About three weeks ago, Kenya’s Deputy Chief Justice, Ms. Philomena Mwilu, was arrested on charges of abuse of office and tax evasion. This event shook up the Kenyan Judiciary; but maybe everybody saw it coming.
Supporters of the Judiciary pegged this to the warning Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, had warned the judges, following the annulment of his first win of elections in 2017. He had accused them of being wakora (robbers), whom he would deal with. Mwilu had sat in the Coram that had annulled the win. May be!
But Mwilu’s problem pre-dated 2017; and there had been probes that had indicated underhand goings-on in her moral and financial affairs. Be that as it may, Mwilu’s arrest was a very high profile act that showed that in the fight against corruption, none was to be spared, however high in the echelon of power they were, if they were culpable.
In a coincidental interview Kenyatta gave on the BBC Hardtalk talk show, he said that even if it affected members of his family, he would not defend them on corruption. The Hardtalk host challenged him on his and family’s colossal riches, to which he insisted that he was willing for anybody to probe into it and question him on it.
This is, to say the least, revolutionary! African leaders cannot agree to be probed on how they have amassed their riches. They may talk about it, but will not, under any circumstances, do anything that will make them to expose their wealth.
This is very relevant about Uganda. Here, there is a clear disharmony on the talk and action on the theft of public funds. People have talked about it over the decades until their throats have pained, to no avail. No, not quite!
Where in appears the movers and shakers of the country are affected, one finds that there are pawns pushed forward to take the rap. This is noticeable in such cases as: David Jamwa and Geoffrey Kazinda. Or, even Bakoko Bakoru or Evelyn Anite!
In other cases, it is such relatively small fry that are sacrificed to appear in the Anti-Corruption Court. The real perpetrators of the public theft are not even mentioned, when everybody, who is in the know, is acutely aware of it. The logic of this is of course, the fatal consequences that will accompany such revelations. Which begs the question: why bother shouting about corruption, at all, if it will merely lead to it spiraling upwards; and punishing those who are willing to talk?
This is what is taking place in Uganda. Unless action is taken in the manner that Kenya has started, the fight against corruption and other acts of treachery and duplicity will stay hidden within the public; and people merely murmur and swap the correct stories in their secluded places.
Like Kenyatta, it is the leaders who need to name the names and shame the shameless. Otherwise, it is advisable that they should stop talking about it to deceive the people.