Reminiscent of the Goldenberg heist in the 1990s, yet another gold scandal has surfaced. At the heart of the Goldenberg scam were top Kenyan politicians who subsidised gold exports in which an estimated Sh100 billion of tax payers’ money was lost. The irony is that the gold was non-existent.
In 2011, President Joseph Kabila of DRC claimed gold worth Sh10 billion had been stolen and smuggled into Kenya by well-connected cartels, which led to the creation of a joint investigative team, and now this.
In the latest scam dubbed Dubai gold, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is said to have been fleeced Sh30 billion in a deal where the gold is non-existent. Seemingly, it was an elaborate con game that backfired and now has sucked in top leaders.
Scams of such magnitude cannot be executed without the tacit support of well-connected individuals both in government and the security services, which is why the investigative arms of government must get to the root of the scam that threatens to tarnish the image of the country and sour diplomatic relationships with UAE. Another investigation into a similar fake gold scam has led to seven legislators being viewed as persons of interest by investigators. The scams have exposed our political class for what it is: a den of schemers looking out for the next deal to cut.
Hardly do you find them in Parliament making laws to benefit Wanjiku. It is always about them. For now, it is safe to assume that the seven are the unlucky ones. Numerous other legislators are walking scandals that ought to be exposed, especially those sitting in committees of parliament.
Lately, they have acquired the dubious distinction of extortionists per excellence. They sniff around for anything that smells like a scandal and then summon boards and heads of State corporations, and even ministers, for hearings that in all ways are forums to extort and intimidate. Those who grease their palms get an easy time while those who don’t play ball are embarrassed and demeaning reports written about them and their corporations.
Parliamentary procedures need to be relooked at. Parliament should be the paragon of integrity, not a swamp of corruption. Yet with such leaders, it is an indictment on the Kenyan electorate. Corrupt and immoral leaders are voted by the electorate. And so rather than use elections to weed out the bad ones, Kenyans have allowed the bad guys to run roughshod over them. That needs to stop.