Kenya Pipeline Company’s admission that its highly qualified and experienced employers are behind a racket in which billions of shillings may have been lost in fuel theft is shocking but not surprising. This is a manifestation of the endemic graft and insatiable greed that has infiltrated almost every segment of our society. Here are people who have no scruples about bending the rules and manipulating procedures or systems for personal gain.
This is not just an indictment of the professionalism of the engineers involved; the breach of the pipeline poses a serious public health hazard from environmental pollution. It is only depraved minds who do not value professionalism that could have abetted such a scam. But they are not the only thieving employees: The rot is widespread in the private and public sectors, non-governmental organisations, homes and small enterprises. The KPC management deserves kudos for owning up that they, indeed, have a problem on their hands that threatens the existence of this very firm. It is noteworthy, however, that the Directorate of Criminal Investigations was pivotal in the busting of the scam.
Such pilferage at work is not just criminal but is also anti-social. By volunteering such cogent information on the racket, KPC has, hopefully, now made a significant first step in the streamlining of its operations. Quite disappointing, however, is the apparent laxity in taking action. The siphoning site created by some cleverly devious Pipeline staff was discovered about four months ago and nearly a year since the project was commissioned.
As the pipeline parastatal moves to strengthen its internal and external monitoring and supervision to prevent more of such thefts, the culprits must be pursued and arraigned in court for this base and damning breach of trust.
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