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Public Accountability-Kenya Experience

The Republic of Kenya has one of the world most progressive constitutions ever designed. However, it is in Kenya where questions of corruption are becoming incredibly unfathomable. The government has always interfered with whatever may reduce corruption. It is like an autocracy. Kenya is a small and fragmented nation. The attempt to make accountability institutions work towards the public good is increasing difficult. For instance, Kenyans prominent powerful persons named in corruption prefer death to considering quitting the office. It is not just an immoral mentality but failure of public accountability. This failure starts fromt he government which fails to prove public accountability. For instance, if the general elections are poorly conducted then the public accountability cannot improve. Crooked elections are the beginning of the total failure in public accountability in Kenya. Cheating in elections, bribing voters, intimidating voters and ballot frauds. The incumbents have the money, they have military power, they have control of local government authority and therefore, they are better placed for political corruption. This blog is more interested in discussing areas that make public accountability fail in Kenya.
When a government gets into power through stolen elections, then there is too little such government would do to solve the problem of accountability. It can not make any good economic policies. It comes with no effective policies on such economic crimes such as corruption. In Kenya, the government has always fought against the Anti-Corruption watch dog. The problem with the misgoverned economy is personalizing the government institution. This is very bad and ill-adviced. It is a distinct problem when the incumbent bribes the electoral commission to act in his favour. This will not make the democracy work. Rather it will make it be dangerous. For instance, the list of shame of the corrupt top state officials has been charged of being doctored and some powerful corrupt individuals are protected by the government. This is a typical example of wider insecurity of democracy. There cannot be any proper public account policy if the government is frustrating and sidelining the opposition. It cannot work in any democracy to go with the tyranny of numbers to pass laws and policies even if such policies and laws go against values and morals. The accountability is not impressive in such situations in which opposition leaders are told to retire and allow bad governance to continue.
Kenya can only borrow leaf from some European democratic systems and the USA. Lets take for instance, India and Brazil. Most of them have adopted common identity approaches to policy making. The guiding line should be the public good. The sovereignty must be shared among the people of the country. Power should not be centralized in the person of the president. The sovereignty should be national and not presidential. It is in this sense that Kenya can consider public accountability and the common good. Why do we speak of African solution to African problems? It is not the right way since there is international supply of goods that Africa cannot dismiss. Then we need to know what we mean by African solution to African problem. It is away of using African solution to avoid international standards and scrutiny. Accountability is majorly about money. When we provide money without questions, we empower the very people who always win against those who insist on public accountability. It is the accountability of the government to the people. Robust budget in Kenya requires robust independent control institutions. When the government interferes with such institutions such as Anti-Graft commission and the others, then the public accountability is a big problem.
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About Peter Onyango

Dr. Peter Onyango O. is one of our main contributors. He is a senior law lecturer, a writer, a consultant, peace ambassador, and a researcher. He assists so many professionals, legal minds, and debaters with his skills and scholarly wealth! He supports children and village community as a way of giving back to community. He edits, proof reads, and publishes various articles for our page!

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