WikiLeaks Releases: Nairobi Cable No. 22: State House is the Epicenter of Drug Trafficking


  • First Lady Lucy Kibaki and President’s second wife Mary Wambui behind drug trafficking at State House
  • Artur brothers were imported to suppress information on State House corruption
  • Mercenaries were brought into Kenya at the direction of Second Lady Mary Wambui, State House Advisor Stanley Murage and Police CID Chief Joseph Kamau
  • The raids on the standard occurred because State House believed a standard Journalist was going to expose the First Family

DE RUEHNR #1114/01 0691248
O 101248Z MAR 06




E.O. 12958: DECL: (X1)



Classified By: PolCouns Michael J. Fitzpatrick; Reasons: 1.4(b,c,d)

First Lady Lucy Kibaki: Mastermind of drug Trafficking at State House Nairobi

¶1. (S)  SUMMARY: President Kibaki publicly stands firm behind the Kenyan Police raid on the Standard Media Group. Meanwhile, Standard journalists and others privately say the raids were prompted by a State House belief that the paper possesses documents implicating the President’s family in grand-scale corruption, possibly including narcotics trafficking.  First Lady Lucy Kibaki has reportedly personally threatened to “burn down the Standard” unless the information on her is relinquished. Even as the government ridicules claims of “foreign mercenaries” in the country, political opponents and journalists believe unofficial Second Wife Mary Wambui is behind the foreigners — and the cocaine trafficking. Opposition leaders say they are being blackmailed to keep quiet; shocked by the steps already taken, they privately fear a cornered government will move to arrest them, with or without charges. And they worry about the possible use of lethal force.  END SUMMARY.

¶2. (C) After a week of silence, President Kibaki has spoken — he will not sack any ministers or others implicated in the March 2 police raids on the Standard Media Group (reftels). Appearing in Eldoret March 8, the President bluntly declared that even if the public “hates” the Security Minister, there is nothing they can do about it — John Michuki will stay at his post.  Notably, Kibaki made the statement in the company of three individuals known to be at war with each other over how to respond to the crisis — First Lady Lucy Kibaki (who supports Michuki), Policy Adviser Stanley Murage (allied with “unofficial” Second Lady Mary Wambui, he is long opposed to both Michuki and Lucy’s influence) and Police Commissioner Ali (incensed at having been cut out of Michuki’s order for the police raid on the media house).

¶3. (S/NF) The presence in Kenya of armed foreigners working on behalf of ruling elements has alarmed many Kenyans, both in and out of government.  Despite repeated government denials, post believes foreigners were indeed directly involved in the police raids.  One journalist who escaped the raids privately tells us police contacts warned him weeks earlier that foreigners had been imported to protect the First Family from public corruption charges.  One of those arrested told PolCouns several of the March 2 raiders were white — and “no African would call us what he did.”  Another Standard journalist says a source close to State House has offered to sell the paper copies of the passport pages and work permits of the foreigners.  (Popularly called “Russians” and “mercenaries,” post has separately confirmed the foreigners are traveling on a variety of passports from what used to be termed “East Bloc” nations.)

¶4. (S) Opposition and media figures believe the “mercenaries” were imported to suppress information on State House corruption.  They assert the foreigners arrived last December — after the government got word that John Githongo, the government’s exiled corruption czar, was to go public with his detailed accounts of State House corruption. (Githongo’s ‘”dossier” was serialized in The Nation newspaper in January.)  Some believe these same foreigners played a role (via the Akasha crime family) in the 2004 cocaine shipments seized in Kenya, and have now returned to intimidate opponents (in or out of government) from releasing information incriminating State House in any illicit activities.  Philip Murgor, sacked in 2005 as Director of Public Prosecutions for investigating the cocaine, told PolCouns March 9 the mercenaries were brought into Kenya at the direction of Second Lady Mary Wambui, State House Advisor Stanley Murage and Police CID Chief Joseph Kamau (who formally was in charge of the police raids on the Standard). Wambui, it is alleged, brought them back to Kenya after a December trip to Dubai in the company of none other than Kamlesh Pattni — the man behind the Moi-era Goldenberg corruption scandal.  (Others separately told D/PolCouns this week that Wambui spent USD 600,000 cash during a December trip to Dubai.)

¶5. (C)  The mercenaries initially stayed at the Pattni-owned Grand Regency Hotel — until the media reported that fact. (NOTE:  Even before the raid, Murgor told PolCouns Pattni had wired the Presidential Suite at the Grand Regency for sound and audio; Wambui and CID Chief Kamau were said to be among those using the suite to entertain any number of Kenyan business and political figures.  END NOTE.) Focus then shifted to a house in the upscale Runda neighborhood (where a number of Embassy families reside) — until opposition LDP leader Raila Odinga March 8 provided the Police Commissioner, and then the media, with the address.

¶6. (C) Coincidentally, Emboffs stumbled upon the house on Glory Road hours before Odinga even gave his police statement.  A number of civilians were beating a man and had set a dog upon him; he escaped as neighbors went to his aid. Confronted by the angry crowd, one attacker drew a pistol and identified himself as police.  Privately, neighbors said a white foreigner moved in several months ago — accompanied by several black (but likely non-Kenyan) “bodyguards” who threatened them.  Neighbors said they had speculated that narcotics or other illicit activities were being conducted from the house. The next day, however, CID Chief Kamau publicly claimed the house had been vacant for many months. In conversation with PolCouns March 9, Presidential advisor Murage laughed at any claims of foreign involvement, claiming Odinga “is an expert in guerrilla warfare; you can expect him to claim the unbelievable.”

¶7. (S)  A Standard journalist told PolCouns March 10 the raids occurred because State House believed he was going to expose the First Family.  (NOTE:  This journalist has written the most detailed and damaging of published reports related to the December 2004 seizures of more than one ton of cocaine.  END NOTE.)  His reasons:  First, though he had nothing to do with the article that officially prompted the raid (suggesting a secret Presidential deal with an opposition leader), he was publicly sought for arrest. (Having secured a police bond against arrest, he has since submitted a statement that he neither researched nor wrote nor edited the article.)  Second, those colleagues that were arrested privately state that police officers told them they were looking for papers implicating both/both presidential wives in corruption:  Official First Lady Lucy in the Anglo-Leasing scandal and Unofficial Wife Two Mary Wambui in cocaine shipments.  One police officer, a longtime friend of the paper’s editors, confided that “this dossier is explosive and can bring down the government” — which they had been instructed not to allow.  (One of those arrested separately confirmed this to PolCouns.)

¶8. (S) Third, Four CID officers tracked down the journalist’s uncle (a senior civil servant) on Sunday, March 5.  He was told First Lady Lucy knew the nephew had “a dossier” on her — and she wanted it.  To underscore their seriousness, the police put the First Lady on the phone; she told the uncle that unless the Standard turned over the dossier they would “burn down the whole of the Standard Group.”  Fourth, Standard editor Oketch Kendo was intercepted March 8 at a city supermarket and told that the journalist had one week (until Wednesday, March 15) to turn over the dossier.  Fifth, the journalist uncle spoke to the First Lady again March 9; she reiterated the same deadline.

¶9. (S) The journalist claims he does not to know what to do — as he says he has no such dossier. (He believes that Alfred Getonga — recently sacked as Personal Assistant to the President  — left State House angry, and with a sheaf of incriminating documents.  He all but stated that Getonga had offered him documents, but that they were unable to agree on a date to meet before the raid occurred on the Standard.) He says he fears for his life. Standard management was to meet March 10 to decide whether to send the journalist abroad “until things cool down.”  He nonetheless continues to work on his next story: trying to confirm that another ship bearing a load of cocaine is to dock in coming days at Mombasa.  (COMMENT: Neither we nor the journalist can confirm Wambui’s involvement in narcotics; it’s just as likely that others are throwing her name about to protect their own activities.  END COMMENT.)

¶10. (S) Threats of arrest and violence are also being personally directed at opposition leaders by the government. Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) opposition leaders privately
confirm that they have been told by State House and police officials to stop rabble-rousing on the issues of high-level government corruption and cocaine trafficking.  Furthermore, “We are all being blackmailed” to keep quiet, conceded one presidential aspirant — who then ticked off the bases for government threats of criminal actions against each of the major opposition figures, including himself.  The threats, he said, have been face-to-face and blunt: they could be arrested either with or without charges.  Coming straight from a meeting of ODM leaders, he claimed their general response has been “We obviously can’t stop you. So go ahead.” PolCouns urged that he and fellow opposition leaders remain civil and pacific, and to give no one a public excuse for further repression.  He agreed while readily admitting, “you know how hard it is for us politicians to keep our mouths shut.”  He thanked the USG for its rapid and direct denunciation of the raids, saying it not only forced many observers off the fence but made clear the stakes at risk.

¶11. (S) COMMENT: While Kenya appears outwardly calm, many of those closest to the political action are now scared. The raids on the media stunned many Kenyans, who say they never expected such a step by their post-Moi, democratic government.  Reports of foreign mercenaries, systematic threats and blackmail, and possible narco-corruption at State House now have them positively reeling.  They now fear what may come next.



Martin Ngatia Speaks: Kenya’s Drug Problem Comes from State House


  • Peter L.Akhonya

    When you are a hunting with good sniffer dogs and then they start following the footsteps of an animal you expect to get that animal dead or a live. But when you see your dogs coming back very fast passing you going backward where you started with their tails shrinked, be careful because they have met the dangerous big animal there.

    All evils we see in Kenya is done by our Presidents and their kitchen advisers who enjoy free gifts from un wise thinking since Independence, and that is why they corruptly passed a clause of President being above the law in the old constitution so that they can hide behind him or her to do their corruption of craping things,and that is why they still mantain it and want it to be put in the new constitution. I wish somebody could elope Mary Wambui and run a way with her and see what Kibaki can say if she is not his second wife.Time is numbered to everything,and the World will know.Cases are pending since Independence without being solved, Why? Because investigators come and find the big animal sitted looking to see who will say a word to him or here.

    To finish tribalism in Kenya is very simple just to recognise a region and know who are the people and what is their culture. We can not be in one culture at all. The British people knew this tribal things and made boundaries to set people free with their culture, but it was the same Kenya even it became East Africa without problems.

    I used to travel allover East Africa through Uganda via Kiaga ferry to Bukoba Tanzania and Mwanza, Musoma and other parts of Tanzania Moshi Dar-es salam without hearing any thing called tribalism, except you know what the tribe you are dealing with want and we were friendly.

    Kibaki will leave his tribe in a major danger if some one is not telling him that. I don’t see which part of Kenya is still sleeping waiting to be controled by status quo? They are known by their behavior.I’m happy that Kibaki has made Kenyans to wake up and know their agenda which will fail.

    Gadhafi thought being with weapons can make one live longer. If you wage war to kill people expect to be killed too. Kenyans should know that every region has its likings so those likings to be put in one pot will never work for thousands years in Kenya, the pot will burst in pieces.But we can be friends for thousands years if we respect other regions.

  • Duncan S. Oluoch

    This is quite informative!

  • Civil Society

    Since Kenya govt ,KCC Lumumba or any other govt institution cannot Investigate and bring the war-barons to courts hence Protectionism by the State-house The USA govt is working on a modarity to arrest and take away these dug-barons and drug-warlods to UNited States Of America (USA) and charge them there !This is being done in Mexico,Columbiaetc hence their govts cooporation with USA!This Process should be carried effectively and the people of Kenya must support if whole heartedly becouse drugs is killing and destroying the Kenyan youth by making them Zombies,etc.

  • The USA Nairobi embassy with a staff of about 50 is able to know intricate details of everything going on in Kenya. On the other hand, the Kibaki govt staffed with over 700,000 civil servants pretends not to know who is involved in drug trafficking, corruption, money laundering and other crimes. Kibaki is simply unwilling to act.

  • How sad? How disappointing? Imagine if Kibaki had fought corruption, what a legacy he would have left. What a success story he would have been.Another chance lost to put Kenya on the right footing. Most worrying thing is, who do we see in the front line who can really fight corruption. the closest in my view is only Martha but you can never know for sure.It seems to me like to make to state house one has to rely on very many people and especially crooks have very deep pockets and most to gain

  • Useless Lucy Kibaki gets free KSH 500,000 of taxpayers’ money per month for nothing just because she is President Kibaki’s wife. This MAD Mathare Woman now denies that State House is involved in corruption, yet her husband’s close allies told foreign diplomats that Kibaki is sane and aware of all the corruption taking place in Kenya.

    Lucy Kibaki on Sunday refuted claims that members of the First Family were involved in the 2008 maize scandal.

    In a statement sent to newsrooms, the First Lady said allegations recently carried in sections of the press were false and ‘matters of personal opinion’.

    A section of an article in the Sunday Nation reads; “The cables claim that members of his family were involved in the maize scandal and say he is “part of an elite” that has governed the country for four decades.”

  • Menji bin hodari…. an,%20activist

    Isn’t it just frightening that the police publicly admit they know it is Kibaki’s wife and his friends who are behind the recent brazen heroin imports but they cannot do anything. I mean these people actually park a ship full of heroin in dock area and just offload the drugs with speed boats and everybody just watches this as a game.

    This drug dealer, who is the wife of the president of the republic of Kenya, is protected by Kenya police who are her body guards as she goes on with her illicit drug smuggling in Kenya and in the region.

    I think it is time Kibaki is asked to take responsibility for his wife’s abuse of state resources and massive drug smuggling and trafficking in Kenya. Imagine Ida Odinga was doing this!

    This is an outrage. Mary Wambui should be arrested by the DEA if her husband, the Kenyan president, Mwai Kibaki keeps facilitating her drug trafficking operations in Kenya.

  • By BBCPosted Friday, May 6 2011 at 15:05
    Sheryl Cwele, the wife of South Africa’s intelligence minister, has been sentenced to 12 years in jail for drug trafficking.

    Cwele, married to Siyabonga Cwele, was convicted of recruiting women to smuggle drugs into the country.

    Her accomplice, Nigerian national Frank Nabolisa, received the same sentence.

    Allegations of drug trafficking surfaced in 2009 after the arrest of a South African woman caught in Brazil with cocaine worth $300,000.

    Tessa Beetge is currently serving an eight-year jail sentence in Sao Paulo.

    She was found with 10kg of cocaine in her luggage.

    There was a solemn atmosphere at the Pietermaritzburg High Court Friday when the pair arrived for sentencing, South Africa’s Times newspaper reported.

    Delivering the sentence, Judge Piet Koen described their offences as serious.

    Jicho Pevu’ scribe reports threats on his life

    Ali says he has been receiving threats from prominent businessmen after he aired a series of stories on drugs and substance abuse.

    “I believe my life is in danger. I started to receive threats immediately after doing the investigative series (Jicho Pevu) on drug abuse,” he explained.

    The series ‘Ulanguzi wa dawa za kulevya’— Peddling of Drugs and ‘Dawa za Karaha’ which was aired between March 6 and 8 during the 7pm and 9pm news bulletin on KTN was stopped after some politicians went to court seeking injunctions on allegations that they had been defamed by the story.

  • Its true they were mercienaries

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