IN LOVING MEMORY OF INTEGRITY


Illustration: Joe Ngari, Daily Nation

Illustration: Joe Ngari, Daily Nation

My comrades are cruising at 200 kilometres per hour in the wrong direction. We are hurtling at neck-breaking speed towards the edge of the cliff, and nobody seems to be willing to apply the brakes and save us all from tumbling over.

If my column today reads like a piece in the obituaries section of this newspaper, it is only because that is exactly where my editor should have placed it.

Early last year, I penned a dejected piece mourning the death of Grandpa Richard’s bosom friend. His name was Integrity. Acting in the name of The Almighty Shilling and rapacious greed, my comrades had hatched and executed a heinous plan, which resulted in the ripping out of Integrity’s heart and soul. It was an awful murder. (Read: RIP INTEGRITY; TWAS AN AWFUL MURDER)

With Integrity lying in the morgue for close to a year now, Inuka Kenya boss John Githongo finally decided to pay his final respects a few days ago. He even read out Integrity’s eulogy, which he had prepared in the form of a report which stated that most Kenyan youths have no problem amassing wealth through tax evasion and corruption, as long as they do not end up in jail.

Immediately after skimming through the Kenya Youth Survey Report, Grandpa Richard, immediately asked for a cup of tea to calm his nerves and then took a nap to absorb the shock inflicted by the horrors in the report. He’s still sleeping, three days later.

Half of my comrades do not give a hoot what means one uses to make money. In other words, they are ready to loot, pillage, plunder, kill and commit a host of barbaric crimes just so they can become rich. The only thing they won’t do to become rich is work hard.

The eulogy, er report, went further to say that 35 per cent of Kenya’s youth are more than ready to give and receive bribes. Cataracts must be clogging my comrades’ eyes, for they see nothing evil in corruption as long as one makes a profit.

In fact,  news that someone in the government might have embezzled Sh140 billion of the Eurobond money doesn’t even make them raise an eyebrow. They yawn when you tell them that Treasury has become the slaughterhouse for the national pig, where politicians take home the juicy chunks of bacon, leaving the hoi polloi with nothing but the entrails. My comrades would do the same thing if they were in power. It makes me weep.

I mistakenly thought that the youth would champion a new Kenya. That we won’t join in the moral degradation of the current crop of leaders. Turns out we are but the fruits of a poisoned tree­ — deadly and completely inedible.

The notion that you can afford to be dishonest just because the end justifies the means is spurious for more reasons than I can count on my fingers and toes.

Such a culture gives birth to nothing but chicanery and mendacity.

They’ve driven a firm stake through the notion of integrity– that’s the problem with my comrades.

Read: (RIP INTEGRITY; TWAS AN AWFUL MURDER)

jowaljones

Jowal Jones is a columnist and correspondent with Kenya's leading newspaper, Daily Nation. He also dabbles in fiction works at times, hoping to be the next Stephen King. Sometimes he takes time out from writing to perfect his deer-dancing and goat-screaming skills.