The employees and security personnel of a cash transportation company colluded to run away with cash on their way from the client’s office to the bank. However, one of them tipped the police with the view that the police should chase and shoot all the others and share the loot with him. Unfortunately, during the chase, he was one of those shot. The police were unable to stop the escape and three robbers successfully ran away with the money.
One of the robbers was apprehended and after interrogation, he revealed that the money was to be buried in some desolate piece of land belonging to a very old man. The commanding officer sent his best men, with the instruction to recover that money and bring it back for them to share at the police station.
When they got to the Old man’s home, they asked him where the money was and he said he had no idea. But he referred them to a nearby forest where he said he had spotted some digging activity. “Maybe the money you are looking for was being buried there,” said the old man. He requested that if they find the cash, they should at least consider sharing with him for he has helped them. They walked away, wondering why such an old man could be so timid to request for a share of the money.
In the forest, they found three people, sitting and relaxed, playing chess. They immediately pointed guns at them and asked them to show them where the money was. To which they promptly answered they had buried it fifteen feet underground.
The policemen thought of the daunting task of digging fifteen feet and decided it was better to strike a deal with the thieves. “How much money have you buried down there?” One policeman asked. “80 million shillings”. A thief responded. “Ok, you dig it out, we share equally”. The policemen knew they would walk away with a cool 50 million leaving the thieves with 30 million. They would, of course, report back to their senior that the operation was unsuccessful and keep the money.
After one hour of digging, the thieves said they were too hungry to continue with the job and they needed assistance. Two policemen were promptly sent to town to buy food and water, for the whole group. When they got to town, they agreed to additionally buy poison and lace the food so that all the others can die and they share the loot equally.
As the thieves continued to dig, the policemen decided to sit down and play the game of chess. The thieves thought, “there are only three policemen, we can ambush them as they are playing and slay all of them. When the others come back we shoot them too, and keep the whole loot”.
They slew the three policemen, and waited for the other two to arrive, upon which they shot them. The robbers then took the poisoned food and indulged themselves and also died.
All this while, the old man was watching from his vantage point, and he came and dug five minutes and packed the whole loot in bags and took to his house.
Most governments come to power through a pledge to stop corruption. All oppositions worldwide will always find corruption in the existing government and exploit it to ascend to power. The players in the new government will quickly realize that they can personally gain from the national kitty.
Opportunities will present themselves such as Companies wishing to get contracts offering a huge cut for the government officials, projects whose accounting is not up to scratch and generally loopholes in the system that requires high levels of integrity and morality to overlook or seal, instead of exploiting.
The Moi government was corrupt through Goldenberg etc, the Kibaki government hatched the Anglo-leasing etc and UhuRuto government came to power on the promise to end corruption, however, what we hear now are deafening noises of who has stolen from NYS, Afya house, Youth fund etc, the list is endless.
In reality, everyone is a thief, waiting for an opportunity to present itself. As stated by the Interior Cabinet Secretary recently, if the society is corrupt, and corruption permeates all sectors of the economy, it is quite difficult to end the vice in a few years. To win the fight, commitment at all levels especially the top level is required and everyone must be involved.
When we embezzle public funds that are meant for projects or completely siphon cash out of our parastatals and government-owned companies, aren’t we leaving our future governments to borrow from foreigners such as Chinese, Europeans, and Americans? When we borrow from these people, aren’t we leaving our future generations at their mercy? Aren’t these foreigners the old man in the story?
Immediately the top involves itself in corruption, it signals a free for all eating culture where there is no one standing on a moral high ground to tell the other it is wrong. The story above illustrates how a system can choke itself to extinction if corruption is not checked.