Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Wikis s: US envoy brands Kenyan ministers most corrupt in Africa

Kenya’s Cabinet is the most corrupt in Africa, according to the latest exposé by whistle-blowing website Wikis.
President Mwai Kibaki chairs a past cabinet ministers meeting at State House, Nairobi. Photo/FILENewly-relsed cables say US diplomats believe nrly all members of Kenya’s cabinet are on the take.They quote Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission director Patrick Lumumba saying he “is convinced that there is hardly a single minister in the country’s bloated, 42-member cabinet, that doesn’t use their position to line their own pockets”.And American officials are shing in their assessment of Attorney-eral Amos Wako and former Kacc director Aaron Ringera, whom they claim have used their s to frustrate prosecution of senior government officials.Cabinet minister Henry Kosgey is included on the list of top officials the US wants removed from government.They cite corruption-related investigations currently under way against him and his past record as a public official. They also claim some reports have linked him to post-election violence.“Kosgey’s diverse corruption activities over decades have negatively impacted US foreign assistance goals in a of ways.His continuing ownership of illegally transferred forest lands, part of the grter Mau Forest which comprises Kenya’s largest water chment ar, has contributed to ethnic conflict over land ownership in the Rift Valley, and has also contributed to deforestation and resulting drought and hunger that currently plagues Kenya.Donors, including the United States, have had to provide billions of dollars in emercy food aid to Kenya over the last four yrs of chronic drought,” the cables state.Mr Kosgey was not available for comment on Saturday and the Sunday Nation cannot publish the full details of the cables because we could not immediately substantiate the claims levelled against him in relation to his past record.But Mr Ringera came out fighting when rched. “My record spks for itself. I put myself 100 per cent into anti-corruption. I know myself and the truth will one day be known even if it takes 20 yrs. I am on record for recommending prosecution of eight ministers, nine permanent secretaries and 61 hds of parastatals. I also investigated 16 MPs over illegal payments,” he said.The latest batch of cables was relsed by German newspaper Der Spiegel, one of five publiions given the package of cables containing up to 250,000 dis sent from US embassies around the world. The US embassy in Nairobi apprs to have focused on investigation of high-level corruption in recent yrs.The cables paint a positive profile of the new Kacc chief, who has won praise for the way he has set about pursuing top officials suspected of crimes. Foreign minister Moses Wetang’ula, permanent secretary Thuita Mwangi and Nairobi mayor Geophrey Majiwa were recently forced out of due to corruption allegations.US ambassador Michael Ranneberger reported that he was impressed by Prof Lumumba’s first few weeks in . But he charged that Mr Wako remained a major obstacle to reform, a statement he has made publicly in the past.In a report compiled in September 2009, the US envoy charged that “Wako is largely responsible for the fact that no politician has ever been seriously taken to task for graft-related activities. Wako was originally appointed to the position by President Moi, but he held onto his due to his excellent relationship with the country’s current president, Mwai Kibaki. And he shouldn’t expect much in the way of favours from the US,” says the report in Der Spiegel.Mr Ranneberger outlines a of rsons why the US decided to ban Mr Wako from America. Mr Wako has vowed to seek legal action against the ban. “The Embassy strongly believes Mr Amos Wako has engaged in and benefited from public corruption in his capacity as Attorney eral for the past 18 yrs by interference with judicial and other public processes.”The US accuses Mr Wako of sabotaging efforts to pursue justice for the victims of the unrest that afflicted Kenya in rly 2008. According to a US dis on the matter:“One can find an Attorney eral who has successfully maintained an almost perfect record of non-prosecution. He accomplishes this through the most complex of smoke and mirrors tactics, seeking to appr to desire prosecution while all along doing his utmost to protect the political elites.”The fallout from the relse of the cables continued yesterday as more ministers took up the subject. Internal Security minister Prof George Saitoti, who is also the acting Foreign minister, on Saturday said Kenya should not worry about the cables since many other countries had been mentioned as well. “This is propaganda but we are not the only ones,” he said.Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta said the Americans were thrtened by China’s rising influence. “The Chinese have provided funds for roads, hospitals and other projects but the complainants have nothing to show in this regard,” he said.

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