In my opinion, Kenya's criminal classes are extraordinarily good at their job. No, I don't mean the hapless men and women convicted of petty theft or robbery year in, year out. No, I don't mean those souls. The ones who have done a bang up job tend to have the prefixes and suffixes to their names, have acquired titles of note, and swan around as if they were the people's conscience. They are extraordinarily good at their job.
One or two are ministers of faith, one or two are ministers of government, one or two are legal eagles with reputations to match, one or two are judges sitting on high, and still one or two are bankers, doctors, engineers, teachers and "environmentalists". The most successful members of the criminal classes of Kenya happen to be members of Government, in one form or another. They have their hands on the levers of power and when those levers are moved, bank vaults fall open and their wallets are immeasurably fattened. What makes them exceptionally good at thieving is that they have persuaded us that they are extremely dim-witted. They have learnt how to play the fool.
If you have been online on the twitter sphere lately, you will have sniggered at the question, "How can Kenyan billionaires have such poor taste in decor?" The impression you get is that these billionaires couldn't be that smart if their choice of decor is a cross between Kiambu postmodernist and Kisii postmodernist Art Deco. It takes real skill for the devil to persuade you that he is not there.
Take the shambles that are the various "scandals". Twenty million or so for towels. Sounds stupid, right? But it shifted focus from what was actually happening, didn't it? Key questions were obscured by virtue of the ridiculousness about those damn towels. For instance, how, exactly, did the Kerio Valley Development Authority decide to build the dams? How was that Italian company identified? Who made first contact with it, and when? Who performed due diligence on the company and what did they find? Maybe the DCI and the DPP know the answers to these questions now that were obscure by the salaciousness redolent of this towels, the pick-me shit-show that is the Fourth Estate, and our general deference for the high and mighty, shady or not.
These people are extraordinarily gifted and they have perfected their craft over decades. From penny ante scams - briefcases of cash - they now play the game with aplomb, in plain sight, 24/7, shamelessly and ruthlessly. We are their marks. We fall for every single con, big and small. And we sing their praises as if we were singing Italian arias to Nero at the height of his powers regardless of his bloodlust, greed, megalomania and poor impulse control - very much the characteristics of our guys. The small band of online wingers that point to the absurdity of it all are (a) laughably few, (b) hilariously outnumbered by influencers, and (c) painfully ignored by one and all. We keep at it, tilting-at-windmills and all, in the hopes that we will be vindicated.