How do we end Grand Theft by politicians in Kenya? -

Article by Adongo Ogony

We can all talk about bottoms up and bottoms down, but until we as a country stop the bottomless pit where key political figures and their accomplishes rob our country every day, we are going nowhere.

Let us start with what is in our face as Kenyans right now. Basically, these guys just rob the country and that is it.

Endless court appearances for 7 months for him now. So much for the independence of the Judiciary.

In Kenya, if you are rich your case would never be resolved in any court.

10 years and you are still good even with murder and grand theft like the Okoth Obado, Migori Governor’s case.

This is how our independent judiciary is.

If you are accused of corruption or even murder in Kenya and you are a rich politician, you are going to demand that it be taken to court because that is where it will die naturally.

But we need to dig deeper into how corruption has destroyed our country.

The Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission (EACC) has stated quite clearly that one-third of our national budget of Kshs. 2 trillion and up is stolen by our elected thieves and gangsters.

That is more money than we borrow from the IMF and other countries. Even the money we borrow is just for these political thieves and criminals. We are talking close to Kshs. 1 trillion stolen from us every year by our elected “leaders”.

Simply put, Kenya cannot achieve any sort of development or prosperity for its citizens unless we completely kill the virus of corruption by our politicians.

Corruption in Kenya is a million times more dangerous for our country than COVID. At least for COVID, we have vaccinations. But how do we vaccinate our country against corruption?

One solution and it is very simple. Throw out the thieves from power with your vote. That is a vaccine we do not need to get from the US or anybody else. No Johnson and Johnson or Pfizer here.

It is in our hands.

It is your vote come August 2022 and maybe we can vaccinate the country by telling the thieves, their time is done and out kabisa. It is coming. And it is our choice.

We have to be very specific. I remember Duale speaking about Uhuru Kenyatta talking about getting rid of thieves. Duale asked the president to speak with specificity.

Now here is the specificity.

How has it fared now that someone like William Ruto wants to double the CDF funds? The evidence of history on CDF and other community funding mechanisms like the devolution funding for the 47 counties is pretty bad.

Here is the money allocated for CDF in Kenya since 2003:

Year Total Annual
CDF Allocations
2003/4 KSh 1.3 billion
2004/5 KSh 5.6 billion
2005/6 KSh 7.2 billion
2006/7 KSh 9.7 billion
2007/8 KSh 10.1 billion
2008/9 KSh 10.1 billion
2009/10 KSh 12.0 billion
2010/11 KSh 14.3 billion

That is Kshs. 70 billion in seven years. We don’t have data for the last ten years and it is probably way bigger than the Kshs. 70 billion.

Now Ruto wants to double it. Fair enough.

But what has CDF actually achieved for Kenyans or is the money and the doubling of it is just huge pocket money for Members of Parliament? Then we will get to the county government looting.

Yes, CDF is pocket money for the politicians and they can double or triple it.

Here is just a snapshot of how CDF is pocket money for politicians. Same with County Budgets.

But this is where it goes.

In most cases, they have failed to back their spending with appropriate supporting documents

In Summary

•The auditor questioned the Sh38 million project at Huruma Secondary School which has stalled on the ground floor despite the Mathare CDF spending Sh18 million, almost half of the contract amount.

•In Laisamis, the auditor questioned the Sh54 million variance between what the committee chairman said was received from the NG-CDF board and what records indicate. Auditor General Nancy Gathungu.

Management of the National Government Constituency Development Fund remains a major challenge, with millions of shillings unaccounted for, Auditor General Nancy Gathungi has said.

Gathungu in her 2018-19 audit report reveals that most constituencies cannot account for millions spent to finance various development projects in their jurisdictions.

In most cases, the constituencies’ managements either fail to back their spending with appropriate supporting documents, or in other cases the money does not reach the intended projects.

The auditor questioned the Sh38 million project at Huruma Secondary School which has stalled on the ground floor despite the Mathare CDF spending Sh18 million, almost half of the contract amount.

The tender was for the construction of classrooms and an administration block.


“Management did not provide documents showing the program of work, level of completion and measures taken against the contractor for failure to meet contractual obligations,” the auditor said.

The constituency also incurred Sh240,000 on office rent during the 2018-19 financial year after spending Sh22 million in the previous year to fund an office block.

Sh4 million was incurred on renovations, tiling, and partitioning of the said offices during the year under review.

In Wajir West, Gathungu said Sh3.7 cheques were never presented to their destination and other cheques worth Sh78,000 for various learning institutions were stale and had not been reversed in the cash book as required.

In Laisamis, the auditor questioned the Sh54 million variance between what the committee chairman said was received from the NG-CDF board and what records indicate.

The receipts and payments reflect that some Sh108 million was advanced to the North Eastern constituency from the board.

However, the CDF chairman’s report indicates that they only received Sh54 million.

Gathungu further questions Sh780,000 the Laisamis CDF committee spent on monitoring and evaluation and which they did not provide supporting documentation.

In Shinyalu, Gathungu has red-flagged Sh2 million irregular disbursements to two primary schools.

The two schools Shimoli and Shivakala Primary Schools were in the previous year reported having received Sh1 million each for replacement of cheques for construction of two classrooms and pit latrines which were not implemented.

“The management was in breach of the law and the people of Shinyalu did not get value for the Sh2 million to the two institutions,” Gathungu said.

The auditor general flagged Sh6 million expenditure at Wajir North.

The money was for the construction of classrooms which no tender documents and other relevant supporting documents were availed for audit review.

The constituency spent Sh4.7 million for the construction of Malaba Primary School perimeter fence with gate and sentry box in which the projects were procured through local notice instead of open tenders as required by law.

The report also reveals that in Suba North, Sh1.3 million was incurred in sporting activities which include the purchase of uniforms, balls and trophies.

However, the management did not provide store records to support receipts and issues of items.

“The distribution schedule which was provided did not indicate the actual date of distribution of the sports items,” Gathungu said.

She said the management was in breach of law in the construction of Sh47 million Mbita Medical Training Center whose records indicate that Sh1.8 million was spent before the project commenced.

The constituency spent Sh3 million on graveling of a 2km access road to Wakondo Primary School, Sh3.8 million grading of 2.6km road to Nyamaji Kisaka and Nduru Primary.

It emerged that the projects were under the county government.

“This is contrary to the provisions of Section 24 of NG-CDF Act, 2015 and the Fourth Schedule of the Constitution,” Gathungu said.

In the same constituency, Sh40,000 was paid for a student at Tom Mboya High School despite records showing the student was not registered at the institution.

If our human rights and civic organizations were worth anything they could have done a complete review on how CDF and County budget money has been used to improve the lives of Kenyans in the last decade.

That data and information should be available to Kenyans to assess how our devolution and CDF money is working for the country.

But obviously, our civic and human rights groups are busy doing other things, if not nothing at all. What a shame. And we pay them to do nothing, same as we pay the M.Ps and governors.

We are screwed for now, but I am very positive we are going to fix our country and get it back for us as citizens. On that, I have no doubts.

In our country, if we cannot deal with and kill corruption by politicians and state officials, we do not have a chance to develop at all.

Everybody knows that. Now let us do something about it in the August 2022 General Elections.

We have that chance and we have to use it.

And we will.

Adongo Ogony is a Human Rights Activist and a Writer who lives in Toronto, Canada


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