Click on the image for all the information YOU need!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

John Githongo - ‘I KNEW TOO MUCH’

In a 91-page dossier addressed to his employer, His Excellency the President of Kenya, former Permanent Secretary for Governance and Ethics John Githongo provides a rather sinister insight into corruption in high places. Here are some extracts:

On 3 March 2004, my department was provided with information that suggested that a non-existent company called Anglo Leasing and Finance had been awarded a contract by the Immigration Department in the Ministry of Home Affairs and a three per cent down-payment of around $1.2 million had been paid.

On a trip to Britain, Githongo finds that there is no such entity as Anglo Leasing and Finance registered there. He informs President Kibaki that several senior Kenyan government officials may be implicated in a corruption plot and names them. Kenya Anti Corruption Commission investigators confirm that everything points to a ‘gigantic attempted fraud’. In addition to the $1.2 million commitment fee, a payment of $4.6 million is being processed for payment to Anglo Leasing on the same project. Interior Minister Chris Murungaru announces the cancellation of the Anglo Leasing contract pending the completion of investigations.

14 May – Once I arrived home I received a telephone call from Ambassador Francis Muthaura. He informed me that Anglo Leasing had contacted him and assured him that they were going to repay the money, which he described as a great success.

17 May – Hon Kiraitu Murungi stepped into my office unannounced. He expressed concern about the way the Anglo Leasing investigation was going. He told me people were concerned whether I appreciated the political costs of my work. He told me it was hoped once Anglo Leasing paid back the money the investigation would stop.

Githongo receives a visit from an old friend of his father’s who also has friends in the cabinet:

His advice to me was to be particularly careful; there was no way senior ministers were not involved in the Anglo Leasing affair. He warned me that ‘Murungaru [the Interior Minister] would not let you destroy them, they will kill you first’. He also warned me quite logically that if the stability of the regime was threatened then the President would stop backing me.

25 May – Ambassador Francis Muthaura called me to question the legal authority of the KACC [Kenya Anti Corruption Commission] to conduct the investigation; he even queried if the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act was a reasonable piece of legislation at all.

A couple of days later it is disclosed that Anglo Leasing has been paid for another project – a contract for a police forensic laboratory. Though no work has actually been done roughly $5 million has been paid, ministers having taken advantage of US terrorism-related fears to expand what was a small project into a ‘cash cow’. A letter is delivered to Githongo which confirms that the Central Bank of Kenya has received $4.7 million from Shroeder and Co Bank AG Zurich on behalf of its client Anglo Leasing and Finance Company and an additional $6.5 million has been paid back by Infotalent, another bogus company.

I found this unsettling. We acknowledged, your Excellency, who the key players in the scams were. At that time, Sir, you advised me not to hand over... files to the Attorney General for prosecution just yet and to delay sending the Infotalent file to the KACC.

Meanwhile the press is calling for ministers to be sacked. Ambassador Muthaura makes an obfuscating statement in a press release that goes into bureaucratic detail of the forensic laboratories project. An angry Githongo goes to the President:

23 June – Your Excellency, you will remember I rushed down to your office in what I shall admit was an ill-advisedly emotional mood and warned that... this was actually lying to the Kenyan people.

There are other developments – and revelations:

29 June – I met with Hon Kiraitu [Murungi] at his office. Essentially he said that Anglo Leasing was ‘us’ – our people. He said that no matter what, he did not have what it took to countenance the arrest of Chris Murungara for corruption because they had ‘too much history’. He was blunt and emotional. He admitted that people like Murungara were key to the transactions of Anglo Leasing and even though he personally did not have the details the reason given to him was that the money was needed for political fundraising.

By this time the Anglo Leasing Affair has become a national and international scandal:

The diplomatic community led by British High Commissioner Edward Clay visited the President and spent two hours with him. The overwhelming donor support for me and my office caused me tremendous discomfort but I had to live with it. At this time, interestingly, I came under renewed pressure to issue a statement on Anglo Leasing – essentially one that would say ‘all was OK’. I refused – it was too ridiculous and I was convinced that Kenyans would laugh in my face.

Another mysterious payment is made to the Central Bank by one of the non-existent companies involved in security procurement for $910,000. It comes from Silverson Forensic, drawn on a bank in Liechenstein, Landsbank AG.

By 20 October the list of suspect contracts by fictitious companies grew by the day and the cast of characters was the same. In my estimation we were sitting on roughly $700 million worth of contracts – some of them highly dubious. If one brought in the even murkier and more secret military ones, then the figure was over $1 billion. From what I had been told by some of the perpetrators themselves and as His Excellency the President acknowledged to me on several occasions – we had a major graft problem and it was being perpetrated by characters within our administration... I met with Simeon Nyachae and he explained that Hon Murungaru was involved in raising five billion shillings for the next election through these schemes.

Githongo meets with Justice Aaron Ringera, head of the KACC:

8 November – His analysis was grim and he admitted that once graft reaches the President he won’t touch it. He observed that I was now a prisoner in my job because I knew too much. I was surprised when he told me that if I tried to leave ‘they’ could even try to kill me.

Evan Mwai, a government auditor, tells Githongo he fears for his own personal safety because of the information he is uncovering about the ‘security financing companies’ . Githongo concludes that:

The modus was clear: the Government of Kenya would enter a contract with a number of the financing entities that did not exist which mean the Government had no legal recourse. In most contracts the Government started debt repayments before substantive implementation of the projects had begun... The bogus financing companies... then proceeded to charge interest on what are in truth fictitious loans by the Government to itself...

The reports and findings by the Controller and Auditor General conclude that there are several Anglo Leasing type deals in excess of $200 million. But still ministers are pressurizing the auditor to authorize dubious payments. Githongo urges him not to.

14 January – Hon Kiraitu Murungi came to my office and pointed to me and said that party elections were around the corner and I was the one holding up the financing of these elections.

Bizarre and disturbing conversations take place with Kiraitu Murungi and Chris Murungaru during which they openly admit to Githongo that the suspect contracts were all along schemes to raise political finance. They infer that he is undermining the Party.

I played possum saying I was keen not to undermine the Party. But it was a final call – after this I calculated they had few or no options left. They have bared their souls to me. By coming to me knowing full well I had direct access to the President meant they were not at all worried that I would report them to the President. Hon Murungara pointed out that the President had once been Minister of Finance and he understood how these things are done.

At that point Githongo realized he had to get out of Kenya. He tendered his resignation on 24 January 2005 while on a trip to Britain, where he has been since.


Phil said...

Anti-corruption campaigners have something to celebrate at last, albeit with a pinch, actually a handful, of salt. Kibaki has 'rejected' a bill that would have blocked the Anti-Corruption Commission from investigating and/or prosecuting cases that took place before 2003. KACC has been sitting on its laurels for the last few years and in this election year is unlikely to inititiate any prosecutions.

Raila Odinga, has pledged a comprehensive crackdown on graft in Kenya – of whatever vintage. As the former anti-corruption czar, John Githongo, says: ‘Anti-corruption is good politics.’ Behind the posturing, the corrupt networks are trying to conceal their tracks. The spirit of self-interest was evident in the cross-party support for the amended bill that would have barred any prosecutions for the Anglo-Leasing swindle under Kibaki and the Goldenberg scam under his predecessor, Daniel arap Moi.

Another key supporter was Kenneth Merende, a strident ally of Odinga, but Kibaki ally Chris Murungaru and Moi’s son Gideon (extensively named in thee Kroll Report as TARGET II) are also backing the bill. Raila Odinga may struggle to explain the match between his political allies and his anti-graft campaign. For now, Kibaki will have to struggle harder. Last week, a parliamentary commission recommended the prosecution of two of his key allies – Security Minister John Michuki and State House advisor Stanley Murage – for links to the mysterious Artur brothers, who have been charged in absentia for drugs and firearms offences.

Anonymous said...

Phil, you seem to know a lot about Kenya's mega scandals. that's fine. But how comes you never write about the molasses scandal? or it was never a scandal because it involved Raila? What about Kibera CDF? How has it been used and why are the poor wananchi complaining of lack of simple facilities such a toilets in Kibera? Was the Kibera CDF used in buying the second hand US army junk? Do you think the idiot is a sunday school teacher? No, he is a thief like the group of rutos, kosgeys, ntimamas that he has picked to sorround him? Kioko. BC, Canada.

Anonymous said...


Is this it? Copy and paste previous articles?


Marianne Briner said...

This is all too familiar for me and it seems history is repeating itself in Kenya:

When I finally reached Daniel arap Moi in November 1989 - after I had tried in vain to call him many times on his direct line - via his private John F. Addley from Kaplan & Stratton, and had been able to inform him (Moi) about the corruption (as much as it was connected to the projects I had been involved in) and sent to him on his request all the underlying documents ...... and he read them as confirmed by Addley (I have all the faxes underlying this), the 'result' was that ' they ' (Biwott and Oyugi but with Moi's consense as several witnesses have confessed to John Troon from Scotland Yard but most importanly also to the Sunguh-led-Committee) have ordered the killing of Dr. Ouko in 1990 because they thaught him behind my approach to Moi ...........

But - and that's the real tragedy of all this - they (and here I refer only to Biwott and Oyugi) were totally wrong: Dr. Ouko did not know about my approach to President Moi - Dr. Ouko only knew about it after my meeting with Moi had been confirmed to take place around the middle of February after their return from the United States and I informed him about it .........

There is only one objection to all this: I had - on proposal of the Swiss Embassy who had read my Shining-Star-Script before it was published - sent it also to John Githongo (the Swiss even gave me his email-address) - but I never got any reply nor any reaction (although I even called his contacts which the Swiss had passed to me) - this I found and still find very strange -----------
so maybe he or somebody else can explain this to me ????????????

And just to complete the picture: The Swiss had also advised me to get into contact with Aaran Ringera for the same reason - and Mr. Ringera replied and we are in contact since .............

Marianne Briner

Anonymous said...

In case you havent noticed, we kumekucha readers dont buy regurgitated material Start being original - no wonder you are the only oe commenting on your own vomit!

Vikii said...

I have known this for years. There is absolutely nothing new. I expected something new about Anglo-leasing and I am actually laughing at this repetition.

We all know Mwai Kibaki has continued to shield those friends of his involved in Corruption. That is why I urge all Kenyan voters to vote for Hon. Kalonzo. It has to be someone beyond reproach. If people dont feel Kalonzo is a better alternative to Kibaki, then lets continue with the Hands-off Kibaki. He is at least better that some people I know.

Phil said...

You guys are not getting it yet.

Whats the connection between this post and state house?

Did Kibaki endorse the actions of his ministers? Or was he instructing them to behave the way Githongo describes it? JEFF????

We are told Kibaki was updated every step of the way, WHAT ACTION DID HE TAKE?

According to this story, he seems to have been using other people to frustrate Githongo, in which case, HE IS THE CULPRIT. Anglo Leasing is non existent in UK, but very much in existence in Kenya. But then, who is behind it? Murungaru, Muthaura, Kiraitu or Kibaki, OR ALL OF THE ABOVE?

For once, lets face facts and tackle facts. If my maid is sleeping with the watchman and I get the report - do I let the watchman enjoy himself or do I 'take action?'

By the way, it was an intentional rip off. Fraud. Daylight robbery. Same as what happened to LDP and MOU. Siku za wezi ni ngapi?

Phil said...

Na Vikii wacha kungoea mbaya. Kalonzo is the worst snake of the so called MOI ORPHANS.

Vikii said...

So then why are you trying to prefect me Phil? What is 'kuongea mbaya' according to you? What makes you think I will in this life agree with the imaginations you post here? Give me a break dude!

Phil said...

Kioko of BC - what dont you know about the Molasses factory? That is was sold in a public auction? That the then president allocated land to its new owners lawfully? What is it you want to know about this factory that is now the 2nd largest employer after Mumias Sugar in western Kenya? That factory was dormant for more than 30 years during which time it cost Dr. Ouko his life in very gruesome circumstances - when the Kenyatta and Moi governments were busy running down this country!

Perhaps my next post should be about the Kshs. 4.7billion non-existent factory known as KEN-REN? That which is ranks as the biggest white elephant in independent Kenya, and that which even the foundation was never dug up but which young Kenyans are now compelled to pay for in 2007-2008 budget?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...