What a time to reveal these things. I have always had a sneaking suspicion that the Kenya National Examinations Council, KNEC, was an Augean stable that would need Lord God Himself to sweep it out of the filth it has accumulated since 1990. With the Interim Independent Electoral Commission, IIEC, there was no suspicion; I took it as fact! It had carried over so many shady ex-Electoral Commission of Kenya parasites, it was inevitable that it would develop a serious case of chicken pox.
Well, the chickens have come home to roost. We always thought that the perfidy in KNEC was in relation to examinations. Its signature national exams, the KCPE and KCSE, have become mired in rampant cheating that intimately involves the people in the KNEC. It is a system of graft that has defied all attempts to sort it out. It now emerges that piddling sums were involved in the tender for the supply of examination material. I suspect that the amounts are small because the entire enterprise at KNEC was geared towards small sums -that added up to very large sums.
The case of the IIEC seems straightforward enough. The commission's bosses wanted to make a fast buck. They entered into contracts that are now the subject of a criminal trial in London. What that case means for the elections conducted during that time raises serious concerns. That the same commission's bosses were in charge of the general election last year, bar one or two persons, shatters whatever credibility that the new commission enjoyed. It is almost certain that the Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission and the Director of Public prosecutions will make the right noises about "following the London trial keenly" and "we will ask for the case files from the serious Fraud Office" but you can rest easy certain in the knowledge that charges will not be brought against the named personages, and these same persons will not be resigning from their positions any time soon.
That is the story of the national fight against corruption in Kenya; it is all hat and no trousers. When the President declared that he was in the frontline in the fight against graft, I knew for sure that the fight is already lost. His own Office of the President, not his Executive Office of the President mind you, was mired in so much graft he was compelled to transfer officers and publicly warn them of impending disaster. Since that declaration, not much has changed except that a few individuals have been transferred to sinecures where their eating will be limited to a fraction of their previous antics. Why it was not possible to give them the steel toe will remain a closely guarded secret within the corridors of State House and Harambee House.
We have legislated and legislated in an effort to fight graft. Not much seems to have changed. The Mwau, Ringera and Lumumba Commissions couldn't indict a ham sandwich if they found it holding the murder weapon with the body lying next to it. It is still early days with the Matemu Commission, but the presence of the architects of Goldenberg, Angloleasing, Triton and Kazi Kwa Vijana among the right-thinking members of society does not augur well for the anti-corruption fight going forward. Now with the chicken saga out of London, we wait with bated breath for the milque toast moves both Mr Matemu and Mr Tobiko will make to placate the people.
I am almost certain that politicians will seize the initiative and make bold statements about investigations and inquiries. But because so many of their hands are dirty, theirs will be pro forma political noises designed to send certain signals to certain movers and shakers that certain hands require ample greasing. This is the dance that we play. We have done it and done it well since we decided to host the All Africa Games. We have become rather adept at it. It is time for the vast majority with ideas about clean government to come to the realisation that their dreams will never, ever be realised. Not in their lifetimes. Not ever.