A stop corruption sign. Some Kenyans are calling for a change of tact in the war against corruption given that the current strategy hasn't borne fruits. (photo: https://www.colourbox)

A stop corruption sign. Some Kenyans are calling for a change of tact in the war against corruption given that the current strategy hasn’t borne fruits. (photo: https://www.colourbox)

The only predictable thing about the Kenyan news cycle lately is that every week brings a new corruption scandal to deal with. From #Occopyplayground to #Chickengate to #PACgate, the hashtags can barely keep up with the torrent of sleaze. Amid the outcry and finger pointing, though, there are some that are proposing an unorthodox solution to Kenya’s corruption problem: a blanket amnesty.

The idea to give a blanket amnesty to Kenya’s corrupt dates back to 2007 but it has a new and eloquent proponent in Njeri Thorne, a political communications consultant

Thorne has won some converts among them noted columnist and activist Betty Waitherero. Like Thorne, Waitherero believes a blanket amnesty will allow Kenya to break out of the tired pattern of uncovering mega corruption scandals only to allow alleged culprits to get away scot-free after spending millions in half-hearted investigations and feeble prosecutions.

How would the blanket amnesty work? Thorne and Waitherero see the blanket amnesty as giving Kenya an opportunity to start on a clean slate on the war in graft after which the country can deal more ruthlessly with those that dip their fingers in the public till.

Predictably, the idea doesn’t enjoy universal appeal. Some Kenyans see a blanket amnesty as giving a pass to impunity, a move that could easily backfire.

Particularly outspoken in his opposition to the idea is blogger and pundit Patrick Gathara. Gathara feels Kenya’s successive administrations have given lip service to the war on graft and a blanket amnesty would be surrendering to the perpetrators of graft before the fight has even began.

There’s no question that Kenya is failing in the war against graft. We’re now at the point where the government is not so much fighting graft but presiding over an all you can eat corruption buffet. A point that unites all Kenyans of good will on all sides of the amnesty debate is that we need to put an end to corruption before the country implodes.

Indeed, to build a fair and stable country, we all must be invested in ensuring that the country breaks free from the clutches of corruption. To do that Kenya has to constantly experiment with different approaches of fighting graft. If the current strategy isn’t working then lets have a discussion about what else we can try. A blanket amnesty is not a perfect solution but the conversation it has sparked brings us closer to solving Kenya’s corruption problem. That’s better than giving in to hopelessness and despair.