or being corrupt but the individuals in government, both politicians and civil servants can and are capable of being corrupt and engaging in corruption.
- No country in the world has a Constitution or laws allowing Corruption as part of its service to taxpayers who finance Government activities. It is therefore important to make Kenyans understand that is the position with their Government whether it’s Jubilee, NASA, Cord, Kanu or Wiper. Branding a Government as Corrupt is politicizing the social evil because Corruption is a self-motivated and self-inflicted crime. Blaming the Government tends to shift culpability from the actual individual culprits. In fact it makes many corrupt individuals go about their lives as heroes and they even bribe wananchi to vote them into political offices.
- Corruption also has nothing that pertains to ethnic origins of a corrupt person. Corruption is therefore, not driven by one’s ethnic background but by individual greed and desire for easy-come wealth through bribery, fraudulent means or extortion. When the Government name is invoked as responsible for Corruption fear is instilled into citizens who are made afraid to confront what they consider powerful animal known as Serikali. That is indirectly intimidating citizens to surrender to robbery of public coffers and assets by a few greedy gluttons.
- It is essential that Kenyans be made to understand that Corruption is a social evil driven by a few greedy individuals and no by the Government or communities. It is a social evil that should be the concern of every patriotic Kenyan. Corruption is a cancer that should be fought by all Kenyans regardless of the educational or social standing, ethnic background, religious or political persuasion.
- Quite often we are told on Television Talk shows that Corruption is a reflection of the Kenyan society. That is an escapist and unfounded fallacy. We have more drunkards is Kenya than the corrupt people but we don’t say alcoholism is a reflection of the Kenyan society. We also have more sex workers in Kenyan than the corrupt population but we don’t say prostitution is a reflection of the Kenyan society. They are personal inflicted choices like Corruption is.
- Kenyans must disabuse themselves from that fallacy because, after all, the total number of civil servants, where Corruption thrives, is a small 2 per cent of the national population and even when added to an equally small number of corrupt managers in the private sector, they cannot constitute a reflection of the Kenya Society.
- That is not to underestimate the horrifying social-economic damage Corruption inflicts upon the Kenyan society and our beloved Motherland. Small as the corrupt population may be, it steals a third of our National Budget. With our National Budget at Ksh 3 Trillion, Corrupt individuals numbering less than one million will steal one Trillion. It therefore, behooves upon all of us to stop these shameless thieves in their tracks.
- We all know that with God on our side all is possible and with His Powers we shall do it.
- Citizens Against Corruption is designed to engage all patriotic citizens of Kenyans in the War Against Corruption with simple everyday use products and messages in all possible platforms with a simple symbol saying – Stop Corruption – it’s Evil – (Zuia Ufisadi, ni dhambi, Wacha Ufisad, ni haram.)
- Youth, women, disabled and other categories of Citizens Against Corruption can all participate in the Fight Against Corruption through Educational/Awareness/Advocacy efforts through production and sale of items branded with Anti-Corruption symbols and messages. Such products will be common household items, utensils, mats, clothes, khangas, bags, beddings, carpets, furniture, clocks/watches – the list is endless. Emphasis will be to use locally available raw or processed materials in order to promote growth of domestic agriculture and industries. For example T-shirts will be those made in Kenya, not imported from Dubai or China, while fabrics will be designed for bulk production by local textile industries. Youth, Women and Disabled national Funds will be approached to support entrepreneurship efforts of CAC clusters countrywide.
- Branding processes will depend on products ranging from manual metal work, handcraft/carpentry, beadwork, artwork, embroidery, heat transfer, printing of paper, plastics and fabrics – behind which will be designers and production staff and value chain support staff gainfully engaged. This means creating job and revenue/income opportunities for youth, women including single mothers, disabled, elderly and a host of other categories along the human value chain.
- Citizens Against Corruption Clusters will operate on commercial co-operative principles businesses to economically empower Kenyans across the board regardless of their education, ethnicity, religion or political backgrounds.
- This initiative will open funding opportunities for organisations like the Youth Fund, Women Fund, Entrepreneurship donors, CDF and Commercial Banks. This initiative will therefore be commercial entrepreneurship that will lead to cottage and big scale manufacturing industries in rural and urban areas, whose populations use the products which will be decided upon some of which are being imported from Middle East, Far East and China creating jobs and building their economies at the expense of our meager foreign exchange – a fact of life many Kenyans do not realize as they lavishly consume foreign imports indiscriminately – including simple-to-make items like table mats, dining napkins, tooth picks and many bamboo products in our kiosks and supermarkets etc.
- This initiative offers Religious Organisations, the men and women seated here, the opportunity to be the drivers of moral, social, economic and industrial transformation in Kenya. I am confident that this initiative will trigger moral rearmament tide against corruption as a social evil, empower vulnerable groups of our communities indiscriminately and trigger industrial revolution for the manufacture of domestic and export markets.
Kenya must stop senseless importation of items, which can be manufactured locally, whose importation develops foreign economies. We have become a bottomless pit of every conceivable product from mtumba clothes to cheap handkerchiefs and tooth picks. We must rethink our industrialization policy whether we operate under a free market or not. A free market policy should not mean we deprive our children job opportunities and create jobs for children in foreign countries buying cheaply manufactured imports.
- Ladies and Gentlemen welcome aboard and provide the human organizational fuel for the transformative industrial engine to drive Corruption out of Kenyans minds for long-term benefits of our country and future generations. Corruption is short-term joy with the potential for long-term misery.
- I propose this meeting sets up a Steering Committee to develop and coordinate a Programme of Action for a structured implementation of Anti Corruption Evangelism to reach the maximum number of Kenya citizens across the breadth and width of our beloved Motherland.
Citizens Against Corruption – National Coordinator