Now that corruption is the trending topic, let me keep the trend going. Corruption is fraud against your own country. In a society, it is a moral topic, in church, it is a sin against neighbor but in a government, it is a system topic. For this reason, I do hope that behind the emotions being thrown around, there are a few individuals who are sober enough to realize that any monetary fraud is inherent in the system.

Fraud will occur because of three main reasons. Keeping it simple; Pressure, Opportunity and Rationalization.

Pressure is more of an individual sentiment. The financial emotional force towards money. Not greed. It could be a personal situation that your peers are doing better than you and you want to look the part leading your hands direct into the till. Maybe a financial hole in your personal finance, probably the bank is on your neck for the loan you haven’t paid up. It could be you are living beyond your means which results to one thing; a nagging financial deficit that has to go or get covered for your life to run smoother. So are our government officials under this kind of pressure? Are the accomplices succumbing to pressure? Peer influence? Loans? Are they not paid enough? Well, the jury is out there.

Opportunity being the ability to execute the crime without being caught is something I would recommend for that sober group to look into a bit deeper. See, if I reside within a system long enough, I almost certainly become part of the system. I know all the loopholes. So with all the cash moving around, I am best placed to tap into this system and boom! Could this be what is ailing us? I think YES. I have listened time without number to people asking for people to be jailed, heads to roll, big fish and personally, I think that only serves the emotional bit and its cosmetic. Not that the criminals should not be sentenced but that jailing will not cure. We all know that the sentence for armed robbery is life. Does that stop the criminals from executing their vices? Does the sentence prevent us from increasing our security budgetary allocation, training our officers and lighting our neighborhood? NO! It is my professional opinion that the system is weak. The IT system is weak. The segregation of duties and internal controls are weak. If we don’t up the system’s game? We will end up jailing all Kenyans.

Rationalization comes second in my “why” list after Opportunity. The personal justification that the fraud is not that bad. It’s only the first time. Ksh 9B is not everything. I do so much for them, I deserve this. Trying to get reasons why the crime is not fatal. I however think that rationalization cannot happen without an opportunity. It may also be caused by pressure; my mum is sick so I am saving a life. I wouldn’t have so much to say about rationalization since it is so skewed towards morals. With the right morals then a society can be saved.

With pressure, opportunity and rationalization, fraud, corruption occurs. Once again, behind the curtains of emotions and fashion, i do hope that the long-term interests are focused on the right purpose. Heal those systems. Kill the opportunity. Seal loopholes within the IT systems and let detection be fast and transparent. See, if the system cannot easily detect error, if the detection is questionable then the perpetrators will have a fiesta. Let’s have an effective system, easy to audit, detect errors, query, transparent and all the elements that a good financial management system needs to have. Let’s also have proper internal control systems; segregation of duties, job rotation et al. with these, you will punish fewer people and lose less money. To the team behind the curtains, over to you.