September 25, 2022

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Spare us, graft war is not about tribe

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Something outrageous is happening in Parliament. Whereas politicians are known to be cynical, they have always coated it with altruistic statements.

 However, the recent probe into the dealings of the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) has brought out very base emotions out of our legislators.

The Ministry of Sports, angered by the cavalier approach to the running of football in the country, ordered an investigation into the management of funds at FKF.

 Federation boss Nick Mwendwa and Chief Executive Officer Barry Otieno, have been under the spotlight for malfeasance in management of the sport.

As a result, the government asked the Director of Criminal Investigations to open a probe into alleged misappropriation of funds amounting to Sh244.6 million at FKF.

 The ministry also announced that it had asked the Registrar of Sports, Auditor General Nancy Gathungu and representatives of the ministry and the private sector to undertake a thorough financial audit of all the federation’s accounts.

 However, no sooner had the announcement been made than a cabal of leaders coming from the same region as the FKF president emerged shouting that their man was being hanged to dry.

A strange twist then took place.

Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed was summoned to Parliament, this time with multiple accusations of misappropriating money at the ministry.

 She is being probed by senators, who have asked her to terminate any ongoing investigations into the financial affairs of FKF.

The whole saga then brought to the fore the crass and tribal nature of our leadership.

Leaders from Western Kenya crawled out of their ethnic cocoons to say the minister is being persecuted and that they will defend her to the hilt.

The two brigades have not raised substantial issues on claims against the FKF bosses or the minister. Their first, and maybe only, line of defence is “our person is being persecuted”.

 This has always been the default setting when people in leadership positions are fighting corruption allegations.

It is not only embarrassing but also appalling that politicians can resort to such measures to fight investigations.

 For the country to move forward, this culture must stop. For us to win the war against graft, such leaders must be called out.

 It is this mentality that has entrenched impunity in the public service where as long as one has “my people” to defend them in the name of community, nothing will happen.

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