Monday, September 10, 2012

No More Soft-Gloves on Corruption

Former Tourism Permanent Secretary Rebecca Nabutola (left) and former Kenya Tourism Board Managing Director Achieng Ongonga

Corruption may soon become a dangerous and risky pass-time for public officials and private business person engaged in corruption and money embezzlement. 

The conviction and sentencing of two former senior public officials, a permanent secretary, a tourism board managing director and a tourism board member and entrepreneur to jail terms of 4, 3 and 7 years respectively and hefty cash fines should be deterrent enough. The courts have started to bit and should do so often if corruption impunity is to be eradicated.

The action by the courts is something Kenyans have been waiting for, for a long time. Others with pending cases should take notice. "Corruption lords" in the public service should also take notice. This is not time to fight back. It is time for taking responsibility and accountability.

One does not fail to feel pity on the trio remembering that they also served in various capacities. However, the lesson is that "good work is always destroyed by one act of impropriety." There is a great honor in serving the country impeccably rather than ending in jail as a criminal. Public officials should henceforth choose the former.