Reducing corruption in government agencies is a pipe dream as more ghost workers emerge


Often the so-called institutions and structures that are put in place in our systems to provide checks and balances can break hearts and cause hope to be lost in their ability to deliver us all to a just and equitable Promised Land.

At the risk of sounding pessimistic, it is often difficult for ordinary citizens not to feel alone in this big, bad world that is in the hands of the owners of the country.

Who wouldn’t, when institutions – the only thing we have going for us, now that rulers have long deserted to look after their interests – seem powerless?

How else do you explain the recent news of county governments losing tens of billions of shillings of public funds in wages paid to ghost workers? Ghost workers? At this time and at this time?

That it didn’t happen once for us to call it a clerical error, but for the duration of a county government administration, that means it was a well-orchestrated heist, a robbery with violence against good people who pay taxes with blood, sweat and tears.

Month after month, millions of shillings in salaries have been poured into these non-existent characters and it cannot be explained. And one cannot rule out the possibility that these burglaries were carried out with the knowledge or connivance of powerful county officials.

This, in a so-called progressive system with strong institutions that would not allow such blatant looting. What’s even more troubling is that these funds continue to get lost amid high-profile biometric audits and personnel counts.

Powerless institutions

All the while, these omnipotent institutions, said to be anchored in the letter and spirit of the law, have stood idly by, helpless.

It is such incidents that undermine trust in institutions. When the anger subsides and the issue fades from the news, a new group of “ghosts” will be recruited to serve as a front for the blatant theft.

It all starts with the corners that are cut to bypass the system. When the same institutions are bulldozed into weeding out candidates for high office despite publicly expressed concerns that some of them are failing to meet the threshold of governance, trouble begins. So much for the institutions we are often told are meant to be a means of ensuring that all actions are in the interest of the majority. May only the appropriate and qualified be permitted to serve for the highest good.

When you hear those in the know talk about these things, it sounds like we have a really foolproof system. That the system is almost semi-human and has the ability to control itself and protect public coffers. What a mistake !

Maybe the realistic thing to do now is to accept that this is how things will turn out. Either the system and its checks and balances are just hot air, or the looters are too smart for it and keep playing it and having it done their way. However, it seems that we expected too much from these institutions. Maybe we should act like they don’t even exist.

One sometimes has the impression that these institutions are only means of rewarding political debts with appointments. This is why individuals are nominated and subjected to the so-called verification which will not yield much besides net worth. After going around in circles to tick a box, the will of the initiators always prevails.

For the rest of us, it’s just a waste of time at worst and comic relief at best. It would be more efficient to cut to the chase and name these people directly without calling us a masquerade. All good things about leadership and integrity are but ornaments in the law of the land.

The moral of the story is that the more things change, the more they stay the same. Despite the numerous releases, the owners of the land will always have what they want.

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