Bookshops afraid to stock explosive book on corruption

Chickengate may be the abiding remnant of the Isaack Hassan led IEBC, but the chickens are now coming home to roost for the Wafula Chebukati team. In a tell-all drama, commissioners and secretariat are spilling the beans on who stole the most.

We might have cause for celebration if this were about integrity and accountability. But don’t be fooled and don’t expect any of the accused parties will spend time in Kamiti. Everyone involved has a political godfather with whom they share tenders and secrets. They can also afford defence lawyers to outsmart any judicial process.

Forgive the cynicism but we have been here before. This has been the pattern of corruption, nepotism, tribalism, impunity and of course cover-ups for the past fifty-four years. I am firmly reminded of this after wading through the hefty 700 page recently published and aptly titled, “Kenya: Looters and grabbers, 54 Years of Corruption and Plunder by the Political Elite, 1963-2017’ by Joe Khamisi.

The huge volume makes interesting but depressing reading. Yet, for the first time in a single book, Khamisi has described just about every scandal, scam and plunder known in our history. In fact this explains the heftiness of the publication.

The former legislator has presented us with the history of Kenya since independence as one continuous looting spree. He informs us early on that ‘The 2016 Price Waterhouse audit survey found Kenya the most corrupt country in the world only better than South Africa and France.’ He divides the book into four sections and forty chapters and begins by assessing the  Kenyatta regime, which started a trend whereby 20 per cent of the population currently own 67 per cent of arable land in the country.

Khamisi later suggests that the land question alone has influenced Jubilee’s decision to obstruct implementation of the TJRC Report and why ‘irregular changes were made to the approved report. The Kenyatta regime is accused of the “Kikuyunisation” of Kenya and what he called ‘nationalism was the ongoing protection of his political and economic interests”.

Quoting from the Kroll report of 2006, he accuses the Kanu regime of laundering $400 million through accounts in Switzerland, Belgium and Germany.

The author constantly refers to sources already in the public domain including the Ndung’u Commission Report that details how over 200,000 illegal titles were issued during Kanu’s final decade in power. There are exhaustive accounts of the mega corruption deals including Turkwell Gorge, Ministry of Health, Goldenberg, Parastatals, NSSF, NHIF, KPA, KNH, KPLC, Kemri, Kenya Railway, KDF, Anglo Leasing and just about every ministry or department you care to mention. He also goes into detail about the fraudulent imports of maize and sugar, and political involvement in illegal drugs.

The Kibaki regime is not without fault either as we are reminded of the Sh4 billion looted from FPE in the Education Ministry as well as the second phase of Anglo Leasing scams. The Eurobonds, SGR, Elections and NYS will forever be associated with Jubilee’s first term of office. It would appear that more theft is imminent. Kenya owes Khamisi an immense debt for his research and documentation.

The government, however, may never allow you to purchase a hard copy of this remarkable work. The author has not managed to persuade any local bookshop to stock it. You can only purchase it as an E Reader on Amazon. If we were committed to fighting corruption, we might give a free copy to every household as was the case with the 2010 Constitution. It should give birth to outrage and a commitment to see the culprits in the dock.

- [email protected] @GabrielDolan1