The leaked cables released by Al Jazeera recently also contain a fascinating discussion right inside the most private confines of State house, Nairobi in October 2005.
Kibaki was then in office and still trying to steady his then shaky 3 year old government. The US envoy to Kenya then, William Bellamy had come to meet the president to inform him of the US government's decision to ban the then Transport Minister Chris Murungaru from travelling to the US.
According to the cables, the Kenyan president stubbornly said that he would not take any action against Murungaru unless the ambassador handed over very specific evidence incriminating the minister. Bellamy declined saying that the information was from "sensitive sources" within Kenya whose identities could not be revealed.
Bellamy on his way out met two top state officials who were sympathetic and one of them told him that the president had plenty of evidence and was just refusing to act decisively.
The cables go on to reveal that Pretoria is the capital of global espionage. South Africa actually has the highest number of foreign embassies on the continent. There are 120 diplomatic representations and hundreds of companies and non-governmental organizations. It is said that there are 78 foreign spies active in Pretoria at any one time.
The most active spies are American (CIA), French, and British (MI6), Israel’s Mossad and Russia’s FSB as are the Dutch and Danes who work closely with the CIA and MI6. The Indians and the Senegalese also seem to be spying on South Africa.
Shockingly relevant to Kenya in the run up to the failed 2007 elections is the fact that foreign spying agencies usually take advantage of intelligence services fractured along ethnic lines. Agencies that are mismanaged create extremely vengeful spies with tremendous axes to grind to embarrass the agency and spill its secrets. A local spy with a wounded ego is more dangerous than a foreign one in our midst.
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