Why Uhuru Kenyatta May not Succeed in Fighting Corruption

Jared Odero:  Uhuru has no record of having paid taxes.

Jared Odero:
Uhuru has no record of having paid taxes.

Having inherited massive wealth created illegally by his parents (Jomo Kenyatta and Mama Ngina), President Uhuru Kenyatta is possibly lacking the political will to fight corruption. There is no way the Kenyattas could have legally acquired the noted 500,000 acres of land which they own. If Jomo was a beneficiary of the British loan scheme for resettling Kenyans, then the family should produce documents to verify the acquisitions. In his memoir “Walking in Kenyatta’s Struggles” Duncan Ndegwa, who was the first African Governor of Central Bank of Kenya, wrote that one day Kenyatta rewarded himself with a huge colonial farmhouse, after a day’s ‘work’ of parceling land to a group of former freedom fighters (Mau Mau).

Mama Ngina and Uhuru’s elder step-sister Margaret Kenyatta, were implicated in ivory smuggling in the 1970s as documented by author Charles Hornsby in his book: “Kenya: A History Since Independence (1963-2011)”. Here’s an excerpt: “One problem was that the Kenyatta family itself was implicated in both poaching and ivory exports. Margaret Kenyatta, Kenyatta’s daughter, was chairman of the United African Company, one of at least 10 companies exporting ivory despite the ban. Ivory could earn Ksh300 (US$36) per kilogram, making one elephant worth thousands of dollars. Other valuable items included zebra pelts (5,000 of these animals were shot illegally within 320 miles of Nairobi in six months during 1975) and colobus monkey skins. In 1975, two men were found in possession of 26,000 colobus monkey skins (more than the total remaining population today).”

Jon Tinker also wrote in the New Scientist magazine on May 22 1975, about their involvement in ivory poaching: “The identity of these ivory queens is a matter of common gossip in Nairobi, and the most prominent of them are said to be Mama Ngina and Margaret Kenyatta, respectively wife and daughter to the President. In Kenya today, you can be sent to prison for what is called rumour-mongering, so in this article I shall confine myself to provable fact. And there is now documentary proof that at least one member of Kenya’s Royal family has recently shipped over six tons of ivory to Red China. Moreover, in spite of repeated denials from the Kenyan wildlife ministry that they have issued any licences to deal in or export raw ivory, this trading is being carried out with the active connivance of the highest officials in the game department.”

Uhuru’s past record in Government
Uhuru held various ministerial dockets under the leadership of former presidents Moi and Kibaki. However, there is no clear indication that he fought corruption, especially as Finance Minister from January 2009 to January 2012, when he resigned after the International Criminal Court (ICC) confirmed its case against him, for being involved in the post election violence (PEV) which occurred in 2007-08. His contribution to the then new Transport Policy which aimed to eradicate the mismanagement, high maintenance cost and inefficienct use of vehicles in the public sector, was the controversial purchase of 120 Volkswagen Passat cars from CMC Holdings Ltd without a competitive bid, to be used by ministers and senior government officers.
Now that Uhuru is president, how come his Cabinet Secretaries took advantage of the gap before the new fiscal year in June 2013, to purchase fuel-guzzlers that he had barred during his term at the Treasury? How then, is his Government cutting public expenditure while his own officers squander public money?

Uhuru Kenyatta encountered a “computer error” during the 2009/10 Fiscal Year, which may have cost the taxpayer KES 9.67 billion. Despite being cleared of any wrongdoing, over KES 700 billion could not be accounted for on his watch as Finance Minister.

Uhuru has no record of having paid taxes as former MP for Gatundu South, Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, at least from a court petition filed in 2013 to block him from contesting the presidency for the same reason. Therefore, he is not in a position to question the integrity of public office holders. This holds too for his deputy William Ruto, who was ordered by a court last year to pay KES 5 million as compensation to Mr. Adrian Muteshi for having grabbed his 100-acre piece of land during the PEV.

Under Uhuru’s presidency, sections of the 2013 report by the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission which questioned the illegal acquisition of vast tracts of land by his family and relatives, were deleted. Moreover, the report has not been implemented.

We don’t know how much the ICC cases of Uhuru and Ruto are costing Kenya’s ruthlessly exploited taxpayers since 2013. Lobbying AU Member States to push for the termination of the cases, Ruto’s claimed ‘Hustler’s Jet’ trip of around KES 25 million and trips to The Hague, are not cheap ventures.

The standard gauge railway (SGR) project commissioned by Uhuru in November 2013 is a brewing scandal which could cost Kenyans a loss of KES 400 billion because of irregularities in the tendering process. Its initial estimated cost of KES 220 billion was inflated to KES 334.8 billion and is currently at KES 1.3 trillion. Some experts have argued that it would cost the country less money to upgrade the existing railway line, and still achieve what Uhuru’s government wants with the scandalous project.

In 2002, Dr. John Mutonyi conceptualized corruption in Kenya and gave glowing recommendations for fighting it in his journal article titled “’Fighting corruption: Is Kenya on the right track?” Interestingly, he was one of retired President Kibaki’s anti-corruption commissioners at the former Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission, but he was colorless in enforcing the recommendations he wrote. His scientific paper was only good at portraying how former President Moi had failed in the anti-corruption war. When his homeboy Kibaki campaigned in 2002, he pledged to eradicate corruption. However, by the time he was ending his presidency in 2013, the act was so deeply-rooted in the country it will require a decisive leader to control it.

Given Uhuru Kenyatta’s history in Government, there is little hope that he will effectively fight corruption.

Jared Odero

28 comments

  • rethinking the economy
  • Jammeh Gambia

    List Of President Yahya Jammeh’s Crimes against Gambians
    http://civilsociety-gambia.org/list-of-yahya-jammehs-crimes-against-gambians/

  • Uganda child sacrifice
  • Uhuruto hawawezi

    Uhuru And Ruto Have No Political Will To Eradicate Corruption

    Saturday, November 16, 2013 – 00:00 — BY KOIGI WAMWERE

    Though founding fathers did not list corruption together with poverty, disease and ignorance as our leading problems, since the Kenyatta regime became notorious for grabbing public land and other properties, graft has been identified as a problem to solve to advance economically, socially and politically. In Kenya, research surveys continue to show corruption as an integral part of our daily pains, a problem over which we have no power. Though corruption eats into our soul every day, reducing our ability to reject it, we cannot surrender and must as often as possible take a position against it. At the very least, this will make us cleaner people. Even though we may disbelieve, it reassures every time President Uhuru Kenyatta announces his intention to fight corruption, important because no war against corruption can succeed unless the president leads it.

    However, it is my considered view that Kenyans should not place too much hope on President Uhuru ending corruption since neither him nor Ruto are ideological foes of corruption. Most of our problems stem from corruption because it distorts our economy from solving to creating problems. In short, corruption means stealing from others and gearing our thoughts and activities to actualising theft. Corruption also makes enemies of all those who will steal from one another. Other than creating poverty, anger and enemies, corruption also makes government and country private property of leaders; takes food from the mouths of babies; kills the sick in hospitals, lets in terrorists to kill; allows defective vehicles onto our roads to kill thousands; allows criminals to steal hundreds of billions from government coffers; kills youth with drugs and alcohol; sells leadership to thieves and bars persons of integrity from leadership. President Uhuru and Deputy President Ruto cannot eliminate corruption because they believe in capitalism, the mother of graft and the ideology of greed. Corruption in Kenya is everywhere, polluting the soul of every individual and every institution.

    It is in government, in schools, in the police, on roads, in hospitals, in media, in churches, everywhere. We wrongly believe fighting corruption only means arresting and jailing corrupt people. The harder part is teaching the entire country the ideals and taboos of fighting graft. As in fighting disease, in fighting graft, prevention is better than cure. Many doubt President Uhuru’s intention to wage war against corruption because, in a country flooded by corruption, we see no casualties paraded in courts for corruption, we hear no protestations against arrest and prosecution, and there are no anticorruption campaigns in our cities, towns, villages, schools, churches, radios and televisions. Corruption cannot be fought in silence. President Uhuru has power and enjoys goodwill to fight corruption. But to fight graft he needs more than power. He needs own reasons to declare war against graft, political will to fight and total conviction that corruption is his personal enemy. Yet to regard corruption as a personal enemy, graft need to have hurt President Uhuru at a personal level. Has it? If Uhuru and Ruto have benefited more from graft than they have been hurt by it, their war against graft will be stillborn.

    To realise difficulties of fighting corruption we need to acknowledge its various tentacles. Most fundamental is corruption inherent in capitalism, our economic system or socialism gone mad. Where there is corruption of the system, fighting it will require revolutionary efforts. But if our leaders believe in capitalism, they cannot fight it and profit from the system. Corruption is very difficult to fight when it is founded on greed, the ideology of capitalism that we don’t currently question – theft is fair, exploitation is smart and loot is legitimate. It is fair for a smart thief to keep his loot if he is uncaught. If President Uhuru and Deputy President Ruto have decided to fight graft, they will find it easier to fight petty than grand corruption. After all, petty thieves will not come from their class. President Uhuru might even believe that old graft no longer smells and may no longer need fighting like raw corruption which still smells foul. But logic will dictate equality of treatment between old and new graft. If Uhuru and Ruto benefited from old graft, fighting new graft will be impossible. Experience also teaches that fighting the corruption of other people from other places and communities is easier than fighting corruption of our family members, friends and ethnic communities.

    Ultimately the most difficult corruption is graft that has captured power and is in government. It will use government resources to defend itself. It is lack of ideological capacity and political will that researched and investigated corruption as reported in Controller and Auditor General, Ndung’u Report, Transparency International and TJRC has not been prosecuted by various Kenyan governments including this one of Uhuru and Ruto. Kenyan corruption has progressed in quantity and quality and no longer cares about life. Like mafia, it kills those who will expose or wish to eradicate it. The worst is our moral corruption that kills soul of the nation and individuals we read about everyday killing spouses and children in homes and often, uncaring drivers and travelers on our roads. Kenyan corruption has grown intractable because it does not fight alone. It is has allies in negative ethnicity that will protect “own” graft and political leaders who resort to corruption to win elections. – See more at: http://www.the-star.co.ke/news/article-143895/uhuru-and-ruto-have-no-political-will-eradicate-corruption#sthash.vgwv8zrb.dpuf

  • Uhuruto hawawezi

    President Uhuru’s Mere Threats To The Corrupt Will Not End Graft

    ..

    Saturday, April 5, 2014 – 00:00 — BY KOIGI WAMWERE

    A European diplomat once told me that President Moi told a meeting of Western diplomats that he spoke a language with two meanings. He could issue unintended threats to Western diplomats not to scold them but reassure his African subjects that he was still the man in charge of the country.

    In fighting corruption, President Uhuru seems to resort to the same tactics of issuing unmeant threats to the corrupt in his office and elsewhere in the land, not with any real intention to draw their blood, but make people believe that his Jubilee government is fighting graft.

    In an article in Saturday Nation of March 29, 2014, David Ndii boldly asserted that “governments lie” and accused the Jubilee government of lying, by cooking figures to prove a non-existent wage crisis of spiralling wage bill when the real purpose is to conceal the real wage disparities between few plutocrats at the very top and ordinary people at the bottom of society. If Ndii is right that Jubilee government is lying, we must conclude that the government cannot fight corruption. To earn popularity however, it will bark but never bite corruption.

    If this is the case and we interpret the crusade against corruption as a people’s cause, they have yet to take up, we can say with justification that the campaign was lost the moment Uhuru and Ruto won power at the last general election. But if a government can lie about the economy, why can’t it lie about elections.

    All corruption begins with lying and no lying can be a cure for graft. No lying government then can fight corruption because lies always aid, abet and conceal corruption.
    All the government noise we hear about fighting corruption is just barking, never fighting graft. Already, the lion of corruption has invaded the homestead called Kenya. Therein, it is killing sheep and cattle at will. Unfortunately, instead of fighting this lion, the President who is the head of the homestead is only barking at it while taking cover under the bed. Why then should the lion leave the homestead and stop eating the sheep?

    To fight corruption, President Uhuru may need to fight members of his family, friends and close political allies who may have dipped their fingers in the pot of corruption to scoop out the forbidden honey. Does he have revolutionary courage to fight his family? When Fidel Castro came to power in Cuba, the first big piece of land that his government confiscated to distribute to the peasants was his father’s and without this courage, no leader can fight corruption.

    But will Uhuru fight? Already, we have tons and tons of evidence that has been accumulating since independence. Every year, there is the report of the Controller and Auditor General. There was the Report of Shame. There is the Ndung’u Report. There are numerous reports by Public Accounts Committee and Public Investments Committee of Parliament. The government does not act for lack of evidence. It is for the lack of will and courage to commit class suicide.

    If President Uhuru shall fight corruption, he will need to break his silence on lots of money few people have stolen and banked abroad. Without the return of this money, the government borrowing and increasing taxes to get money for development sounds like condoning graft. One thing I know though, one cannot fight corruption alone or fight graft with its beneficiaries. As the Kikuyu proverb says: one who looks for his lost sheep with the one who has eaten it, will never find it. To fight corrupt, President Uhuru will need an army of anti-corruption crusaders whom people know about and can recognize for inspiration.

    To fight graft, Uhuru will however depend on an already compromised Parliament that set aside the integrity chapter of the constitution to win elections, the battle is as good as lost. To form a credible army of fighting corruption from both his party and others, like Abraham Lincoln, President Uhuru will need to constitute a team of rivals, not to share loot as Kibaki’s and Raila’s government of national unity did, to guard against each other eating the forbidden fruit.

    To succeed the anti-corruption crusade, the President will also have to seek and get national good will. The war against graft cannot be won if Cord will frustrate it when championed by Jubilee or Jubilee will kill it if advocated for by Cord or any other group of Kenyans.

    If Uhuru and Ruto will ever fight corruption, they must stop prevaricating. How can the President talk of fighting corruption if we have ghost workers in government, if no one so far has been jailed for stealing Sh330 billion from government, if the harshest punishment we have for corrupt civil servants is transfer to another ministry and if Deputy President believes we don’t need to jail or expel thieves from government for the economy to grow?

    Unfortunately, for Kenya, there is no doubt that the current political class both in government – Jubilee – and opposition – Cord – can be relied upon to end the epidemic. An ideologically new crop of leaders should end the endemic or we shall perish.

    As we conclude, we must not take seriously the argument that Kenyan leaders cannot eradicate corruption because Kibaki, Kenyatta, Moi, Raila, Uhuru and Ruto have not done so. The reason for their failure is because they never believed in fighting graft in the first place.
    …. – See more at: http://www.the-star.co.ke/news/article-161831/president-uhurus-mere-threats-corrupt-will-not-end-graft#sthash.tM1ZUoOm.dpuf

  • deleting prominent names in tjrc report

    MPs vote to remove names of top politicians from TJRC report

    Posted by: The People in National December 7, 2013

    Parliament is gearing up to delete names of prominent personalities named in the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Report after members voted to have a clause barring debate on the content of the report deleted. Members of the Jubilee coalition successfully passed an amendment which seeks to give Parliament a leeway to alter the contents of the report. The amendment moved by Legal Affairs Committee chairman Samuel Chepkonga states, “The principal Act is amended in section 48 by inserting the words for consideration “ immediately after the word parliament.”

    The import of the amendment is that the National Assembly will have the pressure to amend the report including deleting the names of those named in it. Among the prominent personalities include President Uhuru Kenyatta and Bethwel Kiplagat, who chaired TJRC. An amendment by Cord nominated MP Zuleikha Hassan seeking to overturn the committee’s own amendment was defeated by the majority in a vote of 79 to 30 votes.

    In her proposed amendment Zuleikha wanted the clause seeking to allow debate on the report defeated saying there was a likelihood for the MPs to alter its content. During the second reading MPs said they must be allowed to alter the report but Cord and allies expressed fears that there was a motive to use the opening to delete the names of some of those mentioned in the report.

    Majority Leader Aden Duale said the National Assembly was not simply “a conveyor belt” to just read and adopt a report without the input of the law-makers. “This House must sit and analyse this report, we cannot sit here to read reports and pass them without out input,” he said. The law-makers dismissed the proposal by the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee that even as the MPs debate the Bill “any such consideration shall not interfere with the context, text, form and substance of the report.”

    “I must have an input on how reparation will be done to the people of Northern Kenya,” said the Majority Leader as he backed the TJRC (Amendment) Bill, 2013. According to Duale, most of the MPs in the House were new, and should therefore be allowed to discuss the reconciliation process. Millie Mabona (Mbita) and Opiyo Wandayi (Ugunja) said the “tyranny of numbers” was likely to mutilate the report of the TJRC and obfuscate the truth.

    They said the idea for MPs not to alter the report was key to ensure that all the aspects raised in the report are tackled. She said the National Assembly should not set out to white-wash those mentioned in the report and the issues raised, because, if they remain un-addressed they “will just blow up”. “If we are not careful as a country, we will go worse than the Egyptian way.

    Let us be bold, let us be brave, let us deal with these issues once and for all,” said Mabona. Mabona added that President Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto should focus on healing the country even as they let their lawyers battle the cases of crimes against humanity at the ICC. – By ANTHONY MWANGI

  • deleting prominent names in tjrc report

    TJRC ‘cannot remove President Uhuru Kenyatta kin from report’
    Updated Tuesday, August 20th 2013 at 00:00 GMT +3

    By PAMELA CHEPKEMEI

    KENYA: Information implicating two of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s relatives named in a report by the Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission ( TJRC) over land acquisition cannot be expunged.

    The TJRC has told the court that the orders sought to expunge the names and adverse reports on Ngengi Muigai and his sister Beth Mugo cannot be granted because the implementation stage will be done by the National Land Commission (NLC).

    The two want the report linking them to illegal acquisition of public land quashed.

    Wedding gift

    The two petitioners through their lawyer Jennifer Shamalla want the court to compel TJRC to provide evidence to prove its allegations that Jomo Kenyatta grabbed public land and dished it out to relatives.

    TJRC in response to the case said the NLC has the legal and independent jurisdiction to look at the matters afresh, and the two petitioners shall be accorded a further opportunity to make representations in their favour before the institution.

    Muigai and Mugo have separately filed cases seeking to have sections of the report mentioning them adversely, expunged.

    Yesterday, Justice Majanja informed the parties that all the legal disputes against TJRC arising from the report and touching on land issues will be consolidated and heard together.

    The cases will be mentioned on Monday for further directions.

    Muigai has sued TJRC for claiming in its report that the late President Jomo Kenyatta gave him a parcel of land unlawfully as a wedding gift.

    Muigai a nephew of Kenyatta wants the court to compel TJRC to produce evidence that he was given land as a wedding gift. He is challenging allegations that he irregularly acquired land in Karura forest in 1997.

    He argues that TJRC acted without jurisdiction in coming up with findings that are prejudicial to him without affording him an opportunity to be heard.

    Mugo on the other hand denies TJRC allegations that she acquired prime public land at the Coast irregularly. She said she owns property in Nyali, but she purchased it jointly with her husband Nicholas Mugo.

    The two also want the section of the TJRC report mentioning them adversely, expunged. They said the report on them is inaccurate. Muigai has named the TJRC, Inspector General of Police, CID Director and the Attorney General as respondents.

  • Uhuruto wake up!

    Is Uhuru Kenyatta serious about ending wastage, corruption?
    Updated Friday, March 21st 2014 at 22:09 GMT +3

    By Ken Opalo

    Talk is cheap. And so lately there has been a lot of talk – from politicians and wananchi alike – about the need to rationalise and reduce the public wage bill and to end grand corruption in Government. Yet no one has been fired or prosecuted. When asked about this curious situation, senior people in Government have given evasive answers touting observance of due process and legal procedure. Needless to say, wananchi remain dubious.

    The President of the Republic of Kenya is on record as admitting that certain senior people in his office are corrupt. This is not a light matter. When the president spoke he was speaking for 42 million Kenyans. As a result, if the Government really wanted to put together a case that would land the said corrupt officials in jail, it would in a jiffy.

    Indeed, the president need not even have gone public with the planned investigation of the corrupt networks in his office and the rest of Government. He could have simply marshaled evidence using the Government’s extensive network then presented it to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Communication and the Director of Public Prosecution.

    The fact that the president went public raises interesting questions. On one hand, it might mean that the president’s political handlers feel that they cannot take down the entrenched corrupt networks in the Office of the President by simply using the law. Going public is therefore an attempt to get political cover for the impending purge. It might also have the added benefit of signaling to all public officials that there is a new sheriff in town and that the tune has changed. But on the other hand, all the talk about the need to cut wastage and eradicate grand corruption in government might be just that – A cynical attempt by the political class to delude Kenyans into thinking that someone somewhere is doing something about the obscene levels of corruption that currently characterise the public sector in Kenya.

    For now, I lean towards the former explanation. I hope the president and his men will prove me right in the coming weeks and months.

    In the meantime, Kenyans, and especially the political class, should approach the issue of reducing the public wage bill with cool heads. Talk in Parliament about reducing the number of counties from 47 to 11 is misguided balderdash. There might be a case for reducing the number of MPs, but the notion that Kenyans are governed too much and therefore that we should reduce the reach of government completely misses the picture. Remember, Kenyans will only achieve true and lasting freedoms when we effectively disperse power from Nairobi to mashinani. And in my opinion, the 47 counties are our best attempt yet at doing this.

    If counties are failing, let’s fix them. Throwing the baby out with the bath water in the name of reducing the wage bill is not an option. Those who want to reduce the number of counties are agents of tyranny and are anti-development.

    As I have argued before, Kenyans of all political stripes are rooting for Messrs Kenyatta and Ruto to succeed in their fight against poverty and underdevelopment. Even former Prime Minister Raila Odinga recently gave them a pass for their first year in office. Despite the many teething problems so far witnessed under the Jubilee Administration, many Kenyan professionals still hold on to hope. Many want to believe that because of his personal fortune and connections to the business community President Kenyatta is the man to put the country on a path to sustained long run economic growth and development.

    The onus is now on the president and his handlers not to disappoint Kenyans. The country cannot afford any more time going around in circles.

    In order to eradicate corruption and wastage and genuinely improve governance the president will have to make some tough political decisions.

    This will necessarily require a change in the style of politics. In particular, the politics of watu wetu and delegations to State House must cease. We are all Kenyans as individuals and not as members of communities. Those of us who break the law – for instance, by stealing public resources – should face the law as individuals and not as communities. A continuation of the politics of watu wetu will necessarily retard the fight against graft, as those exposed will hide behind the cover of their communities.

    This is an important lesson not just for State House but the entire political class. The way we conduct our politics has a direct impact on the way we do business, both in the public and private sectors.

  • Kenyatta and Ruto r jokers who only went for leadership to defend themselves against the ICC so they will not do anything for Kenyans.

  • Police Vetting

    Enjoy The God-Fathers of Impunity corruption and thugs in uniform-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0F6bKfDgKKU

  • What went wrong? Lessons from Malawi’s food crisis

    Autocracy and aid dependency killed an agriculture success story

    By:

    Masimba Tafirenyika

    From Africa Renewal:

    January 2013

    Malawi has gone from bountiful maize crops to renewed uncertainty: Strong, democratic leadership and sound policies are essential for ensuring food security.

    Photo: Africa Media Online/South Photos/Graeme Williams

    Once again Malawi finds itself in a tight spot. A food crisis set off by erratic rains, rising food prices and economic hardships is slowly unfolding. For the first time in several years, the country’s ability to feed its citizens is at risk. Sadly and unexpectedly, Malawi has lost its hard-earned status as an agricultural success story — it used to produce enough maize for its people to eat and still provide a surplus to neighbours. Many are now wondering what went wrong and whether there could be lessons for other African countries.

    More than 1.63 million people, or 11 per cent of the population, are facing severe food shortages, according to the World Food Programme, a UN relief agency. Malawi needed $30 million to the end of 2012 to cover the shortfall. Agriculture is the backbone of its economy: four in five people rely on it for income. Most farmers plant on small plots by hand with little irrigation, and therefore are vulnerable to recurring droughts, notes the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. Malawi is home to Africa’s third-largest freshwater lake — Lake Malawi — yet less than 3 per cent of the land is irrigated.

    Malawi’s current troubles might seem surprising. Yet to those who follow events in the tiny, poor and densely populated landlocked Southern African nation, it is less an abrupt change in fortunes than a series of self-inflicted injuries unfolding in slow motion.

    Increased farm subsidies

    Back in 2004, President Bingu wa Mutharika, who died in office in early 2012, rode into power on a promise to increase farm subsidies as part of his Farm Input Subsidy Programme. Under the plan, the government gave subsidy vouchers to “smallholders to buy a small amount of fertilizer and seed so that they could replenish the soil nutrients, take advantage of improved seed varieties and at least achieve a livable crop from their tiny farms,” says Africa Confidential, a UK-based newsletter. The vouchers were redeemable for seeds and fertilizer at about one-third of the normal cash cost.

    The results were instant. In 2005, a year after expanded subsidies kicked in, Malawi harvested a grain surplus of half a million tonnes. In subsequent years it exported grain to Lesotho and Swaziland, as well as 400,000 tonnes of maize to Zimbabwe. Food experts and advocacy groups took turns at international forums extolling Malawi as an example of Africa’s “green revolution.” Exploiting his new-found success, President Mutharika called on other African leaders to embrace his policies. Now the tables have turned, and Malawi is facing severe food shortages.

    Ironically, even during the years of plenty, Malawi continued to import large quantities of wheat, maize and other cereals, says FAO, and isolated pockets of hunger remained. In pursuing subsidies, Mutharika defied donor critics who alleged that the programme was riddled with corruption, ran counter to the principles of free markets and was unsustainable. Indeed, by 2009 the government was spending 16 per cent of its budget on subsidies.

    Over time President Mutharika became autocratic, amid charges of corruption and cronyism. In 2009 he spent more than $20 million on a long-range presidential jet. Worse, he started promoting his brother Peter, then foreign minister, as his successor, further alienating donors, on whom Malawi depends. As the donors abandoned him, the economy tanked and protesters took to the streets, leading to political instability.

    Leadership is key

    Now that a previously successful experiment with an “African green revolution” is unraveling, what are the lessons for others? With a population of more than a billion and counting, will Africa ever be able to produce enough food for its people? The answer to that question is a qualified yes. But for it to happen, certain conditions must exist.

    First, an essential ingredient for success in agriculture is strong political will at the highest level. In his book The New Harvest: Agricultural Innovation in Africa, Calestous Juma, a Harvard University professor originally from Kenya, argues that African leaders should make agriculture a key element of all major economic decisions.

    Rhoda Tumusiime, the head of agriculture at the African Union Commission, agrees. She notes that while success in agriculture does not have many drivers, leadership is crucial. “There must be a key political champion at head-of-state level to steer and champion a vision on agricultural revolution,” she told the Economic Commission for Africa.

    Mr. Mutharika not only had the political will, but tried to lead by example. And his anti-poverty policies attracted many advocates. The director of the New York–based Earth Institute at Columbia University, Jeffrey Sachs, who has worked closely with Malawian authorities to fight poverty, is among them. “We should … remember a positive legacy of the late president Mutharika, because that legacy holds a key for Africa’s future development and escape from poverty,” Sachs wrote in an op-ed in the New York Times.

    “Until his final two years, Mutharika had actually engineered an agriculture-led boom in Malawi, one that pointed a way for Africa to overcome its chronic hunger, food insecurity, and periodic extreme famines,” said Sachs. He credited the late president for standing “bravely against the arrogance of an ill-informed foreign aid community back in 2005.”

    Food security equals national security

    Second, while foreign aid is critical in feeding the hungry and reviving agriculture in Africa, food security is too important to be left to the generosity of external partners. Food security requires the same seriousness and resources as national security, if not more. In fact, national security loses its legitimacy if thousands of citizens die not from enemy firepower but from starvation, or risk their lives crossing borders while fleeing from hunger.

    And finally, Africa needs a strong food policy backed by resources from African Union members, to be invested in institutions that promote agriculture. One tangible AU response has been the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), which requires countries that sign up to it to spend at least 10 per cent of their national budgets on agriculture (see Africa’s food policy). CAADP itself has a very small budget, but it uses the little it has to strengthen agricultural institutions and build teams of skilled personnel who roam the continent sharing best practices with national authorities.

    “There is no doubt that African agriculture needs strong local institutions to avoid the kind of bubble that we saw in Malawi, which was largely driven by external energy,” Martin Bwalya, the head of CAADP, told Africa Renewal, alluding to Malawi’s dependence on donors for its short-lived success. CAADP, which is run by the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), the AU’s development agency, recognizes that Africa needs institutions whose effectiveness and shelf-life do not depend on the survival of individuals.

    Mr. Mutharika tried to follow the path of subsidies and largely succeeded. Countries that have pursued Malawi’s lead have “achieve[d] breakthroughs in farm yields and food production for the first time in their modern history,” said Professor Sachs. Mr. Mutharika’s successor, Joyce Banda, Africa’s third female president, now has to formulate a new food policy, woo back the donors, stabilize the economy and again get agriculture back on track. 
    – See more at: http://www.un.org/africarenewal/magazine/january-2013/what-went-wrong-lessons-malawi%E2%80%99s-food-crisis#sthash.UwlRPfKj.dpuf

  • CORD poor scorecard

    OPPOSITION SCORECARD

    ..

    Monday, April 7, 2014 – 00:00 — BY STAR TEAM

    Cord performs dismally, Nyenze worst

    If the opposition performance was to be marked up, it would undoubtedly secure Grade D at best (get your act together). A part from a few individual brilliant performances by Cord coalition leaders Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka and Moses Wetang’ula, MPs Millie Odhiambo, Chris Wamalwa and John Mbadi, the opposition’s performance has been mediocre. The opposition should have been working day and night to get this government out of office by exposing the wrongs being committed and suggesting alternative approaches. Instead it has failed to understand that the people put them there to fight for their cause and not go on “vacation”. In fact, the opposition goes on “vacation” more than the schoolchildren do. They are not vigilant enough. They need to do more union work, more research and more work in the Parliament. For the first time The Star rates them and from now on will do so annually.

    Raila Odinga – CORD Leader: D

    Cord has failed. That is the verdict we have returned one year later. Led by former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, Wiper’s Kalonzo Musyoka and former Minister Moses Wetang’ula, Cord has performed dismally, both inside and outside Parliament. The Opposition’s main role is to question the government of the day and hold it accountable to the public. But in the last one year Raila’s team has failed to show that they are an alternative government. The only remarkable achievement cord has made in the last one year is that its leaders, Raila, Kalonzo and Wetang’ula have remained together. Apart from sabotaging government fronted debate on a motion to withdraw from ICC, Cord has failed to vigorously debate legislation on the floor of the house let alone form a shadow cabinet that would have held Cabinet Secretaries accountable. Occasional statements attacking the government have been forthcoming from Raila but they have achieved little impact. Apart from a lackluster and sometimes mediocre performance on the floor of the House Raila’s troops in parliament led by Francis Nyenze and Jakoyo Midiwo have remained rudderless and uninspired . An experienced opposition leader Raila knows too well that his performance has been wanting. We give you grade D (Get your act together)

    Kalonzo Musyoka – Cord Principal and Wiper Party Leader: D

    Co-principal in the Cord triumvirate top leadership, Kalonzo has been blowing hot and cold over the past year. Out of Parliament, one could argue that he has no legal obligation to check on government. However his position as a co-principal in the second largest coalition in the country betrays this argument. The National Assembly’s leader of minority (opposition leader) is Francis Nyenze, a Wiper MP who owes everything to Kalonzo. By virtue of his position, Nyenze sits in Wiper’s top decision-making organs alongside Kalonzo as a co-opted member. A failure on Nyenze is a failure on Kalonzo. On his own score, Musyoka has not used his ‘ample time out there’ to push the government to account. We have not heard Kalonzo come out strong on dwindling economic fortunes, rising insecurity, inflation, corruption, implementation of truth commission, unemployment, Jubilee’s false promises and incompetence of the cabinet. His criticism of Jubilee appears measured. May be he is yet to find his bearing and recover from the shock of firstround defeat last March. This is also Musyoka’s first time out in the cold since he begun his political career. Musyoka’s positives include his strong defence for devolution. He has also been quite “visible” out there promoting reconciliation among Kenyan communities. He scores a D (Get your Act together)

    Moses Wetang’ula – Cord Principal and Ford-K Party Leader: D

    e is the only one in Parliament of the three Cord Principals. This has placed his shoulders an extra burden of shepherding the Alliance’s agenda in the House. When it comes to the Senate, the Cord machine is well oiled and functional. This was at play when the coalition stifled Jubilee motion seeking to withdraw from ICC. It can never get better than Wetang’ula, James Orengo, David Musila, Johnstone Muthama, Chris Obure, Boni Khalwale, Wilfred Machage, Amos Wako when compared to Kimani Wamatangi, Kithure Kindiki, Wilfred Lessan, Stephen Sang, Isaac Melly or Kipchumba Murkomen. He has however failed to expand and bear his influence to Cord’s troops in the national Assembly where leadership is desperately needed. He doesn’t behave as a leader of Cord Mps and is totally disconnected. It is worse when it is considered that he has expressed his interest contesting the presidency in 2017. Just how he will lead the nation when he cannot lead 150 Mps is the bigger question. He appears totally incapable of providing directions to MPs in pushing for an alternative agenda in the House. Rating D (Get your act together)
    Jakoyo Midiwo – Deputy Minority Leader: D

    Jakoyo Midiwo has been in Parliament for more than 10 years and knows too well how opposition functions. He currently occupies the second most important position in the House and is expected to use that position to organise his troops in Parliament. But Midiwo and Nyenze have taken way too long to realise the crucial role they have as opposition chiefs. Jubilee has successfully pushed its agenda through parliament as opposition operated without strategy or a sense of unity. There is lack of “confluence of ideological thinking and ideas” between the top leadership of Cord and the rank and file. Outside Parliament the Cord leadership seems to have an agenda but that is not to be the case in Parliament. Midiwo who is from ODM the largest party in the coalition, has failed in promoting inter- and intra-party consultation, which is not helping the alliance in adopting a common position on matters affecting the country. It has also led to a scenario where leaders read from different scripts. Rating D (Get your act together)

    Francis Nyenze – Leader of Minority in Parliament: E

    As a Minority Leader, Nyenze is the defacto opposition leader in the National Assembly. By its functions, the National Assembly is the busier of the two houses of Parliament. His position is therefore more powerful than Senate’s minority leader and Cord co-principal Moses Wetang’ula. Yet Nyenze’s power and capacity to lead Cord’s brigade to push the government to account has not quite been felt. Cord has generally appeared rudderless in parliament missing opportunities any opposition craves to for. Cord’s strong voice has been missed out key matters of national importance include unprecedented levels of insecurity in the country, corruption in government, implementation of the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) report. Under his leadership, all cabinet nominees passed with flying colors. Not one was found unfit. Jubilee has gotten away with so much in parliament from illegal executive appointment, flawed tendering and unmitigated incompetence. The multi-billion laptop tender was flawed from the very start yet the ministry of education would have gotten away with it were it not for the Procurement appeals board. He scores E ( Please save us some and resign).

    Johnstone Muthama – Senate Minority Whip: E

    The fiery politician from Kangundo is the Minority Whip in the Senate. The arduous task of shepherding Cord senators into one position rests on his shoulders. Muthama is energetic and a man committed to his cause, only that he was consumed by his own personal problems throughout last year. He started off well, probably, propelled by the anger of what he believes was Cord’s stolen victory in the last election. The death of Mutula Kilonzo only mortified his anger towards the Uhuru state where he had proved as an outspoken critic. However, the decision by Uhuru to withdraw his personal security appears to have slowed his anger and he duly went silent. There has never a moment in the last one year in which serious whipping of the opposition was required. A tough, politician no doubt with the capacity to whip, but he has been rendered impotent probably by senate’s limited legislative work which does not require lots of whipping. Like Wetangula, he is guilty of doing little to ensure that Cord voice is heard loud and clear in the national assembly. Rating (E resign)

    Janet Ong’era – Senate Minority Deputy Whip: E

    The Nominated senator has decided to operate from the crowd. Little is ever heard of or from her and few remember instances when she has come out to articulate the Cord coalition’s issues in the midst of the confusion that is being witnessed within the ranks of the opposition. Little was heard from her when some MPs openly pushed for the scrapping of the special seats reserved for women in both Parliament and county assemblies. More poignant for her is that women Mps have proved a little let down and one would have expected Ong’era to lead those allied to Cord into some purposive agenda. Rating E (resign)

    Abdirahman Hassan – Senate Deputy Minority Leader: D

    Brilliant and a good debater, there is little doubt Abdirahman has a proper understanding of issues. He is one of the active members on the floor of the House, but there is a disconnect between him and the Cord Alliance. In spite of this, few Cord supporters know the senator or can link him with his position. Yet, he proved he can ably lead when he briefly stepped in as the acting leader of Minority when Wetang’ula lost his seat. The Wajir Senator, casts a forlorn image of a man who is aloof and distant on issues affecting the Coalition, both within the House and without. He hardly attends Parliamentary Group meetings where crucial party issues are articulated. His grade is D.

    Gideon Mung’aro – Cord Chief Whip: F

    he minority whip in the National Assembly, Mung’aro shares all the failures of minority leader. His role is to ensure Cord MPs attend House sessions with view to ensure Cord’s agenda prevails. He also selects Cord members to sit in various committees and enforces party discipline among members. His failure to pull together troops over key matters including VAT Bill and the Media Bill can therefore be understood in that context. Most Cord MPs also appear to have given up to “tyranny of numbers” theory. In Kanu days, opposition used to give the government a run for their money Kanu’s strength notwithstanding. Many would remember the days when MP James Orengo moved a no-confidence motion against Vice President George Saitoti. The opposition fought to the last day and lost honorably. Under Mung’aro’s leadership, Cord has not stood for anything in the last one year apart from the ICC pull-out motion. The quality of debates and attendance seriously wanting. He gets an F (You are fired!)

    …. – See more at: http://www.the-star.co.ke/news/article-161940/opposition-scorecard#sthash.cH4azQAt.dpuf

  • UNHCR on Somalis in Kenya

    UNHCR seeking access to detained asylum- seekers and refugees in Nairobi

    Press Releases, 7 April 2014

    UNHCR in Kenya is concerned at the wave of arrests that have taken place during the week end in Nairobi, following recent terrorist attacks in the capital. The police sweeps were concentrated at Eastleigh neighbourhood where the majority of urban Somali refugees and asylum-seekers live and where some of the attacks occurred.

    UNHCR has been informed that those arrested are held at various police stations as well as at the Kasarani Stadium.

    In line with its mandate, UNHCR has sought access for itself and its partners to the detained refugees and asylum-seekers. This access will allow UNHCR to properly identify refugees, asylum-seekers and others of concern. It will also allow the agency to provide assistance to the detainees and obtain their release where appropriate.

    UNHCR understands the security concerns of the Government of Kenya and the steps taken to protect the people who live in the country including asylum-seekers and refugees. UNHCR appeals to the law enforcement agencies to uphold the rights of all those arrested and to treat them in a humane and non-discriminatory manner.

    Of the 550,980 refugees and asylum seeker in Kenya, 50,800 mostly Somali live in Nairobi.

    Background

    Asylum-seekers and refugees are to be protected against arbitrary arrest and detention, including the right to have the reasons for their detention reviewed by a court of law in a timely manner.

    For more on UNHCR’s position regarding the rights of refugees and asylum-seekers in detention, see UNHCR, Guidelines on the Applicable Criteria and Standards relating to the Detention of Asylum-Seekers and Alternatives to Detention, 2012, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/503489533b8.html

    For further information, please contact:
    In Nairobi, Emmanuel Nyabera,
    http://www.unhcr.org/5342b35d9.html

  • Police Vetting

    Watch the thieving KDF on Video>

  • Mama Ngina mwizi

    Mama Ngina wants land case terminated
    Last updated on 8 Apr 2014 00:00

    By VINCENT MABATUK and PAMELA CHEPKEMEI

    Nakuru, Kenya: Former First Lady Mama Ngina Kenyatta has asked the High Court in Nakuru to strike out her name in a case challenging her ownership of two prime plots in Nakuru.

    Through her lawyer William Kabaiku, Mama Ngina faulted the suit filed against her by a retired doctor, Isaac Kirubi.

    She said the petitioner had failed to state reasons why he was suing her instead of pursuing the Attorney General and the Commissioner of Lands who according to her are the custodians of private and public properties.

    However, in an affidavit filed in court, Dr Kirubi claims the plots were forcibly transferred to Mama Ngina on May 7, 1974 by then Commissioner of Lands, James Aloysius O’Loughlin.

    But Mama Ngina said Kirubi has failed to prove that he once owned the two plots. Kirubi filed a constitutional petition in 2010 alleging that Mama Ngina had infringed on his rights to own property.

    The retired doctor alleges that the land was forcefully taken from him in a conspiracy between the late Mzee Jomo Kenyatta and the then land commissioner, O’Loughlin.

    “It is on these grounds that we appealed to this court not to allow the application. Titles issued to Mama Ngina should be cancelled because they were illegally acquired,” he told Judge Anyara Emukule.

    Fighting for his case through lawyer Isaac Wameesa, the doctor described title deeds issued to Mama Ngina as unique and asked the court to take the matter seriously.

    Kirubi wants the High Court to nullify the acquisition and revert the land to him. He claims that Mzee, Mama Ngina and O’Loughlin violated his rights to protection from deprivation of property.

    Land acquisition

    Meanwhile, a judge has disqualified himself from a case filed by President Uhuru Kenyatta’s relative challenging a report linking him to illegal land acquisition.

    High Court Judge, George Odunga will not determine the case filed by Ngengi Muigai, a nephew of founding father Mzee Jomo Kenyatta.

    Jsutice Odunga allowed an application by Ngengi asking him to stop handling a case he lodged against the Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC). Ngengi’s lawyer, Jennifer Shamalla argued that Judge Odunga had handled a similar matter and ruled against the applicants. He was, therefore likely to be biased in the final decision.

  • “Malcolm MacDonald, Kenya’s last Governor, first and last Governor-General, then first High Commissioner for Britain and Nairobi, was a fervent admirer of Kenyatta, but nine years after independence he wrote:

    ‘One of Kenyatta’s most serious errors is his tacit assent to the acquisitiveness of some of his ministers and civil servants. Soon after attaining power, they began to buy (sometimes with money gained by dubious means) large houses, farms, motor cars and other possessions. This development not only tainted his administration with a reputation for corruption, but also produced a wide economic division between governors and governed, haves and have-nots … it would have been more prudent as well as moral if Kenyatta had enforced on colleagues and subordinates a stricter code of conduct, preventing them from becoming such a conspicuously privileged class’.

    That men and women close to Kenyatta enriched themselves handsomely during his 15-year reign is not in doubt. Kenyatta’s favorite charity was the Gatundu Self-Help Hospital in his own backyard. During the 1960s and 1970s, visitors of consequence, particularly businessmen, were expected to beat a path to State House and hand over the obligatory cheque for the Gatundu hospital. Hundreds of fund-raisers were staged on its behalf. A common joke was that it was a ‘self-help’ project, because the Kenyatta courtiers helped themselves to the proceeds. Summing up the era was this much-repeated story: During an official tour upcountry, Kenyatta spotted a farm he fancied and instructed an aide to acquire it for him. Timidly, the man said it was impossible. Impossible! Was he not the President! Indeed, yes, but mama Ngina (his wife) already had it.”

    In: “Birth of a Nation: The Story of a Newspaper in Kenya” by Gerard Loughran (pp. 86-87).

  • prostitution in Tanzania
  • Super-Powers Gimmick

    What are they waiting Russiya is not Libya,Iraq or Afghanistan > Bring it on>

    http://www.presstv.com/detail/2014/04/08/357699/us-nato-pushing-world-toward-war/

  • Somaia jailed

    Tycoon dubbed King Con who boasted he was friends with the Hinduja brothers jailed for fleecing investors out of £13m by wooing them with Champagne parties and trips on private jets

    By Sam Webb

    Published: 16:55 GMT, 22 July 2014 | Updated: 17:52 GMT, 22 July 2014

    A business tycoon who fleeced wealthy investors out of £13.5million was jailed for eight years today after the largest ever private prosecution in English legal history.

    Ketan Somaia, 52, wooed his victims with luxury trips on private Learjets, champagne parties, extravagant dinners and expenses paid trips to Dubai, Kenya and South Africa.

    The Kenyan businessman, dubbed ‘King Con’, boasted about his connections to the billionaire Hinduja brothers while showing off his plush office in Mayfair and a palatial home in the exclusive north London suburb of Hadley Wood.

    In reality Somaia was shamelessly exploiting his unwitting victims to get his hands on their money to sustain his luxurious lifestyle and prop up his failing businesses.

    Even after his arrest Somaia continued to live in a manner that ‘most can only dream of’, dining at the five-star Dorchester hotel in Mayfair and the exclusive East India Men’s Club, and sending his teenage daughter to a finishing school in Switzerland.

    Somaia was convicted of nine counts of fraud after a private prosecution launched by his victim and former friend Murli Mirchandani at the Old Bailey.

    Mr Mirchandani lost nearly $20million between 1999 and 2000 while a second investor Dilip Shah lost 200,000 dollars.

    Sentencing Somaia, Judge Richard Hone QC said: ‘Your fraudulent conduct involved obtaining $19.7million.

    At the prevailing exchange rates that represents approximately £13.5million.

    ‘It is apparent from the evidence that your Dolphin Group of companies was in serious trouble at the time of the economic downturn at the end of 1999.

    ‘I am satisfied the money you took as loans and investments were never invested as you said they would be but were used by you either for your own purposes or to prop up your failing companies.

    ‘You were fundamentally dishonest in your dealings with both Murli Mirchandani and Dilip Shah. You breached their trust in you in a callous, immoral and flagrant manner.

    ‘But for your admitted ill health I would have had no hesitation in passing a sentence of ten years imprisonment. However I think some allowance should be made though in my judgement you are your own worst enemy in that respect, having failed to take medication and failed to adhere to your doctor’s advice.’

    Defence barrister James Woods QC had attempted to delay sentence again after arguing Somaia needed another operation.

    Mr Woods also claimed that Somaia had only a 20 per cent chance of surviving the next five years because of his heart and kidney problems.

    Somaia was able to pull off the scams because his victims accepted his personal guarantees that ‘my word is my bond’.

    He gave the impression of being a successful businessman with his smooth, charming, impressive and persuasive exterior.

    Somaia bragged that he was a friend of the billionaire Hinduja brothers and owned assets worth $500million in banking and hotels.

    He could boast a link to Lord Parkinson through Dolphin Holdings, part of a business empire built up by Somaia that collapsed in 2001.

    Mr Mirchandani heard of his business prowess at a cocktail party and was quickly bewitched by Somaia’s offer of a lucrative partnership.

    Somaia treated him to dinners at Annabel’s nightclub in London and all expenses paid trips to South Africa and Dubai and flaunted his lavish home in Hadley Wood, north London.

    His scam began with a plea for a short term loan of $865,000 to buy shares in Delphis Bank Mauritius, guaranteeing repayment in four months.

    Two days later he convinced Mr Mirchandani to hand over $7.5million to buy a ten per cent stake in the bank.

    In July Mr Mirchandani transferred another $2.5million to buy a stake in another company which Somaia claimed would double in value within three years.

    The following month Mr Mirchandani thought he was paying $2.775million for a 50 per cent interest in the Diamond Mining Corporation of Liberia, which Somaia claimed would treble in value within nine months.

    Two weeks later Mr Mirchandani transferred another $3million to Somaia to help purchase a bank in Tanzania with a guaranteed profit of 20 per cent and full repayment within 120 days at 15 per cent interest.

    Somaia built up a feeling of ‘fevered excitement’ in his victim with false opportunities of being his business partner, said prosecutor William Boyce QC.

    In October 1999 Somaia invited Mr Mirchandani to a meeting at his office in Brook Street, Mayfair and offered him the chance to invest in a hotel group in South Africa.

    Mr Mirchandani paid $1.85million for a 50 per cent interest in the deal but never received any paper work confirming his investment.

    The duped businessman became increasingly worried about his investments after Somaia asked for two loans of £1million at 15 per cent interest and $1.5million at 18 per cent interest in November 1999.

    Somaia claimed he was having ‘cash flow problems’ but would personally guarantee the loans.
    The following month he invited Mr Mirchandani on another ‘no expenses spared’ trip to South Africa in December.

    By March 2000 Mr Mirchandani was pressing Somaia for repayment but still felt some obligation because of Somaia’s previous generosity.

    As a result he agreed to give the conman a further loan of £1million to be repaid within 30 days.

    He never received the money back but two months later Somaia again asked for another loan during a trip to Mauritius.

    Mr Mirchandani agreed to give him another $1million on condition everything was repaid by September 2000 before finally pulling the plug.

    Somaia then asked Dilip Shah for ‘emergency funding’ with an return of 25 per cent but Mr Shah could only afford $200,000.

    In return he was given ten million shares in Delphis Bank Mauritius but when he tried to cash them in a year later he was told they were worthless.

    Mr Mirchandani – who himself claims to be worth more than $120million – finally launched a private prosecution in the autumn of 2011 while Somaia was in London.

    Somaia claimed in his defence that Mr Mirchandani gave him the money knowing the risk it might be lost, and said the gamble had not paid off.

    The court heard Somaia also received around $2million from Surajit Sen in 1997 and owed a total of $15million to another businessman, referred to as ‘Mr Bose’, by April 2001.

    Somaia made the first repayment of $2million to Mr Bose but failed to pay any more of the money back.

    Somaia, of Bayswater, west London, was found guilty of eight charges of obtaining money transfers by deception from Mr Mirchandani between 23 June 1999 and 6 May 2000 and one charge of obtaining money transfers by deception from Mr Shah on 10 August 2000.

    He was acquitted of two counts of obtaining money by deception from Mr Mirchandani amounting to $3.5m.

    In a statement released following conviction, Mr Mirchandani said: ‘I feel great relief that Mr Somaia has finally been brought to justice.

    ‘Fourteen years ago, I was a self-made businessman with a thriving business to hand over to my children. When I met Mr Somaia, I trusted him implicitly.

    ‘He seemed to me to be a very successful and wealthy businessman and I thought that I could benefit from doing business with him. I now bitterly regret my misplaced trust. He has stolen US$19.5 million from me which has caused considerable harm to my business.

    ‘His actions have undermined my trust in people and had a detrimental effect on my health. I have spent the last fourteen years trying to rebuild my businesses at the same time as trying to hold Mr Somaia to account for his actions.

    ‘By bringing a private prosecution, I have made sure that his conduct is seen for what it is: criminal and dishonest. Securing a conviction against Mr Somaia will not undo the harm he has caused and the pain he has inflicted upon me and my family but knowing that he has been brought to justice helps bring us some closure.’

    Michael O’Kane, Head of Business Crime at legal firm Peters & Peters said: ’Mr Murli Mirchandani approached Peters & Peters in 2009 with a view to bringing Mr Somaia to justice.

    ‘Peters & Peters helped Mr Mirchandani to mount his own private prosecution which is, to our knowledge, the largest private prosecution brought by an individual in the UK to date.’

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2701739/Tycoon-dubbed-King-Con-boasted-friends-Hinduja-brothers-jailed-fleecing-investors-13m-wooing-Champagne-parties-trips-private-jets.html

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