Hakuna Matata, “there are no problems”, was popularised by the ‘90s Disney film, The Lion King.
This phrase, beyond helping our tourism numbers and putting Simba on the map, is dangerous.
I’ll explain why. The “there are no problems” mentality, is the same passive mentality whereby people note “it will be ok”. This leads to acceptance and passivity. It promotes a nonchalant attitude whereby there is nothing we can do about the issues and vices which pervade our society because after all, “there are no problems”, “it will be ok”.
Well I have some bad news for the Kenyans from this school of thought: There are problems. Lots and lots of problems. From poverty to crumbling infrastructure, Kenyan society is faced by a plethora of issues hindering and harming its development.
However, one issue underpins them all. One issue leads to the massive loss of funds for the Kenyan people, the looting and stealing of our hard earned cash: Corruption.
Kenyan corruption is everywhere. It is in our offices, in our homes, on the streets.
Kenyan policemen taking bribes are now world renowned(thanks to viral videos and the power of the internet).
We have to do something to uproot these dangerous weeds. And we have to act quickly.
Luckily our leadership has realised the dangers of hakuna matata. They have realised that the problem of corruption needs to be tackled now.
In the last few months, a campaign has been launched which has captured the imagination of the entire world. Many leaders talk about fighting corruption. Many leaders launch social media campaigns or PR efforts to claim they are fighting corruption. What Uhuru is doing is different, what Uhuru is doing is real.
Let’s start with the sheer number of arrests. Hundreds of crooked individuals have been arrested, from low level officials taking bribes to the sitting Governor of Busia. We have seen some really famous names including Evans Kidero, the former Governor of Nairobi, arrested and charged.
No organisation appears to be out of bounds. The NYS was the opening shot.
Hundreds of millions of Ksh had been sapped from the organisation over the years. Its reputation had been ruined by scandal upon scandal.
From the ordering of copious amounts of beef to fake payments and dodgy receipts, something had to be done. The mass arrests and court cases galore will set an example to parastatals, public and private sector companies, that this is not business as usual. This is a new era, whereby things will be done differently.
Then there was Kenya Power. An institution rotten to the core. The new, tough, no nonsense Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji called for the arrest of scores of officials, both current and former, senior and junior.
The issue was the procurement of defective transformers as well as a host of irregularities in the subcontracting of over 500 companies.
Through these dodgy contracts, some estimate that almost Ksh500million went missing. This is not petty cash. These are real sums.
The former managing director, Dr Ben Chumo, Corporate Affairs and Company Secretary Beatrice Meso and General Manager Regional Co-ordination Peter Mwichigi were all arrested.
And no one can accuse the DPP of cherry-picking, as he has listed 33 directors and companies to be charged.
Most recently we saw the corruption scandal surrounding the new Nairobi-Mombassa railway. This is a 3 billion USD project. That is not a mega project. That is the mother of all mega projects.
Mohammed Abdalla Swazuri, the chairman of our important and powerful National Land Commission, was arrested along with nearly twenty others.
Uhuru has set out his stance that he does not believe in hakuna matata.
He does not believe in a passive acceptance of the current situation. He knows that if he is to get anywhere close to achieving his Big Four Agenda he must first tackle the source of all our problems: graft.You cannot build a stable house on rotten foundations. It will fall down upon us all.
We should therefore all get behind the national campaign to tackle corruption, we should call it out at all levels. When Uhuru, Raila, Ruto and Kalonzo are singing from the same song sheet, you know that this problem is real.
Views expressed in this article do not represent the opinion of Kenya Broadcasting Corporation.