By Blamuel Njururi, Kenya Confidential Editor-in-Chief, Nairobi – October 30, 2018
The economic ruin inflicted by the second biggest financial heist Gondenberg International along with Anglo Leasing, Triton and numerous others will be felt for decades into the future. Their perpetrators, many of them in multi-billion-shillings cartels, Central and County governments with their sons and daughters will not fold their hands and sit idle as Uhuru destroys their lucrative industry
President Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta took his third biggest risk of his political life this year when he declared war on Corruption in Kenya, which sank roots in the sunset years of his father’s regime in 1970s. If he loses it Uhuru will go home a disgraced and disappointed man and may not even see his presidency to the end in 2022, which he says he will not seek Constitutional amendment for another term.
Uhuru’s first serious political risk was in 2013 when against all odds and when most political analysts as well as many politicians thought he stood no chance, he decided to run for presidency. Many believed that, as a Kikuyu, Uhuru could not be elected to replace a fellow Kikuyu former President Mwai Kibaki.
The Presidential bid aside, Uhuru was facing crimes against humanity before the International Criminal Court and his detractors and pessimists comfortably dismissed him as a young man who stood no chance of clinching State House tenancy. Kenyans were abundantly warned by western governments, led by Super Power United States’ John Carson, that choices had consequences and their country would face a global backlash if they elected Uhuru.
Uhuru at International Criminal Court, The Hague
The young man listened to his mother and abandoned the idea of playing the second fiddle to Musalia Mudavadim who Kikuyu politicians planned to support against Raila Amolo Odinga for fear of his unpredictable political stunts and militarism. Uhuru mounted a presidential campaign no opponent could match financially and emerged victorious.
Come 2016 General Elections and he won easily against Raila but his victory was annulled by Chief Justice David Mariga majority bench of four judges against two. Uhuru could have decided to cling to power like most Africans his age do but he decided to take another risk by accepting the Supreme Court verdict and go for a re-run. That way the young man confounded his main rival Raila who opted out and Uhuru’s gamble paid of handsomely as he carried the day.
The third risk that Uhuru has taken is the fight against Corruption head on. Corruption is endemic in Kenya, deeply rooted and in recent years extremely rich multi-billion-shilling industry. Corruption is a life and death gamble whose fight will violently shake the socio-political and economic foundation on which Kenya rests. The common saying that corruption fights back will see the so-called dragon spill out billows of fire and spew volcanic flames that will burn far and wide.
My five decades of investigative journalism have taught me that corruption in Kenya is like the everlasting fires of Hell – literally and physically. Uhuru’s two predecessors were elected on anti-corruption tickets but their efforts were totally frustrated by the organised criminal cartels whose corruption industry has grown into a trillion-shillings-enterprise.
The embers of Kenya’s first multi-million-shilling scandal, KenRen, which I exposed in 1975 during Mzee Jomo Kenyatta regime are still smouldering even today – 43 years on. The conspirators behind the KenRen phantom fertilizer factory sued the Kenya government for which they were paid during the best part of both Dictator Daniel arap Moi and Kibaki regimes. The Uhuru government has never told Kenyans if they are still paying for it.
Similarly the first scandal of public land grabbing I exposed in 1978 of so-called private developers building Halal Meat Products factory on Veterinary Research farm at Ngong is still the subject of Court battles even today – 40 years.
The economic ruin inflicted by the second biggest financial heist Gondenberg International along with Anglo Leasing, Triton and numerous others will be felt for decades into the future. Their perpetrators, many of them in multi-billion-shillings cartels, Central and County governments sons and daughters their siblings will not fold their hands and sit idle as Uhuru destroys their lucrative industry.
Cash stolen from public coffers by civil servants and politicians has in recent years cascaded into local and foreign banks in volumes of billions of shillings, dollars, British pounds, Euros and all major foreign currencies that is hidden in offshore accounts. Part of the billions have been invested in real estate locally and in foreign lands. The cash invested in real estates stands out as some of the multi-storey office blocks in Upper Hill Nairobi, apartments blocks and palatial homes in all Kenyan cities and rural areas.
Some of the stolen cash has been found under mattresses in hundreds of millions in residential homes every time the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission, police and Directorate of Criminal Investigations staff raid suspects houses. It is common knowledge that whatever is declared is less huge amounts of money stashed into pockets of the investigators. What is not known is the real purpose of shutting large sums of money awat from currency circulation by the thieves.
One understandable purpose is to have a fall back gateway in case of arrests and trials or to meet the expenses of self-evacuation to escape arrest and to bribe authorities when they face legal complications. That money comes handy in situations of hiring paid assassins, hit men and mercenaries in a civil revolt or ethnic cleansing. In 2007-2008 post-election bloodbath and as recent as Mau Forest-related killings money was a very convenient weapon.
That is where President Uhuru problems in his fight against corruption lies – billions of shillings in the hands of heartless thieves. Thieves who have refused to honour his window of returning over Ksh 5 trillion stashed in off-shore accounts building foreign economies. His war on corruption could very well be the adage of jumping from a frying pan into the fire but Uhuru’s is more of jumping from economic fire burning the Kenyan Nation as a result of CORRUPTION onto a time BOMB that could blow his legacy and Big 4 Agenda into historical smithers.
To escape the booby trap President Uhuru must clean up his government by implement drastic changes without further delay. Partial stitching of his dilapidated, dysfunctional and lethargic government run by corrupt cartels will allow the brazen thieves time to regroup and terminate his Fight Against Corruption, which will not be won by the Office of Public Prosecutions and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations.
- Clean up State House of corruption cobwebs he once said are all over that have been built by individuals whose expiry date as visionary public servants are long expired and others who cannot explain their wealth hanging on as gate keepers,
- Clean up the Cabinet that evidently has corruption-tainted individuals, whose service in public or private sector leaves a trail of monumental disgrace they cannot run away from,
- Clean up and reduce the number of wasteful parastatals and so called independent commissions. There are parastatals that add no value to the Kenyan society including National Anti Corruption Steering Committee that remains invisible to the public even at this critical hour of need and,
- Ban civil servants from engaging in business. The situation of public service manpower shortage that existed in early 1970s when Duncan Ndegwa Commission flung the doors wide open for civil servants to indulge in private business no longer obtains. Globally employees do not trade with their employers.
President Kenyatta must clean up his government or perish into oblivion should the forces of evil defeat his War on Corruption. He must also engage ordinary Kenya citizens, who bear the brunt of Corruption as victims of extortion or denial of essential public amenities, to be integral part of the Fight Against Corruption. The citizens know where the shoe pinches and no general has ever won a war without foot soldiers.