The National Youth Service corruption saga that the top Jubilee leadership defended as clean, pro-youth and part of the grand plan to develop the country and create jobs has now come out to be grand corruption and theft we always said it was.
Its architects have named some of its once fierce defenders as among those who either benefitted from the scheme directly or abetted the grand theft through acts of omission and commission.
Some elected leaders and members of the Executive who were vocal in praise of the NYS appear to have worked for individuals and firms that did shady business with the same institution. This presents a serious case of conflict of interest and raises integrity questions that go against the Leadership and Integrity provisions of the Constitution.
National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale, Senate Deputy Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen and Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich fall in this category of public officers who have been mentioned to have benefitted directly or indirectly and also abetted this theft from Kenyans.
Hon Duale, Senator Murkomen and Mr. Rotich now have to resign from their appointive positions until their role in this saga is thoroughly investigated and established.
Everyone is entitled to a fair trial in Kenya and these men should certainly get one.
By acts of commission or omission, these leaders have shattered the confidence and trust of the Kenyan people. They need to be held to account for that. The best thing they can do for the country is to resign and pave way for investigations.
Recent court rulings in alleged corruption cases against governors will allow Hon Duale and Senator Murkomen to retain their elective positions as Garissa Township MP and Elgeyo-Marakwet Senator respectively.
But they have to get out of the appointive positions.
If you are paid to represent majority of Kenyans in the National Assembly and Senate, to fight for them and to solve their problems, you cannot use that privilege to instead rip off the same Kenyans and continue to use your positions and resources made available to you by virtue of those positions, to defend yourself and rubbish those who have named you as Hon Duale and Sen Murkomen are doing. The same goes for Mr Rotich.
The elected leaders mentioned in the NYS scam share a thread arrogance and holding of citizens in extreme low esteem. Hon Duale has treated this country to the sad comedy of promising to name sympathizers and financiers of terrorism in Kenya, a promise he has not kept to date; while terrorists continue to kill hundreds of Kenyans.
A failure by the Jubilee government to demand the resignation of these senior parliamentary leaders and the Treasury boss will push the Government down a new low. The breach of trust and impunity cannot be allowed to run forever.
Leadership must be by example and must carry responsibility. This country is better than what these leaders have displayed and it deserves better than those who have proven to be out of their depth and incapable of upholding the integrity their positions demand.
Moreover, the rules in the fight against corruption must be applied equally and in a predictable manner. Other Cabinet secretaries have been made to resign out of allegations of involvement in corruption. The law that was applied in the cases of Charity Ngilu, Kazungu Kambi, Felix Koskei, Davis Chirchir and Michael Kamau must apply in the case of NYS and its suspects.
RT HON RAILA ODINGA; EGH
FEBRUARY 27, 2016.