Something major has changed in Kenya in recent times. Yesterday the newspapers were splashed with photographs of a cabinet minister (Henry Kosgei who was the minister for Industrialization until he resigned on Tuesday shortly before his arrest) being escorted into court, something unprecedented in Kenya.
The truth is that impunity is still alive and well and putting up a hell of a fight. And that fight could still go either way. However having said that, it is also true that this previous champion who would go through fights untouched is now receiving significant body blows.
The thing which stood out the most for me from the events of Tuesday was that journalists and eye witnesses concur that Henry Kosgey looked pretty shaken when he emerged from his session with KACA investigators before being whisked off to court where he was charged later in the afternoon. There is no denying the fact that this extremely rich man who financed a major chunk of the ODM campaign in the last elections has been very badly shaken.
Cabinet ministers have good reason to be very frightened just now. Especially when they take the time to carefully analyze the strategy used to nail Henry Kosgey. It is reminiscent of how the American government finally nailed organized crime king pin Al Capone in 1931. The notorious criminal was caught completely unawares when he was charged with tax evasion (and tax on illegally acquired income at that). Capone who was famously known for battering a colleague to death with a baseball bat—whom he accused of betrayal but never produced the evidence—during a meeting was a vicious and extremely powerful criminal who had put virtually all major officials in Chicago in his payroll of bribes. Read his amazing tale HERE
Kosgey is probably one of the most corrupt cabinet ministers ever and is credited with single-handedly bringing the once prosperous government-owned Kenya National Assurance to it’s knees stripping it of not only cash but prized assets, leaving in his wake a mere shell of a company that quickly folded. Thousands of Kenyans lost a livelihood in the process and Kosegy got away with it. Not to mention the fourth All Africa games where the same man is said to have pocketed huge sums given in sponsorship for the event and left the government holding all the bills. If Kosgey is found guilty of the charges of abuse of office then it will be like a serial killer found guilty of stealing a chicken.
Although the Kibaki government has been notoriously corrupt, under former president Moi excessive corruption that led to the collapse of public institutions was rampant. Read my book Dark Secrets of the Kenyan Presidency to little known incidents that were happening behind the scenes as his henchmen raped and plundered the Kenyan economy like there was no tomorrow. You can get the book free HERE.
It seems that the new KACA boss PLO Lumumba may be a fan of Al Capone movies or so it seems because he has borrowed heavily from this American strategy of the 1930s. Capone and impunity in cabinet and high office in Kenya have many similarities including the fact that it is extremely difficult to obtain any evidence that can stand up in a court of law against the evil that has been committed for decades. And yet it is widely known that many cabinet ministers are to this day way too corrupt (according to the Wikileaks cables American intelligence is convinced that virtually ALL in cabinet are corrupt, a view shared by this blogger).
Lumumba’s new legal strategy is very different from that of his predecessor and coupled with the intense international pressure for KACA to graduate from prosecuting traffic policemen caught taking Kshs 50 to the really big fish, it seems that we will be seeing a number of other political heavy weights in court in the months to come.
But what is going to be even more interesting to watch are the political repercussions of this heightened fight against impunity. A friend from the Rift Valley told me yesterday that the PM is finished in the Rift Valley after Kosgey’s appearance in court on Tuesday. And the same friend repeated something that I have heard for a long time now. That a certain ODM cabinet Minister is swiftly amassing a war chest at a sensitive ministry of government that touches on Internal security. This individual could well be the next person who is photographed next to a policeman making an appearance in court. Or perhaps what he knows is a threat to the security of the state. Well, Kumekucha is doing a little more digging and you can expect an explosive post here in the next few days.
Impunity: word of the moment
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