US donors could stop aid to Kenya over runaway corruption, says McCarter

US ambassador to Kenya Kyle McCarter. [Photo courtesy]

US Ambassador to Kenya Kyle McCarter has spoken tough on the continued plundering of resources in Kenya citing that this could trigger a stop of aid from the US donors to Kenya.

McCarter in a statement on Monday said that Kenya’s state of corruption is alarmingly high indicating that an estimated Ksh800 billion is lost through graft every year.

He sought to find out if the country’s youth are ready to put a stop to this should they get top leadership positions.

He said that US donors have already dealt with disappointments of donating aid to Kenya which ends up in people’s pockets.

“Why keep hauling water up a hill if Ksh800 Billion is leaking from the mutungi (container) all the way there? Will youth get in office and continue tradition or have they had enough? This donor has had enough,” he posed.

He added: “Nobody has really answered my question. Will the youth put a stop to this or just join the tradition of thievery? Youth? What do you say? Yes or No.”

Kenyan gets an estimated Ksh171 billion in aid by the US according to McCarter, most of which is channelled towards the health sector.

A sizeable amount is also channelled towards agriculture, social and infrastructural development. Aid by the US also plays a huge role in crisis and conflict management and resolution.

McCarter, known for his deep mastery of Swahili, has been vocal about Kenya’s runaway corruption often asking the authorities to take action on the culprits.

He is a staunch supporter of “Stop These Thieves”, an online campaign pooling activists and like-minded people to stop those stealing public resources.

The US Ambassador to Kenya since his appointment in 2019 by US President Donald Trump has reiterated that his advocacy to slay corruption in Kenya will remain a top priority.

His predecessors, Robert Godec, Michael Ranneberger and Scott Gration were also vocal on the anti-corruption campaign in Kenya.

True to his words, Ranneberger saw former Attorney General and now the Busia Senator Amos Wako banned from travelling to the US over a litany of corruption-related allegations and abuses of office.

Wako, in defence, dismissed the claims terming them “empty” and lacking basis.