We are still a society that kills petty thieves stealing potatoes yet we compensate thieves that stole billions from this country. I’ve watched with great amusement the recent drama following the government’s decision to pay compensation to the Angloleasing firms, this isn’t news to me because this was going on anyway. Thieves’ paying themselves is nothing different, there have been several scandals, some known to Kenyans and some still remain unknown. The purchase of Passats to replace fuel guzzlers seems to come to mind, I wonder where those Passats disappeared to, because recently I seem to see the very same fuel guzzlers we were told Passats were to replace, but that’s a story for a different day.
The government of Kenya was fully aware of the contracts way before the dossier reached the anti-corruption
agencies. The reason the scandal was transferred from the Moi to the Kibaki regime was because greedy people within the Kibaki administration instead of stopping the scandal, decided to treat it as a cash cow. Angloleasing was formulated during Moi’s regime because it stems back to 1997 contracts to get Kenyans new generation passports. Moi as usual was dealing with the very same characters we have become accustomed to, The Pattnis’, Ketan Somaia, Anur Pereira and the Kamanis’. These are wealthy Kenyan Indian families known for their shrewd business sense and a lack of morals when it comes to corruption, they all have hands in several corruption scandals stretching far beyond our borders, these are the people Moi decided to be in business with and to fleece Kenya of billions of not Kenyan shillings but dollars.
In 2002 Kenyans rejoiced at Uhuru park at the exit of Moi from Kenyan politics and indeed the old man faced a humiliating exit, his motorcade even being pelted with stones, In his speech following the oath of office Mwai Kibaki urged Kenyans to help him fight corruption, he promised to fight it with zeal and things started off well, the appointment of the credible and competent John Githongo to the Ethics and Anti-corruption docket, was hailed as a bold and positive move in the fight against corruption. The setting up of the independent Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (KACC) under the directorship of Justice Aaron Ringera was also seen as promises being fulfilled but in less than 5 years the Kibaki administration would find itself embroiled in its own corruption scandals and a few that Moi had left his fingerprint on. The new free media under Kibaki began to uncover secrets left behind by Moi and little by little ghosts from the past came to haunt us all, whether it was the torture chambers at Nyayo house or the Angloleasing scandal, what Kibaki promised he never delivered, Moi remained free and never answered to the crimes of his administration impunity was to continue being the order of the day and once one sin is let gone, then the rest must also be excused, this was the shame that came to describe the end of the Kibaki regime, that despite high hopes with regards to what is still considered our greatest enemy of economic growth, corruption remains the same. Government colludes with private sector criminals to defraud the tax payer, the script remains the same. I guess somewhere between his entry in to statehouse and trying to retain the seat after a bitter falling out with one time all Odinga, Kibaki’s inner circle turned a blind eye on corruption and had eyes focused on getting their man re-elected at all cost. In the end a violence marred election led to a coalition government that added an extra financial burden on the Kenyan tax payer.
When Angloleasing in the Kibaki administration was exposed by Githongo, the culprits began the denials and as usual behavior of retreating to one’s ethnic cocoons and complaining that one’s tribe is being targeted. The government players and private individuals involved in the scandal were and are still known and it is fact that Kibaki’s government was hell bent on a cover-up because those involved were the president’s friends, Awori, Kiraitu, Mwiraria, Murungaru, Gitonga and co. Despite the offer for assistance by several countries to help investigate the saga, the office of the attorney General under Amos Wako refused to release vital documents and slowed down the investigation to a standstill, the same was done for the Triton oil scandal where despite the UK government arresting the main suspect Yagnesh Devani and asking the Kenyan government to arrange documents for evidence to facilitate his extradition to Kenya, things were slowed down and documents were now somehow missing, once again there seemed to be a conceited effort to frustrate any efforts to bring Yagnesh to Kenya by forces within government meaning Mr. Devani remains in England while the scandal remains unresolved. It is not the first time that forces within government have sabotaged the course of justice and indeed our current president cannot pretend that he was not privy to any corruption scandals while he held the Finance docket. The easy way out for those involved seems to pay the money to make the allegations go away, there is no attempt to prosecute anyone because that would mean turning against his friends
As a protégé of both Moi and Kibaki, our current president knows who is responsible for his growth in Kenyan politics, he knows who buttered his bread and he’s played along knowing that if he wanted to succeed the two, he would have to turn a blind eye to the shady going ons’ in the previous two administrations. Having served under both KANU and PNU regimes, he is not new to corruption, everyday whether it is at the ministry of lands, or ministry of finance, there is someone who turns a blind eye to corruption and in my eyes they are as guilty as the perpetrator. The more we keep quiet about corruption, the more we tolerate it, the more we make it normality, and the easier it becomes the order of the day. Kenyans have now been accustomed to new scandals coming up and we resign our selves in the thought that: there goes another one and deep down we know just like the previous one, it will not be solved and in the end it is us the tax payers who will end up paying more billions to the same people who have defrauded us.
Politics in Kenya is an opportunity for the elite to do business(Raila, Awori, Devani and Uhuru)
We deserve what we get and we must pay because we choose the same people who break the same promises. We make the rich richer, we neglect the poor and the weak, that is not a society that God would bless, our purpose in life is to elevate those who are less privileged than us yet driven by greed we only seek to enrich ourselves. If we choose to recycle the same rubbish if we choose to dress up KANU in a PNU jacket or a TNA jacket or ODM, nothing changes unless we make it change. If you do what you have always done, you keep being what you have always been. The status quo is capable of nothing short of maintaining the status quo. The loyalty we have among Kenyan thieves in government means friend won’t turn against friends, the shouts of corruption only come out of their mouths when friend turns in to foe. The future cannot be built on a lie, if we live a lie then we deserve to stay poor, we deserve to keep paying for the scandals perpetrated by the same people we call our leaders. Kibaki never turned on Moi despite several scandals coming to light after his departure, the old man retired richer and comfortable than the electorate he had tortured and looted from for years, the same way Uhuru will not turn on those in the Kibaki government, Kibaki has retired richer and we continue to make him so, we built him a house and pay him monthly up keep. Therefore we cannot expect Uhuru to go against Kiraitu, Moody Awori, Alfred Gitonga and many of his other friends who he has now distributed to several ministries and parastatals. His loyalty is to his inner circle first, yet the electorate that vehemently defends him is the same one complaining about the current payments.
Angloleasing however also has a political angle, it is rumored that it was tolerated by the powers that be to raise funds for the then Kibaki Tena campaigns. So now we pay back Mr. Pereira his co. conspirators stay safe and rich Moi,Moody Awori, Mwiraria, Murungaru or Gitonga will never see a court case against them, the guilty will go free and the victims will pay, we pay because we have become a lazy society that chooses to pay off a thief rather than to seek justice if that is our fate, then so be it. Change will come when we unite to overthrow this evil order, justice must one day be our shield and defender
We get what we deserve in the end and if we choose to recycle the same people come the next election we cannot expect any different, we deserve to pay because insanity is doing the same thing over and over yet expecting different results. I don’t think presently there is any fight against corruption as long as greed lives it will remain in fact many of us now days just turn the other cheek and move on we have become immune to it. In Kenya we condemn corruption yet we forgive the perpetrators, as if condemnation alone will reverse the damage done by these scandals. Corruption means your children are denied a decent education and therefore a decent future, corruption means patients die in hospitals, innocent people die on our roads and when they die we cannot bury them because corruption even robs us of cemeteries to bury our dead. Corruption means death and the more we tolerate it the more we die as a society.
Kenya’s corruption scandals stretch back to 1963 and they begin with the Mau Mau being denied their dues and land that was to be returned to the natives who had their lands forcefully taken by the colonialist ending up in the hands of people in the Kenyatta administration. This to date is referred to as the first betrayal and as the years have gone by, the greed has grown stronger. For years I have sung our national anthem with pride, a prayer that asks God to bless our land and nation, justice be our shield and defender(yet to be realized) may we dwell in unity( we are divided by tribalism a tool used by politicians to divide and conquer) peace and liberty( where is the peace and our civil liberties are abused by the very people who should protect us, police brutality comes to mind) plenty be found within our borders(we have plenty but not equitably shared, plenty is in the hands and pockets of politicians). In 50 years we have failed to live by the principles of our national anthem, which begs the question: When will justice really be our shield and defender? The agencies that are tasked with protecting the tax payer and ensuring the rule of law are among the most compromised and indeed most corruption scandals are executed under the protection and secrecy of our own security agents, subterfuge in my own words.
The problem we have in Kenya is that the heads of security organs are appointed through a process full of political interference and ethnic bias. If security forces were independent of this interference, if they only took instruction from the constitution and not from the political class, if they refused to bow to political pressure if there only was motivation was the execution of justice for all, Kenya’s economic growth would be a considerable force not only in Africa, but the world over, instead we have a security organ that is secretive, corrupt and only protects the wealthy connected political class who seem to be the major players in the corruption scandals. Truth as the wikileaks cables suggest security agents have either no capacity to investigate those involved, Kenya is yet to have an elite squad in the police force to investigate financial cases, fraud and the capability to carry out forensic audits can only be done by private auditing firms such as PWC and KPMG. Security forces have been for a long time said to protect the
interest of the perpetrators rather than the victims who are the Kenyan tax payers who now have to foot the bill running in the Billions all the while the same government cannot feed its people some who are dying of hunger. Until we root out the evil in our security forces and retain those who are willing to protect the weak and ensure the rule of law, until we empower our security organs be it through education, equipment so that they can keep with the times, technology has moved on but we still have a force using 1950 typewriters. Angloleasing denied Kenya the existence of a modern forensic laboratory and satellites supposed to monitor criminal activity, technologies which would have been useful in the wake of the recent onslaught by terrorists reeking havoc on innocent Kenyans. The day we have an intelligent, well equipped, law-abiding, justice orientated security force(police & military) who understand the meaning of utumishi kwa wote, that will be the day politicians would fear the people, that would be the day politicians would fear the consequences of corruption, for now we have to contend with carrying the burden of land corruption stemming from colonial and Kenyatta senior era, Goldenberg, maize scandal, cemetery saga, dubious land scandals will continue so will the subsequent demolitions. Kenya will change when the weak are protected by an uncorrupted security force and a citizenry willing to fully abide by the law.