an-illustration-of-raila-odinga-as-pharao

Corruption is one of the greatest challenges of the contemporary Kenya today. It’s undermining a good government and fundamentally distorting public policy. The most ceremonial whistle-blower of corruption cases in Kenya is opposition leader and 4 times elections loser, Raila Odinga. His masterly of purveying obstructive corruption politics in Kenya is world class. The seemingly compatible coexistence of rampant corruption and rapid economic growth in Kenya (past 15 years) is an obvious outcome of obstructive politics. Today, his ingenuity has set sight on his strongest rival in the opposition party CORD, Steven Kalonzo Musyoka.

In Colin Nye’s classical and most widely used definition, corruption is “behavior which deviates from the formal duties of a public role because of private regarding (personal, close family, private clique) pecuniary or status gains; or violates rules against the exercise of certain types of private-regarding influence.” According to a graft agency official in Nairobi, the current corruption crisis in Nairobi is factored by politics. The events and exposes are politically factored and executed to settle scores.

Raila Odinga use of Corruption to Outbid Political Opponent Kalonzo Musyoka and President Uhuru Kenyatta is morally corrupt and a strong indicator of Pharaoic characteristics. Afraid of losing the Kamba vote, (which would give Kenyatta a resounding win according to pundits), Odinga is disrupting and undermining the president (amplifying corruption to show Presidents inability to clamp graft) and his political opponent (back stabbing Kalonzo Musyoka with sole intent of destroying his political clout and bargaining power in the CORD coalition).

According to corruption experts, purveying obstructive corruption politics in Kenya is an interesting case. The main whistle-blower is either media or opposition leader Raila Odinga. Odinga knows how cartels he once benefited from work in government. As such, he is able to mine data to get back at his political enemies (government and political aspirants).

According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), corruption has been around for thousands of years and widespread (globally). Corruption is highly concentrated in countries where there’s rapid economic growth and very high tax regimes. These 2 factors (high taxation & rapid economic growth) aren’t well regulated besides challenges in authorization and bureaucratic traditions in such countries (Kenya for example).

However, in recent years, the vice (corruption) has attracted increasing attention (politically & media) in Kenya. This begs the question “does the attention reflect an increasing awareness on corruption (as a vice) or an increasing scope of the problem?” It is not possible to measure levels of corruption but it’s possible to measure public & fiscal perceptions about the problem. There are no reliable indices that provide definitive answers to why corruption is receiving more attention in Kenya.

Raila Odinga has been employing redistributive corruption, a form of secret social exchange through which those in power (political or administrative: in this case political power) take personal advantage, of one type or another, of the influence they exercise in virtue of their mandate or their function (to gain political leverage and outbid opponents/competitors), and obstructive corruption politics to remain politically powerful. This solves the mystery of this enduring puzzle for analysts, Raila and his media cronies are the architects of the amplification  of Kenya’s corruption cases, not for the love of the public, but for political gain.

While Kenya is no longer in the class of underdeveloped countries with fledgling political institutions; Kenya is stable, has a resilient economy, and strong political institutions. These institutions however seem clamped by bureaucracy and political patronage, allowing corruption to be so disruptive both economically & politically in Kenya.

Our study of political influence in Kenya has for the most part focused on the process by which interest groups (past cartels & new ones) affect the content of legislation, public policy, political environment (to achieve edge over regime hostility towards cartel)

Numerous empirical studies demonstrate that corruption reduces investment and/or slows growth. Purveyors of corruption will hold governments at ransom by exposing flaws in laws and procurement processes and subsequently use these flaws to point out contracts under such laws then brand them corrupt deals. As such past corruption cartels become whistle-blowers of corruption in an attempt to hit back at regimes (politicization of corruption). Raila Odinga has been using this strategy effectively. His exposes have stalled mega projects in Kenya, specifically to malign the current regime. Having achieved such, Odinga is now going for his political opponents friends and their close confidants working in government.

Empirical research shows that the obstructive corruption politics focus on blackmailing the regime and political actors to meet narrow, particularistic demands, often through the patronage, favors, and more corruption; failure to which these interest groups/cartels use exposes & litigation to delay & derail development programs (demoralize & de-popularize the regime or political actors/opponents). Odinga is getting back at Kalonzo Musyoka, the strongest contender and competitor at the CORD coalition. Kalonzo Musyoka has been complaining that he has suffered enough. This was a threat to Odinga’s bid for presidency in 2017. There is a high likelihood Raila will witch-hunt more of Kalonzo Musyoka’s cronies and Kamba professionals in government to weaken Musyoka’s resolve.