It is ironical that as we run this series on how the most respectable Kenyan families made their money, the grand coalition cabinet on Thursday had to approve a rescue plan for a bank that has been a consistent under-performer. This is the National Bank of
What is really fascinating is that the genesis of the problems of the National Bank of
For the record the cabinet approved a two-phase plan to off-load its’ majority stake at the bank. The first will involve getting a major strategic investor for the bank and the second will be to sell off shares to the public through the Nairobi Stock exchange.
Many casual readers of this blog who have never bothered to read carefully through our posts of the past assume that this is an ODM blog. The truth is that we are the people’s blog and if the majority of Kenyans are leaning in a certain direction, then that is the direction you will tend to see Kumekucha leaning towards. However we have a record of never sparing anybody, as the doubting Thomases are about to discover.
Corruption and ill-gotten wealth spread right across the political divide. If anything, taking mere statistics and sifting through records, ODM seems to have the vast majority of corrupt individuals within its’ fold. Give me a who-is-who list of the most powerful and influential ODMers and I will tell you about their corrupt past. Very few are clean. This is why it is so funny when I hear some of them denouncing corruption. Sadly the joke is on the long-suffering Kenyan public.
Take William Ruto, the current agriculture minister as an example. It is no secret that the barely 40 legislator is extremely wealthy. So how did he make his money?
We know that shortly before he was brought into the Kanu fold in the late 80s Ruto was a graduate school teacher earning peanuts. How did Ruto shoot up in the space of a few short years to become so wealthy? Where did his fortune suddenly “fall” from?
Just to give you a clue, I am certain that every time Ruto hears the name National Social Security Fund mentioned anywhere, tears collect in his eyes and he has this warm, gowing feeling in his stomach. The reason is that this is the institution that lifted him up to the status of an overnight billionaire from a pauper.
The money-making schemes in the Kanu days were simple. You get the president (through the numerous power brokers who littered State House in those days) to allocate you a piece of land and then you sell it to the then cash-rich NSSF. Thus a simple operation that takes a few days sees you banking a triple digit million cheque at the end of it all. Of course contacts and connections are used to get the cheques out quickly even as impoverished pensioners travel long distances from their rural home to
Now you have to be careful about the Kalenjin. They can get very violent if you dare insinuate that they are corrupt. That is what a Mr Chesoni found out on the grounds of State House Nairobi in the early 90s when Ruto confronted the old man (old enough to be his father) and wrestled him to the ground.
This may have something to do with the cultural past of the Kalenjin who were very similar to the Maasai in that they would constantly raid neighboring tribes and steal their cattle. Ooops I meant “take” their cattle. So in the same way if a Kalenjin politician uses his position and good fortune to “take” some money from the NSSF or the previously prosperous National Assurance (brought down single-handedly by a Mr Henry Kosgey) then there is really no big problem is there? After all it was their turn “to eat” under Moi after the Kenyatta days.
To Be continued
In my twice weekly email newsletter Kumekucha Confidential, I talk about how the two principals, Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga made their fortunes. If you are not a subscriber already, you can subscribe right now. It is free. Or send a blank email to email@example.com
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