In Summary
  • Corruption and the large figures splashed in newspapers are clearly one the major reasons why strikes in the public sector have become too common.
  • The practice of allowing a foreign contractor to perform multiple roles — including designing, building and arranging financing for you — must stop immediately.

When I grow up, I want to write a book with the title, The Audacity of Impunity.

Indeed, it is only in Kenya where public officials can release a whopping Sh21 billion to a bankrupt Italian contractor — for no work done — and still have the temerity to argue that that does not amount to corruption.

In other countries, the scandal over Arror and Kimwarer dams and the public resources at risk in the scam should have triggered shock waves of self-examination among leaders.

Here, it is business as usual, sloganised dismissal of actions and motives of investigative authorities and reluctance to look squarely in the mirror and concede that things have gone awfully wrong.

Steal and explain is the new mantra for our leaders.

RAVENNA

Indeed, impunity is why our leaders are just too quick to dismiss the ongoing investigations on the dams scandal, motivated by politics.

The fact that such a huge amount was paid without due diligence on the recipient is a non-issue to the political elite.

I insist that the officials did not conduct even rudimentary checks on the Italian company.

Last week, I took a look at corporate records of the concerned company, CMC Ravenna, and was astounded to discover that it had been in financial doldrums long before we paid them the billions.

Long before we contracted the company, it had knelt before its creditors for debt forgiveness under an arrangement known in Italian as ‘concordato preventativo’.

Had the officials done even a minor check on open source public records, they would have come across the Milan Expo tender manipulations probe and investigations on the firm’s activities by the prosecutors, Mr Paolo Filippino and Antonio D’Allesso.

Maybe then, they would not have released the payments.

STRIKES

In terms of the opportunity cost, Arror and Kimwarer dams are a big scandal.

Corruption and the large figures splashed in newspapers are clearly one the major reasons why strikes in the public sector have become too common.

The big amounts and the casual manner in which they are released to dodgy contracts is what feeds the mindset that the government has inexhaustible sources of money.

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