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Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Umuro Wario’s reinstatement at Kenya’s Youth Fund is a victory for public officers committed to fighting corruption

The government’s decision to reinstate Mr. Umuro Wario to continue serving as the Chief Executive Officer of the Youth Enterprise Development Fund should be highly lauded. It’s a point of victory for public officers who risk their jobs by committing themselves to fight corruption.

Kenya’s biggest problem with the war against corruption has always been having the corrupt have their day whenever they fight back. This has happened to so many competent people before. A number of committed and hardworking officers have often lost their jobs whenever they showed determination to fight graft. A few years back it was confirmed that in Kenya, corruption fights back. It happened to Goldenberg whistle blower David Munyakei who lost his job and died in agony after he revealed how Kenyans had lost billions of shillings through the Goldenberg scandal. The same nature of machinations worked so hard to remove true anti corruption crusaders from transparency international. It was such kind of behind the scene political games by some board members that two very competent CEO’s Mwalimu Mati and Gladwell Otieno were consecutively removed from TI Kenya. Transparency International is just one example among many where officers committed to sincerity end up losing their jobs because of the greed and immorality of some of the board members of those institutions.

The minister in charge must be lauded for taking a bold action and making the truth carry its day by re appointing Mr. Wario. The minister has shown that if we all work for the truth, the just will always get justice too.

The initial sacking of Mr. Wario was like condemning those who fight corruption within the institutions where they work. This is because the ground of dismissal was based on the fact that he didn’t cooperate in the approval of some questionable deals pushed by the board. He must be lauded for standing strong in the interest of Kenyan youth when he refused to approve a ‘loan’ of ksh.300million to a Canadian NGO. Its noticeable that some politically connected board members wanted to use their political influence to blackmail the CEO into approving projects that mattered to their own selfish interests and not in the interest of the Kenyan youth.

It’s important that the minister was able to rescind her own earlier move of sacking the YEDF CEO after finding out the truth.

As the minister appoints new board members it’s important to ensure that new faces are put on the board to make the YEDF operate without any external coercion from various political interests as it has been before. The minister should now move to ensure that the board is fully reconstituted to include people who will work in the interest of the Kenyan youth and not those who will end up arm-twisting the CEO to give’ loans’ to foreign NGOs. A new board I believe will come up with a new way of implementing the youth projects and also oversee the funding of the youth groups by merit and not through political manipulations.

Wario is one of the competent young people who are emerging in providing leadership in different sectors of our economy and it’s wrong for individuals to use tribalism or any other form of bigotry to sabotage such talents. He is also is famed for having rolled out the audit of the Kenya’s free primary education when he worked for the ministry of education.

I really wish that other ministers and government officials emulate the youth and sports minister Prof. Hellen Sambili and stand and support the truth always whenever circumstances of this nature arise. Through this, we shall achieve a lot in our war against nepotism and all other forms of corruption. It must be fought from all corners and sacking public officers who help fight it is not one of the methods of ridding our society of graft.



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