EDITORIAL: Ensure surrender of loot

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Anglican Archbishop Jackson ole Sapit is speaking for the majority of Kenyans when he says that the corrupt people must be punished and forced to return what they have stolen. This would be the most logical next step in the anti-graft campaign.

Corruption is an evil means through which public resources are diverted from development programmes into the pockets of a few crooked, but well-connected individuals. The frustration over the widespread graft is understandable.

There is little to show for the appeal by President Kenyatta to step up the anti-corruption war, with the special anti-corruption agency, the Directorate of Criminal Investigation, the Directorate of Public Prosecution and the Judiciary not doing enough to stem the endemic rot.

The addition of Archbishop Sapit’s voice to this campaign is invaluable as it’s targeted at the looters’ conscience. They would make the task of fighting corruption much easier if they could voluntarily surrender what they have illegally acquired.

Indeed, there has been an encouraging development in this direction with some people who were illegally allocated public land owning up and handing over the title deeds to the rightful owners. This should be encouraged. But the church head’s appeal can only be amplified by churches rejecting donations from dubious sources. Lately, there has been a proliferation of funds drives in churches, some even held at the altar, with the benefactors being people suspected of engaging in corruption.

Granted, churches need money to implement their development projects and other outreach missions. But when the source is unclean, this is desecration of the very church and its cardinal philosophy of moral uprightness. We couldn’t agree more with the archbishop that the church, too, is not blameless and the clergy must also shun corruption and promote accountability.

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