Forensic investigations are well and good as any transaction that leaves a voice, electronic or paper trail often has a lot to say about the actual transaction itself, and even unmasks those involved.
Kenya is fast becoming a master at such reactive audits, usually couched with terms of reference demanding that suspected fraudsters step aside as various organs of Government attempt to make head or tail of certain transactions.
That was the case yesterday when the Prime Minister directed an in-depth investigation into allegations of misappropriation by national organs mandated and funded to deal with matters affecting the physically and mentally challenged.
The explosive exposé by KTN’s Jicho Pevu and The Standard newspaper was troubling as it unearthed layer upon layer of financial deceit and callous disregard for the welfare of the physically and mentally challenged. Some officials had the audacity to dare the Standard Group investigative reporters to “go ahead and publish” their findings. They should, perhaps, be careful with what they wish for the next time.
Publish and air blatant theft, we did and the feedback from a horrified public is scathing.
Granted, Kenya has for years been a very “closed society” mired in morass superstition and opacity in Government operations.
Few people are aware that Government has always funded the education of poor but bright children through a bursary scheme.
And how many know of the sports enhancement facility that is sent annually to every district, complete with a district
Even fewer are privy to the annual funding of programmes to make the lives of the disabled that more comfortable. Unfortunately, many a parent still harbour the ancient mindset where disability is seen as an automatic “curse”, and hide away, chain, abandon or even murder physically and mentally challenged offspring.
Even as fraudsters take advantage of loopholes occasioned by weak financial controls, insufficient capacity and oversight to police such a thorny health matter, men and women of goodwill and media spotlight (such as Jicho Pevu) must stand up for the right to a better life and opportunity for the less able in society. We can only measure our level of civilisation by the standard of living we have enabled our neighbour.