The fight against corruption is a marathon not a sprint

Written By: Sarah Korere
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The writer is the MP for Laikipia North
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It’s well-known globally that Kenyan athletes over the years excel at long distance races and not the short distance races.  

Once again Kenya went home with a massive medal haul at the African Athletics Championship, edging out South Africa and hosts Nigeria in the medals table.

While South Africa and others won the sprints, Kenya dominated in the middle and long distance races.

As is well known by our successful athletes, competitive long distance running is far more than about stamina, it is about strategy and patience.

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The world of governance is very similar in many respects.

A good example is the fight against on corruption as declared by President Uhuru Kenyatta. President Kenyatta laid out his vision a number of months ago to overhaul our system of governance and make it free of corruption, waste and graft.

He has clearly understood that as a country, Kenya can make great strides in its progress and development if it gets rid of this societal ill.

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The war against corruption has got off to a great start. The appointment of Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP)Noordin Haji caught many by surprise but his non-nonsense and incorruptible attitude seems to have pleased a majority of Kenyans.

Senior Government officials from the National Youth Service, Kenya Power and the Kenya Bureau of Standards, who were once untouchable have been arrested are now facing abuse of office charges among others.

President Kenyatta set the pace by ordering for a lifestyle audit on all senior government officials and state officers, including himself.

He has also ordered that all ongoing projects to be halted in order to provide sufficient oversight to ensure public funds are not being abused.

Further, all tenders must now be publicised online on open and accessible public portals, while procurement officials will now undergo intensive vetting, polygraphs tests and forensic auditing.

President Kenyatta has left few stones unturned in this battle and has even signed agreements with nations like Switzerland through the Framework for the Return of Assets from Corruption and Crime in Kenya (FRACCK) to return sums of money stolen and hidden in offshore accounts.

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All of this and much more makes for an extremely solid start for President Kenyatta.

Nevertheless, there is already grumbling that it is not enough, or the actions have not met expectations and Kenyans indeed want to see more action against corrupt individuals.

This is a completely understandable view but it is not in keeping with our long tradition of patience and strategy at the races.

The war on corruption should be seen as a marathon and not a sprint. It isn’t about hitting the track from the first stride as hard as possible and using all expendable energy for a short amount of time to reach an almost immediate finishing line.

If President Kenyatta was to act in such a way as a sprinter, in a couple of months after making some headlines, he could sit back and take a rest in the satisfaction that he had achieved something.

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However, it is clear that, just like our famed long distance runners, our President is keeping his eyes on the finishing line.

He knows that to win the fight he must act with patience and avoid irresponsible pace setters or opponents who want to push him into draining his energy too early.

President Kenyatta’s war on corruption is a long-term strategy which is meant to holistically change everything about the way this Country is governed.

It is about completely overhauling a culture where graft and waste are the norm rather than the exception.

This won’t be achieved overnight, but if we keep on understanding where we need to reach and what we need to achieve, we will join our President at the smart pace he has set for the country and give him the time he needs to achieve what he wants; a nation free of corruption.

The views expressed in this article don’t represent KBC’s opinion

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