Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Fighting Corruption in Kenya - What Shall we do?

Psalm 11:1-7 “In the Lord I take refuge. How then can you say to me: "Flee like a bird to your mountain. For look, the wicked bend their bows; they set their arrows against the strings to shoot from the shadows at the upright in heart. When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do ?" The Lord is in his holy temple; the Lord is on his heavenly throne. He observes the sons of men; his eyes examine them. The Lord examines the righteous, but the wicked and those who love violence his soul hates. On the wicked he will rain fiery coals and burning sulfur; a scorching wind will be their lot. For the Lord is righteous, he loves justice; upright men will see his face.”

I am of the opinion that over all the arguments advanced on what, how and when of corruption, it remains a heart problem. It is driven and supported by hearts with a penchant to greed. It is greed rebranded.

The Psalmist asks us, when the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do? Indeed the righteous (men and women who love God with all their mind, soul, strength) in Kenya can do something. You and I are the ones to do this. Whether we shall do something including staying aloof is a choice we need to make personally. Inevitably our personal choice has public implications. Doing nothing will be a sign that we have resigned and approved that corruption is right. Martin Luther is on record as having said, “He that does not confront evil, commands it to be done”. It is thus true that evil will continue to prosper as long as good people do nothing.

So what must we do?

Seek Righteousness: We can only offer what we have and of who we are. Righteousness has to do with seeking to please God because we love Him and not just to obey a rule. Righteousness has to stem from a heart anchored and established on God. For God is righteous (Vs. 7). It goes without saying that you cannot love God and then go ahead to destroy the foundations of his people and his world. When asked the greatest Commandment, Jesus responded “Love the Lord your God….. and love your neighbor as yourself. For all the other laws are based on this”. Friends we must make laws (and indeed we have made many laws) on fighting corruption but none of this will make any impact unless we have hearts that are transformed. Not even a new constitution can stop this. Righteous people need to do something by being the messengers of truth taking it in every direction.

Be Upright: This is about being straight. It is being what people see and nothing else. It is about character. It has been said that we must watch our thoughts for they become our words, watch ours words for the become our actions, watch our actions for they become our habits, watch our habits for they become our character, and watch our character for it becomes our destiny. Character is above all, the most important thing in transforming a country like Kenya. Sun Tzu writes in His book The Art of War, “To win a war a general needs two things – character and strategy and if he must be without one then let it be character”. Amazingly, its is interesting that many of us, including all of you in this hall tonight, spend our lifetime working on our strategy but leave character to natural laws.

Do Justice: How fair are we in undertaking duties bestowed on us? How do we treat those under us? Are our actions based on love or desire to be superior and in control? Do we treat others as they ought to and as we would want to be treated? There are many laws in Kenya, but there is a scarcity of justice. Who will hear the cry of millions who have been unjustly treated? God is a God of justice and he ensures that we each get what we deserve. We never get more than what we deserve unless we have stolen. God is calling us as he did to the Israelites when they had abandoned his ways. He sent prophet Micah who prophesied, “What does the Lord require of you than to show mercy, act justly and walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8)

This i Believe. This I will do. This I encourage you to do.

In Service to God and My Country.


NB: This is from a Sermon shared in Jomo Kenyatta University of Science and Technology Main Campus in Juja on 24 March 2010. Email me for full script.

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