On Thieves and Corruption in Kenya!!

Nairobi, Kenya

Kenya

Many  a times when I am asked to talk about  my country, I feel very privileged! Afterall, I am very honoured to represent my country (Kenya), my continent (Africa) and I try my best to do it with strength and dignity.  When I take such assignments, I am looking at myself as an ambassador and thinking that I need to do something that my President would be happy about and proud that I am representing our country well.

Kenyan Leopard

In the diaspora, I realised people are more interested in the country I come from than who I am. Kenya is  a country that is very dear to many Norwegians, with corruption as the biggest vice that everyone remembers to mention when they talk about Kenya.

“You know, we were once discussing Kenya at a forum in Germany and we made a conclusion that Kenya is not as corrupt as many imagine. What Kenya does, is more than corruption, we are yet to get a definition to describe the greediness that goes on in Kenya. You as Kenyans know who is mismanaging Kenya, you know who is stealing from the government resources, (read public funds) you know who is exploiting the local citizens and you brand that corruption! That is not corruption. Consult your dictionary.” Said a journalist from Germany at a coffee round table during 2011 World Music Expo (WOMEX) in Copenhagen, Denmark and I felt very ashamed of my country.

Kenyan Maasai

Oh,  how I wish they stopped discussing my country. So I get to my phone and try to Google search the word corruption and before I could get it, “Here, this is what corruption is all about-dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power, typically involving bribery,” read another journalist from Denmark.

Corruption

“Do you understand now….corruption is about deception, dishonest, unfair  and dubious means and when you research more about corruption, in most cases you might never get to know about the parties  involved and so it remains as mere speculations. In Kenya, this is not the case, you know who embezzled what amount of money,  for what use and when. You know this Member of Parliament or this Government official or this person stole this amount of money and did this with it…total incredible and you in turn coin that as corruption, no no no, it is not. It will be right to say Kenya has thieves for leaders, do you get my point, think about it.” Said the Germany journalist.

Ok, I am looking at him (feeling a potato in my throat) and thinking to myself, “Patience, you have done classes in Diplomacy and International Studies, please defend your country, this is what Diplomacy and Representation is all about!” Then I ask myself whether I am ready to defend  my country against vices, if anything these journalists have given me a new approach to this, to think of the many thieves we have in our Government leadership and be happy that we are not corrupt as many people imagine! At least that is a good starting point, the task now is to invent ways in which we can clear out the thieves in Kenya. Honestly, I had never seen it from this angle before.

Kenyan Lion Couple

A few months back on my Facebook page, I asked Kenyans to help me out,  to name the problems that seem to be the greatest challenge in Kenya as a country. I needed to present these at my church in Norway, (Misjonhuset) we had a one month prayer focus on Kenya. Your guess is as good as mine, most Kenyans mentioned “Corruption” as the main challenge. This is simply because we have all been raised believing that Kenya is corrupt, has corrupt leaders and different surveys has listed  Kenya among the top corrupt countries in the World. This is the same thing that the world knows about us out there. They read, watch and listen to news about corruption in Kenya and they are all convinced that Kenya and Kenyans are corrupt. Not very good reputation for those in the diaspora, where your name, reputation and personality is not so important but all they see is “What country do you represent?”

Kenyan Names

Nairobi, Kenya

In Norway when you meet people for the first time, they ask you, “Hvor kommer du  fra?”( Where do you come from?) Due to the fact that I have no idea what individual perceptions different people have about Kenya, so I devised a strategy, they will know my name then my country in that order. “Jeg heter Patience og jeg kommer  fra Taita i Kenya.” *(My name is Patience and I come from Taita in Kenya). Then, from there we can strike a conversation!

This is because I realise many are fascinated by my name, which translates to (tålmodighet in Norwegian) and want to know how I got this name and whether I live to it´s definition. Then I start a long story “In Kenya we have unique virtues that define us as a nation, you will therefore, find names like, Patience, Purity, Love, Happiness, Grace, Blessings, Mercy, Hope, of course these represent the various people who can be found in Kenya. (You get the drift.) Then I get a chance to talk more about my country in a good way and change the focus from the thieves and the corrupt leaders.

Kenyan Sunset

“Are you patient as your name suggests?” My answer is a definite yes. I wonder why many other people don´t believe so, but yes I am. Do not just crucifize me based on my name, we are 13 Patience´s in my immediate family and we all have different degrees of patience, so it just depends with different Patience´s and in different circumstances. I can be very patient at one point and  I can be totally impatient at some other time.

So now you have it, in Kenya *(according to the non-Kenyans) we have the wrong definition about corruption and what we have previously called corruption might not be! Maybe it could be theft, impunity, greediness, selfishness, robbery, exploitation, injustices, (just wondering) what could it be? Think about it!!

 “I want either less corruption or more chance to participate in it.” Ashleigh Brilliant!

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14 thoughts on “On Thieves and Corruption in Kenya!!

  1. patience, ive been following your blog and its really good stuff..congrats..and u been patient, yes u are coz u were one of the nicest prefects back in murray..kenya has become somethin that pains to talk about so we dont talk about it anymore coz its just painful. we watch and pray that God will have mercy on us..futhermore no matter how much we talk it all ends up just being talk and nothing more…our leaders have developed dead ears, no mercy or sympathy..we try to elect others hopin for a change but the same things happen all over again..i wish there was a way we could screen someones brain before we elect them..our people have become poorer and poorer hence more easily manipulated by politicians for as little as 50bob that cant buy u even bread…

    but all in all home is home and is best..we pray for kenya everyday and hope for the better… things arent getting any better but there is still hope and where there is hope possibilities are many…as eric wainana sings..natumaini, najitolea daima kenya..ishara ya bendera ni udhabiti wangu, nyeusi ya wanainchi na nyekundu ni ya damu , kijani ni ya ardhi nyeupe ya Aamni, daima mimi Mkenya mwananchi mzalendo.

    kip up the good work

    1. Maggy, how strange the things people remember me for. You actually remember me as one of the NICEST PREFECTS at Murray girls? So Prefects can actually be nice, this deserves a pat on my back. Thank you for that compliment.

      Yes Maggy, I agree with you when you say that Kenya has become something that pains to talk about! It is even more paining to have your country talked about in the wrong way while you are in the diaspora. Everyone wants to be associated with good stuff, right? So we have to change, it starts with you and me!!!

      All the best as we pray for this country.

      Thank you for reading my blog posts and following my blog.

  2. i think the German Journalist curved a good context of the kenyan corruption situation- thieves, thieves and thieves!Right now we can only bank on the intervention of God himself!leave corruption to the armateurs like highway policemen taking little things like 50 shillings, our thieves are fattening to the highest bets, millions and millions of shillings!!right now, i can conclusively talk about this vice as i have a first hand experience!!Damn, this fund manager and the area MP( i hope they meet all shabab soon!) have been siphoning CDF money meant for Bursary( 7 Million) to their mouths and awarding themselves tenders to repair and build roads!! and so when they realise that someone is watching them, they now start buying loyalties in bundles of 100,000 to the committee members, and so their chain becomes anetwork of highly intoxicated and compromised individuals!!!dont be fooled Patience, Kenya is sick of many illness, but it is corruption that will ultimately kill her!

    1. Hey Newtone, I agree that Kenya is sick of many illnesses, but it is corruption that will ultimately kill her!Corruption has been here since I was born, I have heard enough about it and I am sick and tired of hearing the same story over and over again! Kenya is you and me, what can we do to try and sweep out this deadly disease in Kenya? Newtone, any ideas?????

  3. actually i was hesitant to comment on this issue, when you penned it! Lest serious issue get mixed with the daily whining of the same old story, so i thought. but then i realized, its blind patriotism to keep quiet!!this dragon has a network, and woe onto you if you naively rush to someone in able position and say : so and so has fat itchy fingers! quite often than not, you’ll realize that you are alone!! the truth is that i seem not to find any goodwill in Nairobi to fight this moral hazard….on a personal level and in my sphere of influence, i dont think there is anything further i can do …….when you report the vice to the right people, its upto then to do what is expected of them!! what do you think Patience?

    1. “the truth is that I seem not to find any goodwill in Nairobi to fight this moral hazard….on a personal level and in my sphere of influence, i don´t think there is anything further i can do …” I see you are losing hope in our country Newtone, in our own small ways, lets try and think, giving up is probably not the right thing to do at this point. What do you think??

  4. giving up? not really me….Patience, keep your eyes and ears open on the proceedings back home….sooner than later, you will see the work of our young hands as select thieves from a constituency in central kenya are finally brought to justice….

  5. Patience, thanks for your vigilance in exposing graft. Recently, the government of Kenya awarded to a company BLUESTAR TRADING of Glasgow, oilshore blocks in kenya L21, L22,L23,L24,L25 or drilling and exploration purposes. BLUESTAR TRADING is managed by Leslie Greyling , a convicted fraudstar with a chequered history and ties to organised crime. Leslie Greyling has several convictions from improper share trading to fraud. Leslie Greyling has also been declared bankrupt on numerous occasions. It is therefor astounding that a government such as the Mwai Kibaki government would have flawed judgement in awarding Kenya’s valuable resources to such a fraudstar. The link about this fraudster is here .http://bahamascam.wordpress.com/

  6. I have letters from Hon. Kiraitu Murungi, the minister of energy, confirming that the exploration blocks were awarded. I have written to teh minister to rethink this decision before I think of publishing the letters. I can provide you with a copy if you so wish. Email me your email address and I ll give you one of the letters

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