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The East African : Apr 13th 2015
The EastAfrican 20 OPINION APRIL 11-17,2015 Which way, Uhu≥u? Will his new path lead him to t≥ansfo≥m how Kenya is gove≥ned? Instead of bei satisfied with the biggest ec in East Africa should be extr dissatisfied w small size.” Tee Ngugi leadership that will do three things, which I will summarise below. First, we need a leadership that W will reorient the way we think about ourselves and our potential. For a long time, we have been socialised by inept leadership to have low expectations of ourselves. So, for instance, Kenyans are satisfied if they are doing better than Somalia and other failed states. In the Nyayo era, almost every meeting began with prayers thanking God for sparing us the strife in neighbouring countries. Again, instead of being satisfied with being the biggest economy in East Africa, we should be extremely dissatisfied with its small size com- e all know that what Kenya needs if it is to overcome its underdevelopment is a transformative pared with countries such as Malaysia. Instead of priding ourselves on the Thika Super Highway, we should be asking ourselves why the roads to Mombasa and to Kisumu are not superhighways. We should be ashamed of the regular food shortages in Turkana and other areas, not pride ourselves in not being as famine-prone as Ethiopia. Why are we satisfied with our uni- versities being ranked 20th or worse in Africa, and tenfold worse when the context is the world? We must begin to define ourselves as people who accept nothing but the very best, and then guess what? The best will begin to happen to us. Radical change Next, we need a leadership that will radically change the way we do our development business. This means that we cannot continue with the same corrupt practices, inefficiencies and wastage, and the same orthodoxies that have underpinned our underdevelopment. Why do we keep on tolerating mega corruption scandals, from one administration to the next, as if corruption were encoded in our genes? Why do we keep hiring lackadaisical individuals to run important sectors such as education and agriculture? It is now clear that without the investments and innovations South Korea made in the education sector, it would not have achieved the spectacular transformation it has. Here, we have the likes of Joseph Kaimenyi and Felix Koskei whose leadership and innovation in education and agriculture respectively are as cutting edge as the person still using the typewriter. Clearly, we must jettison the prac- tice of hiring people to important positions on the basis of political loyalty and tribe, and substitute merit and innovation. Transform archaic govt Last, we need a leadership that will transform our archaic governance and political culture to conform to the requirements of democratic constitutionalism. Africa has never had a democratic tradition. Pre-colonial African society, contrary to the demagoguery of cultural nationalists, was in every important sense an autocratic gerontocracy. On its part, the colonial era used decrees to deny Africans full participation in the political process and in the economy. Then the post-Independence regime metamorphosed into an ethno-fascist state in which the state became captive to a super wealthy, ethnically related clique. The wealth and power of this clique was protected by a pervasive police apparatus, complete with secret po- lice, torture chambers and a compliant judiciary. I have always been sceptical of the Uhuru Kenyatta government’s ability to provide transformative leadership as defined above, and with good reason. He and his deputy were part of Kanu, the party whose policies spawned the very evils a transformative leadership would seek to change. And yet in his State of the Nation address last month, Uhuru Kenyatta signalled a radical departure that embraces transformation in the three areas I have highlighted. Instead of just gloating over his administration’s achievements, like his predecessors would have done, he emphasised things that still needed to be done. He then directed Cabinet secretaries and other leaders mentioned with regard to corruption scandals to step aside. And courageously, he apologised for the Ken- In his State of the Nation address, instead of just gloating over his administration’s achievements, like his predecessors, he emphasised things that still needed to be done yan state’s crimes against the people of Kenya and, just as boldly, asked parliament to pass the TJRC report. The words of Gabriel Dolan with regard to Uhuru’s address could not be more pertinent: “Mr Kenyatta has chosen a singular, lonely path that could thrust him to greatness or onto the scrapheap” (Saturday Nation, April 4). Which way, Mr President? In the face of c≥ime, the ≥ule of law can p≥otect development confronts crime. Back in October 2013, rescuers came T across a grisly scene in the Sahara desert close to the border between Niger and Algeria. Spread out across a 20 km radius were the bodies of 92 people; most of them women and children. All of them had died of thirst as they sought to escape the punishing sun. The migrant group had been travelling in two trucks, but the first one broke down and the second left for repairs. The migrants were stranded. After waiting five days, the group struck out to look for water. Only 21 people survived when they managed to reach towns on the Algerian side of the border. These migrant deaths illustrate a terrible fact about our world. Crime is leeching the life force out of vulnerable and fragile countries, and by doing so, undermining our global efforts to lift billions out of poverty. Below the Sahara, the territories are in- fested with criminals who prey on migrants seeking to move to Europe. Women, children and men, whose desire to go to another country is so fierce they are prepared to cross a vast desert with some of the highest daily temperatures on record. But this story is not unique to North Af- rica. Across the world, in the biggest migration since the Second World War, people are in motion. These individuals are undertaking perilous journeys in boats across roaring seas, via treacherous land routes or by air. he 13th Crime Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in Doha next week will set the tone over the next five years for the way the world Opportunis links betwe criminals a terrorists a being form traffic drug Yu≥y Fedotov And they are dying in large numbers. Many reasons exist for this tragedy. Some people are desperately trying to take families away from brutal conflict and insecurity, others are driven by economic necessity. Migrants then fall into the hands of criminal networks and are cruelly exploited. Rampant corruption fuels these and other crimes, but it also diverts funds from the public sector, preventing children receiving invaluable education, and much needed healthcare. It is estimated that public money amounting to between $20 billion and $40 billion leaves developing countries in the form of corruption. Opportunistic links between criminals and terrorists, although not new, are also being formed to traffic drugs and other illicit goods. Forest crime represents up to 30 per cent of the global timber trade. The trade in illegal timber from Southeast Asia to the European Union and other parts of Asia was worth an estimated $3.5 billion in 2010. Unregulated trade in charcoal also results in lost revenue of around $1.9 billion from African countries. Wildlife crime has a huge cost for humans and is worth as much as $2.5 billion in East Asia and the Pacific alone. The destruction of wildlife, causing many species to teeter on the edge of extinction, damages tourism. Trafficking in resources is an ongoing theft from developing nations. Changing views on crime Transnational organised crime is worth an estimated $870 billion annually and comes in many forms. Its violence destroys communities. The UN Office on Drugs and Crime—UNODC—counted 437,000 homicides globally in 2012. Many of these deaths occur in developing nations where the loss of an income earner can have an irreparable impact on a family’s future. Views on crime are thankfully changing. The links between crime and development are recognised in ways they were not before. Countries also accept that development can be protected by the rule of law, fundamental human rights, strong, but fair, criminal justice systems and zero tolerance of corruption. But to turn back the criminal tide more needs to be done. If the rule of law is to wrestle development out of crime’s clutches, law enforcement must focus on anti-money laundering activities. Greater co-operation also needs to take place to ensure that information on crime is shared and that joint operations across borders take place. The international community is currently facing tremendous challenges in the areas of conflict, security and peace. It is also seeking to agree on the new development agenda that will transform the lives of billions. In all this welcome action, I see a tremen- dous opportunity to promote criminal justice reform and to strengthen the rule of law — particularly in the areas of fairness, dignity and equality. It is a chance for the world to take the rule of law, and its cousins crime prevention and criminal justice, out from the wings where they have been waiting and place them in the vanguard of the UN’s work. If this is done, sustainable development will receive the protection it needs from crime’s ravages. This week sees the start of the 13th Crime Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in Doha from 12-19 April, the largest and most diverse gathering of policymakers and practitioners in the area of crime prevention and criminal justice. It comes ahead of the Summit on Sustainable Development in September when the world will agree on the new development agenda. Crime causes misery and death. It cannot be allowed to hamper our plans for sustainable development. Along with UNODC, I am committed to using the 13th Crime Congress as the first step not just to improve criminal justice responses, but towards a better quality of life for everyone. Yu≥y Fedotov is executive di≥ecto≥ of the UN O∞ce on D≥ugs and C≥ime.
Apr 6th 2015
Apr 19th 2015