We are a nation of the corrupt and have no moral authority to judge others

By: PETER NGARE

One day a mob that included Jewish religious teachers and Pharisees took a woman before Jesus, claiming that she had been caught red-handed committing adultery.

Young and old men were holding stones ready to be given the shout to kill her, as had been prescribed by Moses many years before.

Instead of evoking Moses’ decree, Jesus did a rather strange thing; he challenged anyone who had never sinned to cast the first stone.

When Jesus looked up a few minutes later, only the accused woman was remaining, begging him for forgiveness.

The rest had left, their conscious having pricked them. They were no better than the adulterous woman.

Over the past few weeks, Kenyans from all walks of life have been acting like the men who lived in Jerusalem more than 2,000 years ago.

ANNE WAIGURU’S PUBLIC LYNCHING

They have been yearning to see the blood of one woman, Anne Waiguru, spilt.

Allegation after allegation of corruption against the former Devolution minister, who resigned last weekend, surfaced, leaving her in a seemingly tight corner.

I am not in no way defending Ms Waiguru, but I am rather amused by the Kenyan lynch mob.

The irony of these theatrics is that most of those calling for the crucifixion of Ms Waiguru are themselves not innocent of allegations similar to the ones they are accusing her of.

In fact, only a minority of Kenyans can claim any iota of moral authority to accuse another of corruption. This is because ours is a nation of the corrupt.

Those struggling to remain clean are viewed as “uncivilised” in this era of shortcuts to wealth and dirty deal-making.

MORALITY IS ALIEN TO KENYANS

This is an age in the history of our nation when morality is an alien word and human feelings have gone numb.

That is why it has become normal for doctors who have taken the Hippocratic Oath to save lives to stand and watch as life drains from a patient simply because he cannot afford an exploitative hospital deposit.

That is why police officers can shamelessly let loose a rapist who has destroyed the life of a five year-old boy or girl.

That is why a teacher or official in charge can, without blinking an eye, open exam papers and circulate the questions on WhatsApp for Sh500 the day before the test is scheduled.

That is why a private developer will build highrise apartments across a river’s course without caring about the long-term impact on the environment.

That is why county officers can buy wheelbarrows for Sh109,000.

THE CORRUPT ARE THE HEROES

In this nation of the corrupt, what matters is “I”. Whatever happens to “you” is none of my business.

As long as my big belly is full, I drive a fleet of top-of-the-range vehicles, live in one of those leafy suburbs with manicured lawns, I can spew fireballs of tribal hatred yet nothing happens to me because I have the money to buy my freedom. Whatever happens to the rest of “you” does not concern me.

It is sad that as a nation, we have forgotten that we are like islands in the sea, separated on the surface but connected in the deep. We are no longer our brothers’ keepers.

In Kenya, the corrupt are the heroes and heroines. They are considered smart. They are the favourite sons and daughters. Money is the defining factor. How they make it is not important. The end justifies the means.

NATIONAL VALUES

The sad thing is that our nation offers no future promise of nationalism, honesty, justice, and selflessness.

The young people, who are the future of the nation, are fast learning that one can attain material affluence effortlessly.

Their role models are the wheeler-dealers who stop at nothing to achieve material wealth, not even ifit means wrecking lives or even taking them.

We have been socialised to embrace corruption as part of our daily lives, ready to corrupt or be corrupted. And with time, this degenerative trait has become part of our DNA.

It will take complete genetic reprogramming to bring our nation to the realisation that life is more than just amassing material wealth by any means possible without any regard for whomever we hurt along the way.

We need a new national DNA that lifts character and honesty to the pedestal.

SOURCE: DAILY NATION