THE STATESMAN OPINION: CS Matiang’i, On ‘Wash Wash’ And Money Laundering – Unataka Tufanye Nini?
On our kicker, Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i has lately been making some spine-chilling projections about the forthcoming general election. By my count, the Cabinet Secretary has for the second time now made the statement that the next Parliament may be populated by money laundering criminals because, according to Matiang’i, the money launderers commonly known as ‘wash wash’ are running the show in the ongoing campaigns.
Matiang’i made the statement in April here in Nairobi. On Tuesday this week, the national security boss was back at it, this time before a rather apt conference on criminal justice system reforms in Naivasha.
The chilling warnings in Nairobi and Naivasha were identical almost word by word. Money launderers, watu wa wash wash are controlling campaign funding and at least 40 per cent of them may end up in the Houses of Parliament. Now that is nerve-wracking stuff. It is terrifying. 40 per cent is significant, especially if this is in addition to whatever number we may already have. CS Matiang’i, this is scary! Alarming! Unsettling! Even distressing! But I have one question to Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i. My question is simple and I must admit my question is not even original. Here is my simple question Mr Matiang’i: “unataka tufanye nini?”
Yes CS, you have told us, warned us, advised us, notified us and even counseled us that if we as Kenyans are not careful, money launderers will constitute 40 per cent of our next elected leadership after the August election. So, unataka tufanye nini?
But I also ask in jest because this cry-baby culture among people charged with such solemn national responsibilities is no longer new. In what Kenyans must find truly troubling, it has become regular to see senior public officials in very critical positions of responsibility turning into weeping babies and wailing experts who mistakenly think it is a measure of good performance for them to lament and sound helpless in public. It is to say the least, a most irritating and utterly irresponsible.
Here is to CS Fred Matiang’i. Stop your lamentations. Money laundering is a crime in Kenya under the Proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Act. If you have witnessed such a flood of wash wash of money launderers at work, act – don’t talk. On this one, it is advisable to make more use of your office and boardroom than conference platforms. That is where quietly and diligently appointed persons that include yourself, the police Inspector General, the Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) can plan how to put to work the state instruments of law and order. Go catch those money launderers and take them to court because it is the perfectly lawful and dutiful thing to do. Don’t lament, act. Because if you don’t, unataka tufanye nini?
That is our kicker!