Year after year, Constitutional Offices, including the Commission on Administrative Justice, the Ethics & Anti-Corruption Commission, the Office of the Auditor General and the Controller of Budget have continued to raise concerns over increasing incidences of constitutional violations in the context of integrity and prudent use of public resources. Looking at the Auditor General’s reports of constituency development funds, county and national governments’ financial management it would seem that the ambition espoused in Chapter 6 of the Constitution on Leadership and Integrity is at best suspended. Auditor General Reports consistently show the extent to which Article 201 on the general principles of prudent use of public finances, Article 10 on National Values and Article 232 on Values and Principles of Public Service are being actively undermined at both levels of government.
More worryingly, many of those named, being investigated or facing prosecution or already convicted of failure to uphold both ethical and legal standards in public service have declared their interest in running for public office in the August 2017 elections. Unless direct action is taken by both citizens and frontline institutions to interrupt this trend, the 2017 General Election is about to transform the seeds of corruption into trunks of impunity.
The effects on people’s lives of deepening corruption and diminishing accountability by duty bearers affects Kenyans singularly and collectively. Left unchecked and without any significant consequence to the rising number of offenders, this trend has had a significant impact on national cohesion, government’s capacity to provide essential services, rise in the cost of living and priced essential goods and services out of reach of a majority of Kenyans. In the absence of decisive, deterrent punitive action by the State and relevant institutions, theft by those in whose hands public resources have been entrusted has become the new normal.