International Anti-corruption Day

International Anti-corruption Day

Monday, December 12, 2022

9th December is the International anti-corruption day. A special day to yet again engage many in a value dear to me: integrity. Apart from being a prolife champion, I also am an integrity champion.

Corruption is majorly a result of a lack of integrity in our daily lives. Corruption is not just about the way politicians and persons assigned to serve the public fail in their duties to deliver as they focus on their selfishness.

Corruption has infiltrated us all in all walks of life. That lack in accountability in whatever little engagement one is involved in. 

Corruption is a moral cancer, and through it some of the cancers have been a result of this cancer. I wrote a small booklet titled Pause & think where I demonstrated how our actions play a role in the other difficulties we face, some illnesses included.

Kenya and Africa at large is rich in resources, and we suffer due to the selfishness of a few who control our resources, and also we very willingly participate in the same. It has been normalized that even when we contribute to it, we seem to not notice that it is a vice.

Corruption in form of bribery has been given many names that are well understood by the public. Terms like chai, facilitation, motivation are some terms used in Kenya and so many other terms depending on the country. Egunje is one term used in some part of Nigeria, and the same is the case in most countries in Africa: names that do not relate to bribing at face value.

We are suffering as a continent and what we fail to realize is we have been fueling that vice of corruption either due to ignorance or we have given up and given in to the status quo of nothing is free and fair. 

Just like other cancers, corruption is a moral cancer that still leads to physical deaths. When resources meant to reach and help us end up being pocketed by a few, when one gets undeserved qualification and ends up holding a position they don't deserve or qualify for, and we all know where my line of thoughts is headed. And many more examples can be cited. 

We are dishonest in even the smallest of assignments.

The youth have willingly joined the corruption bandwagon. I see memes saying that one should direct others to who they paid or whatever other means one used to get a job or some success in our country. It is mostly not about what one's skills are but who knows who in this or that place. In schools and institutions of learning, copying exams is a practice by many. A habit is always a virtue or vice practiced repeatedly. I trust that just as we have embraced the vice of corruption, we can as well embrace the virtue of integrity to replace it. Luckily this is one cancer that one can recover from fully if they choose to. 

We need self-accountability and for many who believe in God and the existence of a divine/higher power we owe it to always do justice in all that we are entrusted with. 

Corruption is not a battle for some specific people but for us all. 

The main challenge in promoting integrity is that most have given up faith and hope that things can change or get better. Institutions meant to safeguard the same have on many occasions failed to do so. It isn't the duty of a few to improve but for us all

And on a personal level, upholding integrity has cost me on different levels, including business opportunities since I failed to facilitate or help the process. It is quite a lonely journey, but full of peace. Knowing why I choose to stand for integrity has made me stay on the path for almost a decade now.

I wish us to answer to ourselves on what our individual role is in instilling a culture of integrity in our societies straight from our homes. 

Again, quoting from Pause & think, let's be Christians and not churchgoers. Because only when we are Christ-like will we bring a difference in our world. Let's dare to change the current culture of corruption and desire a better tomorrow.

Standing for integrity is a personal decision not a collective duty. Hence why I designed the I stand for integrity ribbon. 

Gold colour stands for the Integrity we are advocating for, while Black stands for the corruption we're condemning.

Let us stop normalizing corruption. There's a saying that keeps me going in my journey of promoting integrity wrong is wrong even if everyone is doing it and right is right even if no one is doing it. Doing right is usually a lonely journey but a worthwhile one. There is more to life than we appreciate.

We need to restore integrity. We individually make it a part of our daily lives. If it grows on us and becomes a habit, we become conscious of it in our engagements. Have a happy International anti-corruption day!

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Catherine M. Njore

Is There Any Hope for Our Country?

 All reasonable Kenyans agree that Kenya is headed in the wrong direction and that this has been orchestrated by years of selfish and glutton leadership. Kenyans are strong people and very resilient. All that we need is an enabling environment where we can prosper. We don’t need a public office. We don’t need handouts. But an environment where we can run our businesses without hindrances; an environment devoid of unwarranted state bottlenecks and unjustified tax laws pushing the cost of living beyond the reach of over 90% of Kenyans. JM Kariuki had said decades ago that Kenya has become a nation of 10 millionaires and 10 million beggars. It is truer today! We now have 50 millionaires and billionaires and 50 million beggars.

It is not that Kenya lacks resources. No! Kenya has whatever it takes to be a first world country in 10 years. All that we lack is leadership. Selfless leadership. Genuine leadership that can make real and meaningful change; seal the loopholes that make us lose 2 billion shillings a day and lower taxes. Leadership that will invest in security and make entrepreneurship thrive. Leadership that will empower youth to be self reliant and achieve their dreams as opposed to beggars waiting for handouts. Leadership that will make every single well meaning Kenyan to afford good food, access clean water and proper healthcare. Leadership that will make us dream again; dream again like our forefathers dreamed before independence. Leadership to make us reach the stars and be counted among the rich nations who do not need Western AID that comes with strings attached, but a nation that can instead also offer grants to other nations and be able to bargain better at the global assemblies. John C. Maxwell says, “Everything rises and falls on leadership.”

Einstein said that We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. It is true! We need a fresh leadership. It is as obvious as day and night. That is why we need men like Reuben Kagame whose lack of physical sight has given birth to deeper insight and inspiration to make a difference. Helen Keller once said, “The greatest tragedy to befall a person is to have sight but lack of vision.” As Reuben Kagame says, because he cannot see anyone, everyone is the same. If you’re involved in corruption, no personal feelings. You just face the full force of the law. RK is not looking for wealth. He has not stolen anyone’s anything and thus does not look for state machinery to protect any ill-acquired wealth. He is, probably, our only hope for now. Let’s introspect. Let’s pray about it, evaluate our needs and we shall see that GOD has finally offered us an option. Proverbs 29:2: “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.”  Lipotumaini! #Lipotumaini!