The story of how the defunct Uplands Bacon factory lost its land to Farmers Choice is a sad case of how the Moi government was either unable or unwilling to protect lucrative subsectors of the economy. Now, despite an NLC order, Farmers Choice has refused to hand back the land to pig farmers in Kiambu County.
A type of politician, blunt and openly estranged from the truth—part performer and often entertainer—has become more influential in public affairs since 2013. This is a global phenomenon as the neo-liberal economic model fails vast swathes of the citizenry who have come to the realisation that companies, or cartels masquerading as companies, are today far more powerful than governments, judiciaries, parliaments and other governance institutions.
Singapore's success in minimising corruption can be attributed to its dual strategy of reducing both the opportunities and incentives for corruption, while Kenya’s failure to eliminate graft is the result of a half-hearted anti-corruption crusade that is politically weaponised and applied selectively.
It is clear, given Jubilee’s approach since 2013, that managing the Kenyatta succession—fixing an increasingly broken economy, soothing our polarised politics in time for the next general election, dealing with corruption comprehensively enough that Kenyatta can walk into the sunset with something of a legacy—makes for too many governance balls in the air for even the best of political jugglers.
MARY SERUMAGA explains why it is important to maintain sovereignty in the management of natural resources and to carry out robust and representative feasibility and environmental impact studies on large dam projects, which tend to be shrouded in secrecy and which are often the vehicles for high-level corruption.
Unwieldy prosecution strategies have in the past been used as a guise under which the government appears to prosecute corruption while simultaneously taking steps to guard the prosecuted from legal culpability. This article aims to examine current anti-corruption efforts in light of similar efforts in the past in order to glean lessons and hopefully see what can be expected of current initiatives.
President Uhuru Kenyatta’s decision to cancel the tender for the construction of the Kimwarer dam but to allow for the Arror dam project to proceed at half the original cost has been viewed as a commendable action in the fight against graft. However, ALESSANDRO DA ROLD and LORENZO BAGNOLI suggest that there could more than meets the eye in what is known as the “dams scam”.
Every other month, Kenyans wake to news headlines of millions of taxpayer shillings being lost or stolen from public coffers. How exactly does this happen? Africa Uncensored got hold of data that, paired with publicly-available information, points us in the direction of the likely perpetrators of this massive fraud of our times.
Even without a pecuniary interest in the KNSL transaction, a seamless operation that transfers all the freight logistics to Naivasha is sufficient motivation for Kenyatta to pursue the capture of the terminal as aggressively as he is doing. We may also have our answer as to why the Government is not enticing MSC to Lamu. Kenyatta does not own land there.
WACHIRA MAINA examines three major corruption scandals during the Moi, Kibaki and Kenyatta eras that demonstrate how state capture facilitates the massive looting of public funds, and allows the culprits to get away scot-free.
The 2010 Constitution promised a brave new Kenya with clean, robust, and efficient institutions. But this promise never materialised. WACHIRA MAINA shows how state institutions, including electoral and judicial bodies, have been deliberately weakened by a system designed to protect the corrupt.
In this three-part series, WACHIRA MAINA explains how “state capture elites” have undermined anti-corruption efforts and why, despite decades of reforms and numerous commissions of inquiry, corruption remains an enduring element of Kenyan politics and society.
Corruption in Africa is not simply an act of giving or receiving a bribe; it is a form of “primitive accumulation” or “accumulation by dispossession” that hollows out institutions and causes much misery.
A royal-backed UK charity, investigates LIONEL FAULL, reveals details that it has been involved in bolstering the regime that runs one of Africa’s most authoritarian and kleptocratic countries.
Dams have long fascinated scientists and politicians alike. In the post-independent era of the late 1960s and 1970s, dams became popular in the developing countries seeking to meet the triple challenges of state-building, nation-building and economic development. But too they were exposed as huge corruption scandals that contributed to the systemic over-estimation of their benefits.
The political vernacular of corruption has lost its lustre, especially with the millennial generation, who today perceive corruption not as the abuse of public office for private gain but the abuse itself lays in the existence of the public office.
For more than two decades, Yahya Jammeh ruled over Gambia. His administration was implicated in widespread human rights abuses and several waves of brutal crackdowns on dissent. And his bizarre personality drew headlines around the world after he gave himself five titles and claimed to be able to cure AIDS.
How do criminals hide their stolen millions? Dr. Louise Shelley, an expert on illicit financial flows, explains how companies use fake invoices and trade agreements to disguise their laundered sums. This video is part of a series on the Troika Laundromat, a multi-billion-dollar financial system used in part to move money worldwide, evade taxes, and mask other financial crimes.
In the last days of 2008, Erich Rebasso, an Austrian lawyer, sent a letter to the main Vienna headquarters of the Federal Criminal Police, the country’s top law enforcement agency. Its purpose was unusual — the father of four young children was blowing the whistle on himself.
From 2006 through early 2013, billions of dollars moved out of Russia through an elaborate scheme orchestrated by Russia’s largest private investment bank, Troika Dialog. The money was used to pay for luxury goods, make secret investments in state-owned companies, and even pay school tuitions. The system also links some of the most notorious figures in previous financial scandals: people like Sergei Roldugin and companies exposed by now-deceased lawyer Sergei Magnitsky. This massive operation came to light after a leak of more than 1.3 million financial transactions and related documents, representing the largest banking data leak in history. OCCRP partnered with 21 media organizations, including The Guardian in the U.K. and Germany’s Suddeutsche Zeitung newspapers to investigate.
The Laundromat wasn’t just a money laundering system. It was also a hidden investment vehicle, a slush fund, a tax evasion scheme, and much more.
Last December, I went to Ethiopia for a networking event, the South-South Media Lab. At Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, I must have dropped my yellow fever vaccination card somewhere; I can’t be sure. So when our plane landed at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) on 13th December 2018, I confidently took my passport […]
In a conversation with The Elephant, Dr David Ndii meticulously outlines the political economy of Kenya since its inception to its current arrangement and vividly constructs scenarios on how it will unfold in light of the current political and economic configuration. The talk took place on 11th December 2018 and was hosted by the Africa Leadership Centre of King's College, University of London.
There are virtually no banks owned by Ugandan Africans left in the country. By KALUNDI SERUMAGA
As Western donors make nice with the government and abandon Kenya’s vocal civil society organisations, can social media ride to the rescue of citizen activism? By RASNA WARAH
Between 2014-16, over 70% of all government entities did not receive a clean bill of health from the Auditor General for their spending. On average, 11% of them had financial records so bad that the OAG could not access them. pic.twitter.com/kIG6Fdq2CY — Odipo Dev (@OdipoDev) October 10, 2018 Odipodev is a data analytics and research […]
If personal responsibility is cultivated as a shared civic virtue, there are higher chances of producing more honest leaders and law-abiding citizens. By ANTOINETTE KANKINDI
The Open Government Partnership (OGP) was the most coherent foray by the Obama administration into good governance and anti-corruption in the developing world and elsewhere. Kenya is a vanguard country of the OGP in this region. Elements of this initiative are already being rolled out. In light of the current campaign against corruption their impact remains to be seen. BY KORIR SING’OEI
A De-Africanisation of the debate about fraud in the region is due; indeed, the relationship between capitalism and fraud deserves far more analytical attention than it receives to-date. By JÖRG WIEGRATZ
Africa Uncensored's John-Allan Namu recently sat down with economist David Ndii to discuss the latest efforts by the government to fight corruption in our ongoing collaboration with The Elephant.
First published on 10th April 2016 by Africa Uncensored. 11.5 Million Dollars. It's a staggering figure. That's enough to pay the school fees of 811,000 Kenyan Primary School Children for one year. Yet this is what is extorted from hundreds of thousands of hawkers and informal traders in Kenya's capital city, Nairobi, every year. Many of these people earn 100 dollars or less every month. Behind this extortion are officers working for Nairobi City's government. Officers who operate with impunity, and often use deadly violence against the hawkers. This is part two of an Africa Uncensored, Kanjo Kingdom.
First published on 4th April 2016 by Africa Uncensored. This first episode of "Kanjo Kingdom" begins an in-depth investigation into an extortion ring ran by officers from Nairobi City County's notorious Inspectorate department. Every month, officers from this department fleece hundreds of thousands of hawkers and informal traders of up to one million dollars.
No state in sub-Saharan Africa has a better organised anti-corruption infrastructure than Kenya. In a society where theft is a political strategy normalised among wananchi, Uhuru Kenyatta’s latest push against graft may end up being no more than a fig leaf to secure an uncertain legacy unless he starts to unravel sixty years worth of ossified patronage-related relationships. By JOHN GITHONGO
The Church in Kenya struggles in silence while endemic corruption ravages the public and private sectors of the country. On this matter, I’d rather lament with Prophet Jeremiah when he supplicated the appalling backsliding of his people by asking: “Is there no Balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why is the wound of my […]
At Sh3 trillion (US$29 billion), Kenya’s budget for the 2018/2019 financial year is the highest spending plan in Kenya’s financial history, an increase of 10% from the previous financial year. According to Treasury, just over half or Sh1.74 trillion (US$19 billion) will be raised through taxes and government fees while another Sh558 billion will be raised from […]
On the evening of the day that saw twenty National Youth Service (NYS) officials arraigned in court to answer charges of institutional corruption, I went to see one of the lawyers who had been in court and who spoke to me on the condition that I would not disclose her identity. She was nonplussed about […]
In an apparent move to stem the corruption scourge that has infested virtually every government department, President Uhuru Kenyatta recently directed all public servants and politicians, including members of his own cabinet, to undergo lifestyle audits. The intention, presumably, is to determine whether state officials have used their positions to acquire ill-gotten wealth. The question […]
At Sh3 trillion, anyway you cut it, Kenya’s recently unveiled national budget is a monster. It is bigger than the combined budgets of the other four East Africa Community countries. It is nearly double the then record-breaking budget unveiled in the first year of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s first term. To finance it, the government plans […]
In the past, opening a bank account in Kenya was an elaborate and tedious affair. It was akin to applying for a job: you presented your “curriculum vitae” to bank officials who would determine your fitness as a financially serviceable client. There were forms to be filled (in duplicate) that captured details such as date […]
In late February this year, eight individuals were charged in Tanzania with the horrific murder of Wayne Lotter, an anti-poaching investigator who was killed in August last year. The targeted execution of the renowned conservationist and founder of the PAMS Foundation exposed just how far poaching networks can go to protect their criminal trade – […]
In the second installment of our new series in collaboration with Africa Uncensored, John-Allan Namu talks with renowned economist Dr David Ndii on the war on corruption in the wake of the famous handshake between NASA leader Raila Odinga and President Uhuru Kenyatta.
A few months ago, when the #MeToo movement was gaining momentum globally, I wrote that the movement was not likely to have a significant impact on the United Nations because the global body is immune to criticism and because those UN staff members who have the courage to report sexual harassment or abuse are more […]
From our estimates, close to 10% of stories told about Kenya in international media outlets this year were to do with corruption. Essentially meaning that corruption has become part of our national identity. Kenyan media have uncovered over 40 scandals since 2013, have a look.. pic.twitter.com/3MrKUJT11T — Odipo Dev (@OdipoDev) June 3, 2018 Explore the corruption […]
In Kenya, corruption conjures up images of a favourite pair of well-worn and spit-polished shoes that one cannot bear to throw out. We roll the word on our tongues and give it pet names, such as scandals, hustling, deals, cat-walking, growing legs, eating and kitu kidogo, to name a few. The word “theft” is rarely […]
As President Daniel arap Moi’s rule came to an end, demonstrations of public exhaustion with his long stupefying tenure started to manifest more and more starkly on the ground. Fear of the old man melted away with his authority. One incident in the run-up to the 2002 election saw ordinary wananchi stone his motorcade in […]