Corruption remains a serious threat to the Country’s development agenda contained in the Kenya Vision 2030 and other development blue prints as it concentrates resources in the hands of a few, scares away local and foreign investors and denies the public quality services. It is, therefore, in the interest of every Kenyan that the vice is fought successfully. The beginning point is to elect leaders of integrity. Towards this end, on 8th June, 2017, the National Anti-Corruption Campaign Steering Committee (NACCSC) established to undertake public education, sensitization and awareness creation campaign against corruption, wrote to all the Presidential candidates that had been cleared by Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and issued a press statement (available on www.naccsc.go.ke) requesting them to ensure fighting corruption was prioritized.
Specifically, each candidate was requested to make public the plans and strategies he will use to fight and prevent corruption should he be elected as the President. NACCSC has noted with appreciation that manifestos by various candidates address the fight against corruption. We urge the voters and the public at large, to study and interrogate the strategies in those manifestos and only consider electing candidates who demonstrate seriousness and genuine commitment to fight corruption.
NACCSC has over the last five months intensified an anti-corruption awareness creation campaign through seven radio stations to members of the public on their individual and collective role in ensuring the 8th August 2017 General Election are free of corruption, peaceful, credible, and fair. The public has also been sensitized on qualities of a leader of integrity, how to identify and deal with corrupt practices in the entire electoral process and on the election day, benefits of electing individuals who are not tainted by corruption and corruption-prone areas.
Kenyans need to recognize that they wield immense power in determining the destiny of their country and participate in electing leaders capable of steering the country in the right direction for peace, prosperity and sustainable development. This unique chance that comes once in five years enables ordinary Kenyans to individually elect leaders that will preside over the management of Kenya’s affairs on their behalf.
A leader of integrity is one who is honest, strong and not greedy; who embraces and practices high morals and values; is disciplined, willing to serve all without discrimination, shuns tribalism/ ethnicity/clannism and treats all Kenyans equally. He observes the rule of law, respects human rights, prioritizes the fight against corruption, ensures the right laws are enacted and scarce public resources are utilized to benefit all. Voters, therefore, need to look out for those candidates that have not been associated with any corruption scandals in the past, and whose sources of wealth are obvious and known. Such a leader, once elected, will be accountable for decisions made and actions taken.
Registered voters should avail themselves on 8th August, 2017 and cast their votes for candidates whose track records they know, avoid participating in electoral malpractices e.g. bribery, theft or destruction of election materials (ballot papers), and maintain law and order after the polling exercise. For the election to be credible and acceptable to both the losers and winners, every effort must be made by all stakeholders to ensure transparency in the whole process to ensure the final vote truly reflects the will of the people.
NACCSC appeals to all Kenyans to change their attitude, behaviour, practice and culture towards corruption. Being a moral and ethical issue, corruption can only be fought successfully if all Kenyans embrace and practice the right values and morals. Let us all play our roles in bringing corruption to an end in our beloved Kenya.
Remember, ‘Fighting Corruption, My responsibility!’
Rev. Jessie Mutura
VICE CHAIRPERSON
Date: 30th July, 2017