In the case of the 126 apartments that collapsed in Nairobi, the owner did not have an occupancy permit for the building. It had been built quickly and, according to neighbors, “shoddily.” The public outcry that followed the collapse led Kenyan authorities to audit multi-level buildings around the city; a total of 258 were identified as structurally at risk, the vast majority of them in poor neighborhoods.
Even in the secure, high-income neighborhood where my family lived, the apartment building that was being built across the street had been condemned by local authorities for being unsafe. Each time a condemnation was painted onto the building site in red paint, it was covered up the next day while construction continued.
Corruption like this compromises public safety, erodes the law, and provides impunity for immoral, destructive acts. It keeps accountability at bay, providing cover for evil of all kinds. As written in Proverbs 4:19, “But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble.”
Corruption also keeps the poor as poor and the powerless as powerless.