As a matter of fact, just as Nairobi controls the giant share of business, trade and economy- after all, this is the biggest city in East and Central Africa- the city also controls the biggest share of corruption in the country.
For decades, the jostle to have a piece of the city has led to massive corruption in the acquisition of land and any space bestowed to the community for their use has ended up in the hands of wealthy business people and politicians.
Then one morning, Kenyans received news that the two main political competitors President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga have met and agreed to tone down political infighting. What has followed is unprecedented onslaught on corruption and impunity, which was part of the agreement between the two leaders.
However, the ghosts of the pasts are still weighing down the country. The city has been witnessing a series of demolitions meant to bring down buildings and structures wrongly constructed either on road reserves and riparian sections.
It all started with demolition of shanty structures on road reserves in Kibera. This operation which even met the opposition of United Nations saw flattening of homes as well as public utilities, at a massive cost in terms of demolition operation as well a loss in property for civilians.
Then came the big one, the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) which is keen to reverse construction on riparian land. This operation has seen property worth billions of shillings destroyed. Petrol stations, Malls and even Java Coffee House have been flattened. The South End Mall, built over Mbagathi River is estimated to have cost at least 1.5 billion shillings to build. Coupled with loss of property to traders occupying the building as well as loss of business will have a loss exceeding 3 billion shillings. This is the cost of impunity.
In a statement released early this year, the organization noted impunity was slowing down the economy. “KEPSA recognizes the value in advancing transparency and good governance and therefore calls for a firm approach to be taken to all the individuals and institutions involved,” KEPSA’s leadership said.
According to KEPSA,the intervention by the government and law enforcements agencies represents Kenya’s best chance of finally holding the perpetrators of grand corruption to account.