Name and shame is needed in societies where those with no scruples, morally corrupt and all those culpable of continuing to tarnish the image of their countries are allowed, mostly through inertia to run amok. This is one of the many reasons why WikiLeaks is supported and defended by many and generally considered as a force for good.
As the founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange stated in one of his essays, State and Terrorist Conspiracies , “To radically shift regime behavior we must think clearly and boldly for if we have learned anything, it is that regimes do not want to be changed. We must think beyond those who have gone before us, and discover technological changes that embolden us with ways to act in which our forebears could not”.
Corruption in Kenya or anywhereelse for that matter is nothing new. As reported by the Independent, a UK paper:
“The government of Mr Odinga is facing a series of high-level corruption allegations. Last month, the US banned four senior Kenyan government officials and a prominent Kenyan businessman from travelling to the US. The five men are suspected of being involved in drug trafficking. Michael Ranneberger, the US Ambassador to Nairobi, has said the decision to ban them had been reached on the basis of reliable and corroborative reports. Kenya’s minister for foreign affairs resigned last month before the opening of an investigation into an alleged multi-million dollar corruption scandal involving Kenyan embassies in Africa, Europe and Asia”. Der Spiegel the German international news outlet has stated that “Almost every single sentence in the embassy reports speaks with disdain of the government of President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga,”.
References to Africa in WikiLeaks has been fascinating. America’s view of Africa has thrown up a few surprises. WikiLeaks may indeed have its detractors who may hold the opinion that WikiLeaks diminishes the value of whistle blowing. Corruption is not something that solely affects Africans and neither should we brush it under the carpet for fear of embarrassement. In the UK an expenses scandal perpetrated by Members of Parliament (MPs) was brought to the world’s attention by a whistleblower. MPs implicated and found guilty have faced severe punitive measures. That cancer has largely now been removed due mainly to the furious reaction of Britons to what they considered as an afront to thier parliamentary system.
Lets hope that this new revelation about corruption in Kenya by WikiLeaks injects the necessary fury and outrage into the Kenyan and African populace to bring pressure to bear on those implicated in corrupt practices across the continent.
In the video below, Kenya’s government spokesman said Tuesday that the U.S. depiction of the country as a “swamp” of corruption is “malicious” if true.
As the African proverb goes “When the Bush is on fire, the antelope ceases to fear the hunter’s bullet”. Well the bush is on fire in our corrupt embassies, ministeries, parliaments, media and judiciary. Our collective fury should not be aimed at WikiLeaks or so called “malicious” commments by the American goverment but to those who started the fire in the first place and continue to fuel it.
Contrary to what we may have believed in the past, these leaks have to some extent hinted that the USA is not the rampaging bull that we think it is, well perhaps not in Africa. As some of the cables have revealed, “ Top issues considered important to the Amerians included “Darfur/Sudan,” and surprisingly eight West African states including Burkina Faso, Mauritania and Senegal.
No imaginary “fury” and “spinning” by African governments and thier spokesmen and women should detract us from the possibility of imagining an ideal beyond a corruption free Kenya and Africa.
Hiding behind allegations of “Uncle Tom-isms” or expecting Africans to turn a blind eye to what our own media failed to bring to our attention regularly will not wash this time. The guilty parties should be fully exposed and not only made to squirm but to face the full rigours of our anti-coruption laws.
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