How Ex-Spy Chief Michael Gichangi’s Appointment was Demonized in a Wikileaks Report
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How Lenku cleared terror suspect in work permit scandal
In January this year Pakistani national Mohammed Iqbal Wasim applied to renew his work permit in Kenya.
The application was made under the company name, Sleek Automobiles, and was declined by the Immigration Department on June 25, 2014.
The department was acting on information from the National Intelligence Service (NIS) which, in a letter dated May 19, 2014, warned against a renewal.
“It is clear that the applicant is a risk to the country and this application may need to be declined,” said the letter addressed to then Director of Immigration Services, Ms Jane Waikenda, who on Thursday was named deputy ambassador to South Africa.
Mr Wassim has been placed on Kenya’s screening list by the Terrorism Centre, a government agency.
His brother Nadeem Iqbal Mohammed was deported in November last year and subsequently put on a watch list as a prohibited immigrant for suspected involvement in organised crime, money laundering and financing Al-Shabaab.
According to the intelligence agency correspondence seen by Saturday Nation, the Wasim family owns several companies allegedly used for money laundering and other crimes.
The companies include Africpak Motors and Sleek Automobiles, both based in Mombasa, and Nadeem Impex of Nakuru.
“The family jointly runs several companies that are actively engaged in crime and are using corrupt means to extend their stay in the country,” wrote then NIS director General Michael Gichangi in a letter signed on his behalf by C.K. Mburu.
Despite this damning record, investigations by Saturday Nation reveal how top government officials, including Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph ole Lenku and a senior Jubilee member of Parliament, intervened for Mr Wasim to get the work permit.
According to letters, Mr Lenku unilaterally and unprocedurally extended Mr Wasim’s work permit on July 4 following an appeal by the applicant in which he claims to be “an exceptionally good and law-abiding investor paying millions in taxes and employing hundreds of Kenyan citizens.”
“The senior MP approached Mr Lenku who told him to ask Wasim to appeal and he would take care of it,” a source in the ministry revealed.
Mr Wasim’s permit was subsequently issued on July 9, 2014 in spite of recommendations from the NIS and immigration officer dealing with the case.
IGNORED NIS RECOMMENDATIONS
In the note signed by Mr Lenku, the minister says he renewed Mr Wasim’s work permit for one year “to allow for further investigations.”
Mr Lenku yesterday denied any wrongdoing, saying even though he extended Mr Wasim’s permit for a year, he asked NIS to give him a full report on the foreigner’s alleged involvement with terrorism and other crimes.
“We can’t deport someone on the basis of his brother’s conduct. If NIS provides me with evidence that he is a terrorist, I will terminate his permit immediately,” Mr Lenku said.
He added that Muslim leaders went to his office complaining that deporting Mr Wasim because of his brother’s record would amount to victimisation.
Our months-long investigation also reveals how foreigners are easily smuggled in and out of the country as Immigration officials at the airport look the other way.
A company, curiously named Protocol, is alleged to have stationed officials at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi and Moi International Airport in Mombasa.
They are thought to facilitate their clients to pass through Immigration without checks.
The expose comes 11 months after the Westgate mall siege — the worst terrorist attacks in 15 years — and the recent killings in Lamu, both of which exposed massive security lapses.
Nearly a year later, questions are still being raised as to how up to 15 foreigners could enter the country undetected, kill with abandon in an upmarket location in the heart of the capital and disappear without trace.
This helped fuel a theory that most of the attackers had Kenyan IDs and passports and could have simply disappeared into the crowds as the rescue got underway.
After the Westgate attack last September in which 67 people were killed, President Uhuru Kenyatta vowed to re-evaluate the country’s security apparatus and step up counter-terrorism measures to prevent similar attacks. In spite of this, frequent terrorist attacks in churches, buses and public areas have continued.
Kenya is now in the spotlight as a hotspot for human smuggling and illegal migration in Africa because of the easy access to fake identity cards and passports.
Even after the country was placed on the list of 10 most watched countries for terrorist attacks, little effort has been made towards closing loopholes in the issuing of the documents.
Instead, corruption is rife in the Immigration Department, with accusations that Kenyan passports are being sold to illegal immigrants — with prices thought to range from between Sh2,000 and Sh10,000.
In the past, some illegal immigrants have been caught using passports that were reported missing from the Immigration Department.
And last month, a broker was caught with 20 original receipts for passports that were being processed. He is alleged to have received the receipts from an immigration officer, our investigations reveal.
The issuing of work permits by the Immigration Department has also been under scrutiny, with Ms Waikenda being put on the spot over how 300 of these documents were reportedly handed out illegally.
According to our sources, one of the easiest ways for criminals, drug dealers and terrorists to live in Kenya is to buy their way by acquiring permanent residence status.
Officials who spoke to us, but who we cannot name without jeopardising their jobs, confided that while legally permanent residency is granted at a fee of Sh500,000 and after due diligence to ascertain the applicant’s suitability, the country’s soul is being sold for as low as another Sh500,000 to avoid scrutiny.
The government has this year issued 32 permanent residency status while another 60 are pending.
Thursday’s shake-up is seen as one of President Kenyatta’s most decisive moves so far in tackling insecurity, and attention now shifts on how high up and wide the clean-up will go. The government has also announced plans for digital registration of persons.
PERERA, DEEPAK KAMANI, JAMES WANJIGI
Ref: A. 2-28-06 Hoover-Pratt e-mail, with attached
“Githongo dossier”, B. 05 Nairobi 3446
Classified by Econ Counselor John Hoover for reasons 1.4
(B) and (D).
1. (S) SUMMARY AND ACTION REQUEST: Embassy Nairobi hereby
seeks security advisory opinions under section 212(F) of
the Immigration and Nationality Act, Proclamation 7750,
suspending entry into the United States of the following
— Alfred Getonga,
— Anura Perera,
— Deepak Kamani,
— Joseph “Jimmy” Wanjigi.
Ref B is Embassy Nairobi’s request for the suspension of
entry into the U.S. (subsequently approved by the
Department) of former Minister Christopher Murungaru for
his central role in a number of grand-scale corruption
cases under the administration of Kenyan President Mwai
Kibaki. This cable should be read in conjunction with ref
B, as it expands the case used against Murungaru to include
chief co-conspirators Getonga, Perera, Kamani, and Wanjigi.
All were central figures in a network of corrupt government
officials and private sector dealmakers that has
systematically stolen, or attempted to steal, a cumulative
sum as high as $700 million over the past three years by
exploiting a secretive system of government security-
related procurement contracts in Kenya. These activities
have had a serious adverse effect on U.S. national
interests in Kenya, which include strengthening democratic
institutions and the rule of law and fostering economic
development. This cable also draws heavily on, and should
be read in conjunction with, ref A. Ref A is the first-
hand account detailing high-level graft and cover-up in the
Kibaki administration made available to the public in
January 2006 by John Githongo, the President’s anti-
corruption advisor who went into self-imposed exile in
February 2005. The so-called Githongo dossier is a
credible and detailed account documenting graft and cover-
up on the part of the aforementioned individuals. Embassy
reporting and significant flows of sensitive intelligence
corroborate Githongo’s revelations. With indictments
looming, the Government of Kenya has ordered in recent days
that all four men surrender their passports and any
personal firearms they may possess. Further, the Kenya
Anti-Corruption Authority strongly supports visa revocation
against the four individuals in light of the Commission’s
own evidence of wrongdoing.
2. (S) Getonga has a valid B1/B2 visa expiring July 21,
2006; Kamani has a valid B1/B2 visa expiring May 14, 2006;
Wanjigi has previously held visas, the latest being an A2
which expired in 2003. Getonga, Kamani, and Wanjigi are
Kenyan nationals; Perera’s nationality is unknown at this
time. Post recommends Getonga, Perera, Kamani, and Wanjigi
be found ineligible under Presidential Proclamation 7750.
Please advise ASAP. END SUMMARY AND ACTION REQUEST.
ANATOMY OF A CORRUPTION NETWORK
3. (C) In April 2004, information emerged publicly that a
shadowy firm, Anglo Leasing and Finance Limited (Anglo
Leasing), had secured two bogus contracts with the
Government of Kenya (GOK). The first was for the supply of
new secure passport issuing equipment, and the second for
the construction of a police forensics lab. Together, the
two contracts were worth a combined $90 million. Anglo-
Leasing, it turned out, was no more than a “PO Box company”
with fictitious offices in the UK and Switzerland and no
identifiable officers or management. The Anglo-Leasing
scandal was aggressively investigated at the time by the
then-Permanent Secretary for Ethics and Governance, John
Githongo. Githongo’s investigations revealed Anglo-Leasing
to be only the tip of an iceberg of grand-scale theft.
They forced the Ministry of Finance to suspend payments and
order forensic audits on 18 secretive security-related
procurement contracts that followed a very similar pattern
to that found in the Anglo-Leasing cases.
4. (C) This pattern involved a small clique of private-
sector dealmakers working together with an equally small
cadre of senior government conspirators. Together, they
would generate proposals for large-scale government
procurement contracts. Because these contracts involved
national security equipment of one kind or another, they
fell well outside the normal (and already weak) systems of
scrutiny and oversight found in other parts of the GOK and
Parliament. The proposals frequently requested goods not
needed or desired by the line ministry targeted to pay for
them, and involved large upfront payments or commissions
financed by loans arranged by the businessmen. The goods
or services were either vastly overpriced or not supplied
at all. This kind of scam generated enormous illicit
profits, much of which were recycled by the businessmen who
received the payments to the concerned GOK officials and
other middlemen for personal gain or to finance future
5. (C) Githongo resigned from his position following
several death threats in February 2005, and has been living
in self-imposed exile in the United Kingdom ever since.
During his time in exile, however, Githongo consolidated
all of the evidence at his disposal and began on January
22, 2006, to release portions of it to the Kenyan public
through the nation’s largest daily newspaper. His now-
public 19-page summary dossier of evidence paints a
convincing, coherent, and credible picture of the
activities of the corruption network described above.
Moreover, both in its details and overarching narrative,
his account is strongly corroborated time and again by the
Embassy’s own reporting, as well as sensitive reporting in
other channels dating to mid-2004.
6. (S) Githongo’s summary dossier directly implicates
Murungaru, Getonga, Perera, Kamani, and Wanjigi, as well as
others, as the core drivers of the corruption network that
generated the Anglo-Leasing and similar scandals. Getonga
used his position as Personal Assistant to the President to
connect Perera and Kamani, the two private sector
dealmakers (who had operated for years doing similar deals
under the previous administration), to Murungaru and other
complicit senior-level officials in the Kibaki
administration. In turn, Wanjigi, the son of a former
Minister and nephew of a Permanent Secretary already
arrested for his involvement in Anglo Leasing, was the
local middleman, channeling contracts and payments in both
directions as the bogus procurement scams were consummated.
7. (S) As Personal Assistant to the President, Alfred
Getonga used his position in the Office of the President
(OP) to push forward fraudulent contracts in the OP and in
other ministries, and then divert a large portion of these
government resources for political campaign fundraising,
and for personal gain. In Githongo’s account, former
Justice Minister Kiraitu Murungi (who has also been
implicated in covering up the Anglo-Leasing scandal) tells
Githongo that nearly all of the suspect contracts Githongo
was investigating were engineered by Alfred Getonga and
others, and that the contracts were designed to raise funds
for the NARC political party under the direction of Getonga
and Murungaru. Githongo’s evidence implicating Getonga is
so substantial that he informed President Kibaki of
Getonga’s direct involvement in Anglo-Leasing in at least
two separate briefings for the president. Our own reporting
strongly corroborates Githongo’s accounts, and the Embassy
acted on it in a similar way. On at least two occasions in
2005, when solicited by President Kibaki for advice and
information in one-on-one meetings, the Ambassador
specifically named Getonga as a significant source of
corruption in Kibaki’s administration.
8. (SBU) Since the Githongo report has been published, the
OP has announced publicly that Getonga is no longer
employed there. On February 14, 2006, the Presidential
Press Service announced that Getonga’s contract had expired
and would not be renewed.
9. (S) A reliable Embassy source in the telecom sector
recently reported that Getonga was also at the center of
the 11th hour cancellation of the tender for a second
national landline phone operator in Kenya in July 2004.
Thanks to his position, Getonga was aware ahead of time of
the winner. Invoking the President’s name, he approached
the company slated to win and successfully solicited the
gratis contribution of 5% of the shares under the pretense
that such a gesture was needed to guarantee winning the
tender. When Kibaki learned of this intrigue through his
son (who was supporting a rival consortium), he angrily
ordered the entire tender cancelled, setting back telecom
reform and service delivery in Kenya by several years.
10. (S) Reliable private sector contacts who have done
business in Kenya for many years regularly cite Anura
Perera as a long-standing corrupt dealmaker whose
activities far pre-date the Anglo Leasing cases. He is
nonetheless very difficult to trace, and has proven a
formidable adversary for law enforcement personnel by
operating indirectly through a network of dummy
corporations in Switzerland, the UK, and elsewhere which
act as conduits for the proceeds of the inflated or
outright bogus procurement contracts he has engineered over
the years. The Githongo dossier, together with sensitive
reporting, nonetheless provides compelling circumstantial
evidence against Perera for his role in a series of
security and military-related procurement scams. In large
part as a result, Perera was ordered by the Kenyan police
to surrender his passport and firearm on February 21, 2006.
(Note: It is unlikely Perera is in Kenya at this time; nor
is it clear what kind of passport he carries or under what
nationality he travels. End note).
11. (S) In the Githongo dossier, an associate of Kamani
and Perera, working from an office building owned by Perera
in Nairobi, is reported to have set up bogus companies,
including Anglo-Leasing, in 1997 for purposes of engaging
in fraudulent government procurement deals. As he was
unraveling the Anglo-Leasing secure passport scam, Githongo
was indirectly threatened by Perera through then-Justice
Minister Murungi. Meeting with Githongo, Murungi cited a
file compiled by a local lawyer whom Murungi stated was
acting on Perera’s behalf. He told Githongo that an unpaid
debt owed by his father was really owed to Perera himself.
Githongo explained the connection: Murungi “warned me to
‘go easy’ on ‘our friends’ Murungaru and Alfie (Getonga)…
The message Hon. Kiraitu (Murungi) was communicating very
directly to me was that Mr. Perera wanted me to to ‘turn
off the heat'” so that his father’s debt could be “settled
12. (S) Githongo’s report goes on to reference “an
assortment of reliable sources, including within the Kenyan
military” who told Githongo that “Perera was involved in a
range of questionable projects in the defense and security
sector and had developed a reputation for paying sizable
kickbacks.” Perera, for example, is widely believed to be
at the center of the Nexus project, a military
communications complex on the southern outskirts of
Nairobi. Three years after the $36.9 million project was
completed, the Kenyan military has yet to occupy the
complex. The Kenyan Department of Defense (KDOD) tender
committee, which should have overseen implementation of
such a large contract, has publicly denied ever being aware
of it. KDOD sources told Embassy DAO in mid-2005 that the
project was likely without any specific military purpose or
plan in mind, but rather for personal gain on the part of
top military brass. Perera’s connection is through another
phantom European company, Nedermar BV Technologies, for
which there is no information on the internet. It won the
secretive contract to build the communications center on a
turn-key basis, but its origins and officers remain a
mystery. Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (KACC) Director
Aaron Ringera told the Embassy in mid-2005 that he had used
evidence gathered by KACC on the Nexus project to persuade
Kibaki to take action against former Chief of Staff Joseph
Kibwana. (Note: Kibaki went half-way, asking Kibwana to
retire early in August 2005. End note). Judge Ringera
told Econ/C and other diplomats in February 2006 that
Perera was the private sector mastermind behind the Nexus
13. (S) Perera is also believed to be the mastermind
behind the procurement of a naval frigate for the Kenyan
Navy beginning in 2003. Through a fictitious firm named
Euromarine, Perera arranged $57 million in financing for a
ship constructed in a Spanish shipyard at a cost estimated
to be 3-4 times more than its actual value. The frigate
deal was one of the 18 contracts investigated and audited
after the Anglo-Leasing scandals were revealed and the GOK
has stopped payments on the vessel. Compelling sensitive
reporting places Perera at the very center of the frigate
deal, and in multiple conversations with Embassy officers,
Kenya’s Permanent Secretary of Finance has repeatedly
confirmed the facts of the scandal as outlined here.
14. (S) Deepak Kamani joins Anura Perera as the other
long-standing private sector mastermind of fraudulent
security-related procurement contracts in Kenya over the
years. Kamani family businesses first broke into the
business of exploiting security contracts in the mid-1990s
after forming close ties with the then-Permanent Secretary
of Internal Security in the Office of the President. The
current Permanent Secretary of Finance, who held the same
position at the end of the Moi administration, recently
told the Embassy that Kamani had unnaturally open access to
Treasury officials in the late 1990s, to the point that he
mistakenly believed at one time that Kamani was an employee
of the ministry. When he assumed his current position for
a second time as PS Finance in 2004, this same official
warned counterparts in the Office of the President to cease
doing business with Kamani, but to no avail.
15. (S) Kamani cut his teeth in a multi-million dollar
contract to supply boilers to the Prisons Department in the
early 1990s. The deal continues to be investigated by
Kenya’s Auditor General because the boilers supplied were
second hand or unserviceable. Kamani’s companies have also
been directly linked to a $25 million contract in 1997 to
supply a digital telecommunications network to the Prisons
Department through LBA Systems, a shell company registered
in Scotland. More than five years after the network was
supposedly installed and commissioned, it remains
inoperable. In a similar case, another shadowy Kamani-
owned company, Infotalent Systems, signed a $36 million
deal to supply telecommunications equipment to the Office
of the President. The deal is believed to be among the 18
suspect contracts frozen by the Minister of Finance in 2004
for forensic audit and investigation.
16. (C) Kamani is directly implicated in the two Anglo-
Leasing scams. He enjoyed close ties and had regular
access to Zakayo Cheruiyot, the Permanent Secretary of
Internal Security who was indicted in February 2005 and is
now on trial for the two Anglo-Leasing cases. Kamani’s
sister is named as the director of a company in the UK that
occupies the address given as that of Anglo-Leasing in the
secure passport deal, and his son is listed as director of
a company occupying the address listed as that of Anglo-
Leasing’s in the police forensic lab scam. Finally, the
Githongo dossier directly links Kamani to the two Anglo-
Leasing scandals. In his account, Githongo details his
conversation with then-Finance Minister David Mwiraria
about the mysterious return of some of the money paid on
the Anglo-Leasing forensics lab project. Mwiraria, despite
previously claiming not to know who stood behind Anglo-
Leasing, made a “startling admission” which directly
implicated both Kamani and himself when he told Githongo
that the money was only returned after Mwiraria had ordered
an associate to contact Kamani by phone to do so.
17. (S) Like Getonga, Jimmy Wanjigi’s role in the Anglo-
Leasing and similar scandals has been to facilitate and
channel contracts, communication, and money between the
private businessmen like Perera and Kamani on the one hand,
and GOK agencies and officials responsible for procurement
on the other. Like Getonga, he is also a relative newcomer
to high-level graft, having come on the scene following the
2002 electoral victory of Kibaki’s coalition. Early in the
Kibaki administration, he traded on his contacts with
members of Kibaki’s family (probably without Kibaki’s
knowledge) to break into Kamani and Perera’s networks, and
to insist on getting a cut from the security-related
procurement scams the latter had become experts in
engineering. One of his first such deals was an extension
of a Kamani-origin contract begun under the previous
administration to supply vehicles to the Office of the
President. The overpriced contract reportedly netted
Wanjigi and Murungaru $5.6 million.
18. (S) Wanjigi also turns up later as a participant in
Perera’s massively overpriced naval frigate deal, working
behind the scenes with Perera, Getonga and others to work
out a way to move the deal forward, despite the risk of
public exposure. After the February 2005 resignation of
John Githongo, he is also widely believed to have worked
closely with Getonga to put out a number of false rumors to
discredit Githongo by, for example, circulating rumors and
planting stories in the media alleging that Githongo was a
British spy and a child molester. Githongo himself
believes Wanjigi and Getonga were behind the death threats
that forced him to resign and go into self-imposed exile.
According to Githongo’s written account, the very day
Githongo succeeded in having President Kibaki sack some
officials since indicted for their involvement in Anglo-
Leasing, Finance Minister Mwiraria came to Githongo’s
office “and warned that Mr. Jimmy Wanjigi had sworn to kill
ADVERSE EFFECT ON U.S. NATIONAL INTERESTS
19. (C) The corruption network that perpetrated the Anglo
Leasing and similar corruption scandals has had serious
adverse effects on three areas of U.S. interests specified
in the proclamation, which are also three of the Embassy’s
top Mission Performance Plan (MPP) priorities: promoting
democracy and good governance (starting with the stability
of the government); encouraging sustainable economic
development; and, combating terrorism and transnational
20. (C) Before coming to power in December 2002, the
National Rainbow Coalition (NARC) adopted a “zero-
tolerance” anti-corruption posture. Public expectations
were high that the new government would break with the
corrupt excesses of the Moi administration, and
international donors made plans to help bolster Kenya’s
nascent anti-corruption effort. However, by December 2003,
barely a year into NARC’s tenure in office, high-level
officials were engaging in precisely the corrupt practices
they had vowed to stop, helped in great part by the
seamless transition into the new administration provided by
Getonga, of the corruption network led on the private
sector side by Kamani, Perera and Wanjigi.
21. (C) The Kenyan Government’s ability to successfully
battle corruption touches directly on the legitimacy and
thus the stability of the Government itself. Proper
enforcement of the rule of law is thus central to Kenya’s
political and economic development. Getonga, Perera,
Kamani, and Wanjigi are at the heart of a return to a
culture of high-level impunity with respect to mega-
corruption and the rule of law. Such a culture will
maintain a brake on Kenya’s efforts at democratic
development, enabling corrupt politicians to retain their
offices and sending a clear message to the next political
generation that corruption and cronyism are the best tools
for career advancement. Because the Government
(specifically President Kibaki) has not demonstrated the
political will to take action against those accused of
corruption, international donor countries working closely
with Kenyan reformers must use whatever tools are at our
disposal to discourage negative behavior.
22. (U) The costs of corruption have a direct macro-
economic impact on Kenya’s development. The $700 million
at stake in the subset of corrupt deals investigated by
Githongo alone far exceeds annual donor assistance flows to
Kenya, a country which recently asked the international
community for $230 million in emergency food aid and in
which 56% of the population lives on a dollar a day or
less. Corruption is also a major impediment to greater
domestic and foreign investment in the Kenyan economy.
With little expectation of a level playing field in bidding
for public sector contracts, and without a firm basis in
the rule of law, legitimate investors remain hesitant to
commit large amounts of capital. A recent, credible study
of Kenya’s investment climate found that corruption, i.e.,
the need to pay officials when bidding for projects and/or
obtaining permits, adds 6% to business costs in Kenya.
23. (C) Kenya has suffered multiple mass casualty al Qaeda
terrorist attacks in recent years and active al Qaeda
plotting here continues apace. The continuation of high-
level corruption sends the signal that the GOK, and
particularly the security sector, can be bought. For
years, members of the Kenya Police Service were among the
most commonly cited perpetrators of graft. This lack of
adherence to the rule of law may have contributed to the
enabling environment for the successful terrorist attacks
of 1998 and 2002. The Kenyan Police continue to be cited
as the most corrupt institution in public opinion surveys
on corruption. Getonga and others, growing wealthy while
running the nation, set the poorest possible example for a
police force severely damaged by years of corruption. That
the secretive security sector was singled out for corrupt
exploitation is particularly pernicious. Indeed, in the
Githongo dossier, other accomplices are quoted as saying
that they “took advantage of American terrorism-related
fears to expand what was a small project into a cash cow.”
COMMENT: MAKING A DIFFERENCE
24. (C) In any discussion with Kenyans concerned about
corruption in their country, there is consistent and
vehement support for U.S. and other third-country actions
to revoke visas of corrupt officials and businessmen. The
prohibition makes a difference, both as a deterrent and as
a punishment. Press speculation that David Mwiraria
resigned from his post as Finance Minister on February 1 to
avoid the possible embarrassment of a visa ban that would
have prevented him from visiting Washington on official
business is probably an exaggeration. But it illustrates
the reality that U.S. visa revocations are a powerful anti-
graft tool in Kenya.
25. (C) In this vein, in a meeting on February 18, KACC
Director Aaron Ringera urged a small group of Western
diplomats to take visa action against corrupt individuals,
including, he emphasized, private sector actors. He then
specifically raised the four individuals who are the
subject of this cable, without any knowledge that Post was
already considering this request to Washington. While we
believe we have chosen the right individuals at this
moment, Post will likely request additional 212(f) visa
revocation actions as more information on Anglo-Leasing-
style corruption scandals come to light in Kenya.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION REQUIRED FOR FINDING
26. (C) Getonga, Perera, Kamani and Wanjigi have not been
informed by post of the fact that Presidential Proclamation
7750, under Section 212 (F) of the INA, may apply to them.
Given the front-page news coverage of former Minister
Nicholas Biwott’s (the previous Kenyan government’s
corruption counterpart) and former Minister Christopher
Murungaru’s refusals and repeated public calls now for
similar actions to be taken against other corrupt officials
here — it is extremely doubtful that any of them are
unaware of the possible ineligibility.
27. (C) Deepak Kamani (DPOB:03-07-53, Kenya) currently has
a valid B1/B2 visa, which expires on July 29, 2006. He is
believed to have fled Kenya in recent weeks, and may pose a
flight risk to the U.S. Alfred Getonga (DPOB: 01-08-63,
Kenya) currently has a valid B1/B2 visa, which expires on
May 24, 2006. Jimmy Wanjigi (DPOB: 01-09-57, Kenya) does
not have a currently valid U.S. visa. He received an A2
visa in 2003 when he participated in a trip to the U.S. by
former President Moi, but that visa has since expired.
Anura Perera’s background remains shrouded in mystery, and
Post will send additional background information when it
becomes available from other diplomatic sources and/or the
KACC. There is no visa information available on the
Consular Consolidated Database for anybody by this name.
28. (S) ACTION REQUEST: Because of the serious and far-
reaching nature of their corrupt activities, Post
recommends that Alfred Getonga, Anura Perera, Deepak
Kamani, and Joseph Wanjigi be found ineligible under
Presidential Proclamation 7750 for travel to the U.S. and
that no exception be granted. Please advise ASAP.
I was sacrificial lamb, says Bernard Kiala as he exposes Machakos ‘family affairs’
By Nzau Musau
Updated Sunday, August 17th 2014 at 12:35 GMT +3
I was sacrificial lamb, says Bernard Kiala as he exposes Machakos ‘family affairs’
Machakos Deputy Governor Bernard Kiala maintains his seat after Senate defeated an impeachment motion against him.
The impeachment proceedings against Machakos Deputy Governor Bernard Kiala last week have ended up exposing another side of Machakos County leadership unbeknown to Kenyans.
When Mr Kiala showed up before the Mutahi Kagwe-led Senate committee, he took all the 40 minutes allotted to him to contextualise the allegations leveled against him by the Machakos County Assembly.
So explosive was Kiala‘s “opening statement” that lawyer Kioko Kilukumi for the County Assembly raised objections against it. Mr Kagwe, however, dismissed the objections and allowed the Deputy Governor to speak. In a statement obtained by The Standard on Sunday, Kiala lists a litany of “substantive issues of governance” that he said were “at the very bottom“ of his problems with the County Assembly and County Government of Machakos.
The first issue he raised was the appointment of the county executive committee (Cabinet) on April 11, last year, contrary to the County Government Act that requires that the County Assembly approves them first. “The County Assembly did not approve the appointments as at then, but later after several months in the office,” he told the Senate committee.
He said the County Chief Officers were appointed in a similar manner without involvement of the County Public Service Board and the County Assembly. Another “156 Senior County Government officials” were appointed in a similar manner.
According to Kiala, there were no advertisements to reach a wide population of potential applicants and there was no County Public Service Board in place at the time. “The list of the Chief Officers was approved by the County Assembly last month, July, 2014 after having been in office for more than one year and in charge of public funds,” he said.
The other “Senior County Government officials” are yet to be confirmed by the board but they still continue to draw salaries at scales that are not commensurate to their qualifications, Kiala claimed. Kiala also revisited the matter of the 15 Subaru Outback cars at the centre of Auditor General’s queries as well as the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission. Kiala claimed that while 10 were allocated to the Cabinet members, the remaining five were given to Governor Dr Alfred Mutua‘s “own appointed officers.”
See Also: War between Machakos governor and his deputy intensifies
“He also purchased one Toyota Land Cruiser 4700cc VX for himself, all used secondhand vehicles in contravention of the Public Finance and Management Act 2012 and the Public Procurement and Disposal Act 2005,” he told the Senate.
Kiala also brought to the alert of the Senate the activities of a revenue officer in Mavoko County. He testified that a revenue collection sub-committee had unearthed a lot of irregularities in revenue collection involving the said officer and he shared findings with his boss.
“Before the committee could present its report, the Governor disbanded it and up to today this report remains in my County Executive Committee file, which I now have got no access to,“ he said. Kiala tabled two contradictory circulars on the officer.
One circular dated May 6, 2014 by County Secretary Francis Mwaka, on behalf of Governor Alfred Mutua and the Public service board appoints the officer as the Sub County Administrator at Mavoko.
The other circular dated May 29, 2014 by vice chair of Machakos County Public Service Board Dorothy Mwanzia refutes the earlier circular by Mwaka saying the board “was not involved in the appointment” of the officer as well as three others.
“When I pointed out this irregularity to the Governor, and also the fact that I had adversely mentioned him in my executive sub-committee report and the fact that he was irregularly appointed, the Governor could not hear any of it,” Kiala said.
But it is Kiala‘s testimony on alleged nepotism in the County Government that would be shocking, if found out to be true. He tabled a list of 30 senior and junior officials whom he claimed were closely related to each other.
Musyoka Kala, the Chief Officer in charge of Public Service, Labour and ICT’s wife Salome Kioko works as a procurement officer – water, irrigation & sanitation. Kala‘s mother – Mbithe Kala is also a nominated MCA (Wiper) who voted to impeach Kiala. Close to 30 other junior officers – including Ivei Kala (emergency call center attendant) and Joseph Musyoka (water browse driver) are, according to Kiala‘s evidence, related to Kala.
Nimrod Mbai is the chief officer, Decentralised Units, Urban Areas and Municipalities. According to Kiala‘s evidence, he is formerly a bodyguard of Mutua when he served as Government Spokesman. His wife Grace Mbithuka, is a procurement officer in the county‘s Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports.
Mwengi Mutuse is the Chief of Staff and Personal Assistant to the Governor. In his evidence, Kiala claimed Mutuse’s wife Esther Mueni is the procurement officer, Decentralised Units, Urban and Municipalities.
His three brothers work as procurement officers in (Water, Irrigation & Sanitation Ministry), revenue clerk and technician (County Image) respectively, Kiala said.
On average, Kiala submitted, around 50 county employees are directly or indirectly related to Mutuse. Peter Mutie is the chairman of Machakos Entertainment Centre, Film, Music and Arts Board (Machawood).
According to Kiala‘s evidence, his wife – Ruth Nduku Mutua is the county executive committee member (education, youth & sports). Ken Wathome is the chairman of Machakos Investment Board. His wife Faith Syokau is the county executive member (Culture, Sports & Tourism) according to Kiala‘s evidence to the Senate.
Robert Maitha‘s wife Winfred Kithome is the assistant director Labour & ICT.
Maitha himself is the director Trade & Economic Planning. Nicholas Kimanzi, the director of Labour & ICT’s wife Erica Kasimbi is the county officer, Public Service (Mavoko sub-county). “I pointed out that in the principle of equity and fairness, it was inappropriate for chief officers to work with their spouses and those spouses heading senior positions in procurement, which in my opinion would create a conflict of interest,” Kiala said of an incident in March when he complained of rampant nepotism.
Kiala claimed that the Machakos County Assembly had been sitting on the Auditor General’s report on irregularities in the County Government. He drew the Senate‘s attention to the Auditor’s complaint about purchase of two other second hand vehicles at a cost of Sh9.6 million.
“These vehicles were for the use of the Speaker of the Machakos County Assembly, Hon Bernard Mung‘ata and the Leader of the Majority Hon Joshua Mwonga. This one single transaction would explain why this auditors report has not been tabled in the Assembly as required by law,“ he told the Kagwe team.
Kiala also named a company associated with a serving member of Parliament, which has been supplying treated wooden poles to the County Government. He tabled documents showing that the tender was given long after the deliveries of the poles.
Kiala summed his evidence by branding himself “a victim of witch hunt and a sacrificial lamb at the altar of merchants of impunity and a county executive led by a governor himself keen to hound me out of office for whistle blowing against acts of corruption and bad governance.“ On July 23, 40 of the 59 Machakos County Assembly members passed a motion proposing to impeach Kiala on four grounds.
Human Rights Watch
Kenya: Killings, Disappearances by Anti-Terror Police 
Donors Should Suspend Support for Abusive Units
August 18, 2014
(Nairobi) – There is strong evidence that Kenya ’s Anti-Terrorism Police Unit (ATPU) has carried out a series of extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances. Human Rights Watch also found evidence of arbitrary arrests and mistreatment of terrorism suspects in detention.
Kenyan authorities should urgently investigate alleged killings, disappearances, and other abuses by the unit and hold those responsible to account. International donors should suspend support to the unit and other security forces responsible for human rights violations.
“Kenyan counterterrorism forces appear to be killing and disappearing people right under the noses of top government officials, major embassies, and the United Nations,” said Leslie Lefkow , deputy Africa director. “This horrendous conduct does not protect Kenyans from terrorism – it simply undermines the rule of law.”
In research conducted in Kenya between November 2013 and June 2014, Human Rights Watch documented at least 10 cases of killings, 10 cases of enforced disappearances, and 11 cases of mistreatment or harassment of terrorism suspects in which there is strong evidence of the counterterrorism unit’s involvement, mainly in Nairobi since 2011.
Based on 22 interviews with family members, victims, witnesses, journalists, lawyers, imams, police officers, and terrorism suspects in Nairobi’s Majengo neighborhood, researchers found that suspects were shot dead in public places, abducted from vehicles and courtrooms, beaten badly during arrest, detained in isolated blocks, and denied contact with their families or access to lawyers. In some cases, members of the anti-riot forces known as the General Service Unit (GSU), military intelligence, and National Intelligence Service (NIS) were also implicated in abuses by the counterterrorism unit.
The ATPU was created within the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) in 2003 in response to the attacks on the US embassy in Nairobi in 1998 and on an Israeli-owned Mombasa hotel in 2002. Terrorist attacks have increased in Kenya in recent years, particularly after Kenya sent its military into neighboring Somalia in October 2011. There were at least 70 grenade and gun attacks in Nairobi, Mombasa, and Garissa between 2011 and 2014, with at least 30 attacks in 2012 alone, according to the US embassy. In September 2013, gunmen believed to be affiliated with the Somalia-based militant Islamist group Al-Shabaab attacked the affluent Westgate Mall in Nairobi, killing 67 people and injuring hundreds.
The counterterrorism unit has not formally acknowledged responsibility for the alleged killings, although in December 2013, an anonymous member of the unit told the BBC : “The justice system in Kenya is not favorable to the work of the police. So we opt to eliminate them [suspects]. We identify you, we gun you down in front of your family, and we begin with the leaders.” Human Rights Watch’s request to discuss the findings with the ATPU commandant, Boniface Mwaniki, was declined.
The police spokesman has stated publicly that in at least three separate cases the suspects died in “fire exchange” with the unit’s officers. But Human Rights Watch findings in each of the three cases contradict that assertion. In the case of Hassan Omondi Owiti and Shekha Wanjiru, for example, witnesses said that officers from the counterterrorism unit and the General Service Unit had surrounded their apartment block in Nairobi’s Githurai Kimbo estate in the evening of May 18, 2013, then stormed their apartment and shot them dead without armed resistance.
In another example, Lenox David Swalleh and an unidentified person were shot on November 13, 2013, as they left a mosque after morning prayers in Nairobi’s Eastleigh neighborhood. While police claimed that other people were killed while preparing to rob a bank, witnesses and family said the two were unarmed and were shot without warning. The men had been accused of involvement in a November 2012 grenade attack on the Hidaya mosque in Eastleigh that killed 6 and injured 15, but the two were being held at Industrial Area Remand Prison at the time of the attack and were only released on April 16, 2013.
Kenyan authorities have not effectively investigated these cases or any anti-terrorism unit officers for alleged abuses, including the targeted killings of high-profile clerics such as Sheikh Aboud Rogo  in August 2012; Sheikh Ibrahim Omar, who replaced Rogo at Masjid Musa, and who was gunned down near the same place in October 2013; and Sheikh Abubakar Shariff , aka Makaburi, who was killed on April 1, 2014.
The Kenyan government had accused the clerics of recruiting youths from Masjid Musa mosque for Al-Shabaab, and was prosecuting Rogo and Makaburi on those charges. The government established a task force to investigate Rogo’s killing. The task force in August 2013 reported that police had mishandled the crime scene and recommended a public inquest. The public prosecutions director promised to set up an inquest in August 2013 but has not done so.
The counterterrorism unit receives significant support and training from the United States and the United Kingdom. A 2013 report by the Congressional Research Service said that the United States had provided US$19 million to the unit in 2012 alone. The United States has not scaled down its assistance to the unit or opened an investigation into its abuses, despite credible allegations of abuse, including in the US annual human rights report on Kenya.
“The ATPU has been conducting abusive operations for years, sometimes very openly, yet the Kenyan authorities have done nothing to investigate, much less stop these crimes,” Lefkow said. “Donors need to carry out their own investigations of these abuses and suspend their assistance to abusive forces, or risk being complicit in Kenya’s culture of impunity.”
Human Rights Watch research adds to the growing litany of allegations against the counterterrorism unit. In November 2013, the Open Society Justice Initiative and a Mombasa-based nongovernmental organization, Muslims for Human Rights (MUHURI), published a report  documenting extrajudicial killings and disappearances in Mombasa connected to the unit since 2007.
In 2007 and 2008, Human Rights Watch and the Muslim Human Rights Forum separately documented the involvement of the unit and other Kenyan security forces in the arbitrary detention and unlawful rendition  of at least 85 people, including 19 women and 15 children, from Kenya to Somalia. The unit has also been linked to the unlawful rendition of alleged suspects from Kenya to Kampala, Uganda, following the July 2010 World Cup bombings .
A US law, commonly known as the “Leahy Law,” prohibits support to a unit of foreign security forces if the Secretary of State has “credible information” that the unit has committed a “gross violation of human rights.” Once aid is suspended, it can only resume if the recipient government “is taking effective steps to bring the responsible members of the security forces unit to justice.”
US officials in Nairobi have told human rights organizations they needed more evidence on individual officers to withhold support to the counterterrorism unit. While identifying the names of individual officers can be challenging, particularly as the officers allegedly involved in killings and other abuse often wear civilian clothes and conduct operations with other Kenyan security forces, the evidence is overwhelming that the unit’s officers are involved in serious abuses.
Killings with Suspected ATPU Involvement
Human Rights Watch found evidence of at least 10 cases of extrajudicial killings of terrorism suspects, some of whom were last seen in ATPU custody or had been threatened by the unit’s officers after courts had released them. Several suspects were facing terrorism-related charges and required to report to the unit either weekly or monthly and had told family and friends they had received death threats from ATPU officers they recognized. In other cases, the threats were issued in the presence of associates that Human Rights Watch interviewed.
In at least three of the killings, the unit claimed that the suspects were killed in a firefight. Human Rights Watch did not find evidence of a shootout, as witness descriptions painted to a short-lived, targeted killing by security officers and the scene suggested the shooting was unidirectional without any damage to the surrounding buildings as ATPU had suggested. In other cases, the ATPU did not accept responsibility for the killings, but its officers were either seen with the suspects before they were killed or took the bodies to the mortuary without notifying the families.
Under Kenyan and international law, police may use lethal force only when necessary for self-defense or to save a life. Section 4 of the Sixth Schedule of the National Police Service Act of 2011 requires police officers who use lethal fire to report to their immediate superior explaining the circumstances that necessitated the use of force. Section 5 of the same act requires officials to report any use of force that leads to death or serious injury to the Independent Police Oversight Authority for investigation. Police authorities have not complied with these requirements in these cases of extrajudicial killings.
The United Nations Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials require law enforcement officials to use nonviolent means whenever possible and to use lethal force only when strictly unavoidable to protect life. The principles also require governments to ensure that arbitrary or abusive use of force and firearms by law enforcement officials is punished as a criminal offense under their law.
Shabaan Namusenda Makotse, Mombasa, April 2013
On October 21, 2012, the ATPU published names  and photographs in newspapers of four men they said were wanted terrorism suspects: Shabaan Namusenda Makotse, Hassan Omondi Owiti, Yassin Olunga (alias Ndung’u), and Ali Msadiki, the younger brother of Owiti’s wife. The statement also alleged that Makotse was connected to an October grenade attack in Likoni.
The same day, the police spokesman at the time, Eric Kiraithe, said at a news conference that Makotse and the three other men were wanted by police for planning other attacks in Mombasa.
Makotse was killed in April 2013. Two witnesses who were with him the day he was killed told Human Rights Watch that three gunmen shot Makotse as he ate fruit salad on a wooden bench in Mombasa’s Kisauni area. The witnesses said the gunmen were plain-clothes police officers whom they recognized to be members of the ATPU.
Makotse had told family and friends for several months that he was being tailed by people he recognized as ATPU officers.
Hassan Omondi Owiti and Shekha Wanjiru, Nairobi, May 18, 2013
On May 18, 2013, at least eight ATPU officers, together with others from the GSU and regular police from the Githurai police station, carried out a night raid on a block of residential buildings in Githurai Kimbo estate, Nairobi, killing Hassan Omondi Owiti and Shekha Wanjiru, a woman who was with him in the apartment.
In a statement to the media on May 19, the ATPU commandant, Boniface Mwaniki, said his officers had killed a man named Felix Nyangaga Otuko and his wife, a Somali national, after nearly six hours of gunfire and that the couple had hurled four grenades that injured six officers. However, one of Owiti’s relatives told Human Rights Watch that an ATPU officer called the victim’s family to the ATPU headquarters a day after the killing, where a senior officer informed them that they had killed Owiti rather than Otuko. The relatives found the bodies of Owiti and Wanjiru in the mortuary.
Three witnesses and a neighbor in the building said the security forces had surrounded the block of apartments, ordered the occupants out, and did not encounter any armed resistance or grenade attacks. Witnesses described “commandos” wearing red berets and full combat gear carrying sub-machine guns. Evidence suggests these forces were a sub-unit of the GSU that participated in the operation led by the ATPU.
“We saw several commandos wearing balaclavas in the middle of the night alight from vehicles dashing into the house,” a 34-year-old businessman who lived in a neighboring block told Human Rights Watch. “We heard continuous gunshots for about two minutes and then there was a lull in the shooting. We then heard that two terrorists had been killed.”
ATPU officers had been tracking Owiti and the three other men identified in the October 2012 statement for several months.
Khalif Mwangi, Nairobi, May 20, 2013
The mutilated body of Khalif Mwangi, 29, turned up in a sewage ditch in Nairobi West on May 20, 2013, two days after Owiti was killed. The counterterrorism unit had also been investigating Mwangi, a close friend of Owiti’s. Mwangi’s name and photo were published on a police website and by media in early 2012.
Mwangi had been missing since April 20, but family and friends were not aware of his death until an NTV broadcast showed clips of his mutilated body on May 20. A few days later, an ATPU officer informed Mwangi’s lawyer that the body was his client’s.
A relative who saw the body in the mortuary told Human Rights Watch that it bore fresh signs of torture, suggesting he had been killed just days before. “It was horrifying to view the body,” she said. “We think he was badly tortured before he was killed. His skin had been peeled off, eyes gouged out, ears burned with acid, finger nails and toes removed and the skull was broken.”
Family members said they saw ATPU officers taking fingerprints of Mwangi’s corpse at the mortuary and suspected ATPU officers were monitoring people who went to view the body. “We never picked [up] the body for burial out of fear,” said a family member.
Ibrahim Ramadhan Mwasi, Nairobi, June 17, 2013
Ibrahim Ramadhan Mwasi (alias Ruta), in his mid-20s, was shot dead on the evening of June 17, 2013, by a lone gunman. The identity of the gunman has not been established but witnesses believe ATPU officers were responsible.
Ruta was among six suspects in a grenade attack on the Machakos bus station in Nairobi on March 10, 2012, that killed 9 people and injured at least 60. The ATPU had arrested the six suspects two weeks after the attack and arraigned them in Nairobi’s Kibera court in late March 2012 on charges of engaging in organized crime and being members of Al-Shabaab, after which they were released on bond.
The others, all in their mid- to late-20s, were: Abdul Rahman Daud (Mjomba), Sylvester (Musa) Opiyo Osodo, Hussein Abbas Mwai Nderitu, Stephen Mwanzia Osaka (alias Dudah Brown), and Jeremiah Onyango Okumu (alias Dudah Black).
Three of the others disappeared. Only Nderitu and Daud are known to still be alive.
Many witnesses in Nairobi told Human Rights Watch that the ATPU had threatened to kill the six suspects. “ATPU officers started threatening the [suspects] that even if the courts freed them for lack of evidence, they would still find a way of dealing with them out there,” said one witness, a suspect also being investigated for terrorism and a close friend of Ruta.
A man in his late 20s who was with Ruta on the night he was shot recalled: “Ruta was leaving Riadha mosque in Majengo, Nairobi, after evening prayers when he decided to [use the] nearby public toilet. The lone gunman in a black leather jacket followed him there. We just heard gunshots inside the toilet. He was shot twice in the head and once in the chest. Nothing was stolen from him.”
Lenox David Swalleh and another person, Nairobi, November 2013
On November 13, 2013, the Nairobi county police commander, Benson Kibui, told Kenyan media that police had killed two of the most wanted terrorists that day but did not identify them. Human Rights Watch learned that one of the two men was 28-year-old Lenox David Swalleh.
Kibui told the media that the men were killed while on their way with two other men to rob a bank in the Eastleigh area of Nairobi. He said they were part of the terrorist group that had thrown a grenade at worshippers at Hidaya mosque in Eastleigh on December 7, 2012, killing 6 people and injuring 15, including the legislator for the area, Yusuf Hassan.
However, a family member contended that Swalleh was killed as he was returning home from early morning prayers. His body was taken away by police, and the family later identified it in the mortuary. Witnesses at the mosque confirmed that Swalleh had been in the mosque that morning.
Evidence also suggests that Swalleh was not involved in the grenade attack. Court records and interviews with other inmates indicate that Swalleh was in prison on charges of organized crime and membership in Al-Shabaab at the time of the Hidaya mosque attack.
Family members and inmates at Industrial Area Remand Prison said that ATPU officers who visited and interrogated the inmates had threatened to kill Swalleh if the court released him. He was released on April 16.
Ibrahim Tafa Tuwa and Hamisi Juma, Nairobi, January 8, 2014
On January 8, 2014, the ATPU claimed at a news conference that it had killed two other terrorist suspects in Nairobi, allegedly part of the same gang that attacked Hidaya mosque in December 2012. It did not name the two.
Witnesses said they saw ATPU officers at the scene of the killings, and a witness saw two ATPU officers take the bodies of Ibrahim Tafa Tuwa, in his mid-20s, and Hamisi Juma, also in his mid-20s, to Nairobi’s City Mortuary on that day. Both had been detained on terrorism charges with Swalleh.
Several witnesses, including former inmates who were detained with the two men, confirmed that the ATPU had visited them in prison several times and threatened to kill them if the court freed them.
“ATPU said they were in charge of running our block and could do anything with us if we did not do what they wanted,” a former inmate told Human Rights Watch. Tuwa’s relatives also said that ATPU officers had threatened to kill the suspects if they were released. The men were also released on April 16, 2013.
Sheikh Hassan Suleiman Mwayuyu, Mombasa, December 5, 2013
Sheikh Hassan Suleiman Mwayuyu, a tailor, was killed on a public minibus on December 5, 2013. Mwayuyu was returning home from the Mombasa law courts where he had attended a hearing for his sister, Rahma Hassan, who faces terrorism-related charges.
Kenyan security had described Mwayuyu as a terror suspect believed to be planning an attack. Two 2012 National Intelligence Service (NIS) reports accused Mwayuyu, along with others, of planning grenade attacks in Mombasa.
Witnesses to Mwayuyu’s death told Human Rights Watch that four gunmen blocked the minibus at around 6:15 p.m. at Tiwi junction, shot the tires, and ordered everyone inside to lie down. Another witness, a community mobilizer for a Mombasa based human rights organization, said one of the gunmen looked like an ATPU officer he had seen in court.
The ATPU had previously threatened Mwayuyu, including that same day. A relative who attended the court hearing told Human Rights Watch in a phone interview: “There were so many ATPU officers in the court. One of the officers walked over to my cousin [Mwayuyu] in court and said, ‘Today is your day and we are here to ensure you don’t continue with what you have been doing.’ It was a threat.”
A Mombasa-based Catholic cleric and human rights activist, Father Gabriel Dolan, wrote in the local Daily Nation on December 20, 2013:
On December 2, I received a text message from Mombasa police warning church leaders that a certain Sheikh Suleiman Mwayuyu was planning to burn select churches within Diani, Changamwe and Kisauni the following day. This particular warning was unusual on two counts: that a particular planner of the violence was named and that the same man was killed three days later.
Possible Enforced Disappearances
Human Rights Watch documented the enforced disappearances of at least 10 young men by ATPU officers from Nairobi between 2011 and 2013. The men faced terrorism-related charges in various Kenyan courts, were under investigation by the ATPU, or had been acquitted. All of them had told family members, friends, and associates whom Human Rights Watch interviewed that they received direct death threats from ATPU officers.
The International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, which Kenya has not signed, defines an enforced disappearance as “the arrest, detention, abduction or any other form of deprivation of liberty by agents of the state or by persons or groups of persons acting with the authorization, support or acquiescence of the state, followed by a refusal to acknowledge the deprivation of the liberty or by concealment of the fate or whereabouts of the disappeared person, which place such a person outside the protection of the law.”
Sylvester (Musa) Opiyo Osodo and Jacob (Yaqub) Musyoka, Nairobi, May 23, 2012
Sylvester (Musa) Opiyo Osodo and Jacob (Yaqub) Musyoka, both in their late 20s, were kidnapped by at least 10 armed men on May 23, 2012, at around 8 p.m. when their vehicle broke down outside Nakuru at the Molo-Mau Summit junction, along the Nakuru-Kisumu highway.
Witnesses and family members believe ATPU officers abducted them because the men had been threatened and were facing charges. Osodo was among the six accused in the Machakos bus station bombing case. Musyoka, who became a friend of Osodo’s in the Industrial Area Remand Prison in March 2012, was facing charges of engaging in organized crime.
The two men were travelling from Nairobi to Kisumu with two women and two school-age children wearing school uniforms. According to witnesses, the car broke down several times that day and the group decided to spend the night in the car in Molo after a mechanic was unable to repair it. That evening, the armed men witnesses believed to be plain-clothes officers forced the men into their car and drove away, leaving the women and children in the car. The men have not been seen since.
Friends and family members believe the abductors were ATPU officers because Osodo had recognized a senior ATPU officer following them in a white car when they stopped in Nakuru earlier that day to fix a tire.
“Osodo assured the group not to worry because he had informed the lawyer representing him in the case with five others in Nairobi about the trip and his lawyer had alerted the ATPU headquarters as per conditions set by ATPU,” the witness said.
During court proceedings, which continued even after suspects either disappeared or were killed, the ATPU claimed the two had fled to Somalia. However, according to the defense lawyer, the ATPU failed to present a report of their investigations to the court as would have been expected.
Jeremiah Onyango Okumu, Stephen Mwanzia Osaka, Salim Abubakar Hamisi, and Omar Shwaib, Nairobi, June 26, 2012
Jeremiah Onyango Okumu (alias Duda Black) and Stephen Mwanzia Osaka (alias Duda Brown), both in their mid-20s, were also among the six men facing terrorism-related charges for the March 2012 Machakos bus station bombing.
They vanished on the evening of June 26, 2012, along with two other young men, Salim Abubakar Hamisi and Omar Shwaib (alias Justo), a day before the two were due back from a shopping trip to Mombasa.
A relative said she last talked to Okumu at 4 p.m. on June 26, during which he said they had bought everything they wanted and would take a bus back to Nairobi on the morning of June 27. “After that, his phone started going unanswered,” she told Human Rights Watch. “The family they were putting up with in Mombasa’s Kisauni neighborhood reported that they had not returned home that evening.”
Human Rights Watch interviewed witnesses in Mombasa who saw the four men being kidnapped at around 5:30 p.m. by several armed men in civilian clothes near the Likoni ferry. Several of the witnesses said they recognized the armed men as ATPU officers.
Dudah Black and Dudah Brown had told family and associates several weeks before they disappeared that the ATPU was threatening them. The Likoni Ferry Police Post officers did not respond even though the men were abducted nearby and appeared unconcerned when relatives reported the disappearance. A duty officer at Likoni Ferry Police Post advised the family to look for their bodies in the mortuary, as they had been shot by police.
The families of the four men never found their bodies. On June 30, they gave statements about their missing relatives at Nyali Police Station, near Kisauni, where the four had been staying in Mombasa, but police did not respond.
During court proceedings in the Machakos bus station bombing case, the prosecutor told the court that Dudah Black and Dudah Brown had both fled Kenya to avoid prosecution and that the authorities had not pursued any further investigations.
Abdulaziz Muchiri and Ali Kipkoech Musa, Nairobi, May 6, 2013
Abdulaziz Muchiri, 24, and Ali Kipkoech Musa, 22, both of whom were being investigated by the ATPU over their possible links to Al-Shabaab, were arrested by ATPU officers using what appeared to be excessive violence, at Musa’s house in the Kariobangi South neighborhood at 5 p.m. on April 20, 2013. They were detained without charge and appeared in court twice, but then were taken to an undisclosed location and remain missing.
A man who witnessed the arrest told Human Rights Watch: “The officers arrived in six white Toyota vehicles, with each vehicle carrying up to five officers, and immediately ran to their flat on the ground floor. The young men did not resist the arrest but the officers just descended on them with force. They then dragged them on the ground to the waiting vehicle.”
The men’s families learned about their arrests after the two called from police custody three days later. Relatives of both men said that they were in poor condition, their bodies were swollen, and their clothes were stained with blood. Musa’s mouth, face, and back were bruised and he could not walk, relatives said.
The ATPU failed to take the men for medical treatment, the relatives said. In a hearing on April 22, 2013, the court extended their detention by 14 days at the ATPU’s request, in the absence of the accused and their lawyers, their lawyer and families said.
The two men were last seen in court on May 6, 2013. “An ATPU officer walked over to the judge and whispered in her ear,” recalled one relative who attended the hearing. “The judge then directed him to remove the accused from the courtroom…. We tried to follow them … but the officers ordered us to wait outside. They told us the charges had been dropped.”
The ATPU officers then drove off with the two men in a black land cruiser, family members said. In the court files, the police prosecutor indicated that the two men were responsible for training terrorists in Kenya and, on the day of their arrest, had attempted to kill officers. An ATPU affidavit stated that the two men were arrested with hand grenades and 20 rounds of ammunition. The file also shows that the ATPU dropped charges against the two.
The families have tried to file complaints but have been turned away at several police stations and have been sent from station to station. “No one wants to touch the case,” said a relative of Muchiri. Since they last appeared in court, the authorities have provided no information about their whereabouts. The ATPU has denied to the men’s lawyer that the men are in its custody.
Yassin Olunga and Ali Musadiki, last seen in Nairobi in April 2013
Two other young men who police said were under investigation for terrorism, Ali Musadiki, in his teens, and Yassin Olunga (alias Ndung’u), in his mid-20s, were last seen on April 2013 in Nairobi. The ATPU had published their photos, together with a photo of Owiti, Musadiki’s brother in-law, in Kenyan newspapers on October 21, 2012, describing them as terrorists planning attacks in Mombasa and Nairobi.
Their whereabouts are unknown, as is who is responsible, but family and friends suspect that ATPU officers killed or kidnapped them because the two men had several times told family members they had been followed by known ATPU officers from Mombasa. Family members reported the men’s disappearance to police in Nairobi but the families say they are unaware of any ongoing investigation.
Harassment, Threats, and Mistreatment in Detention
Human Rights Watch found that ATPU officers harassed, threatened, and beat suspects, and held them for long periods without judicial review or the chance to object to extension of their detention periods. Under Kenyan law, suspects must be brought before a court within 24 hours and have the right to be present when a court decides whether to extend their detention.
In the Muchiri and Musa cases, ATPU officers kicked and beat the suspects with gun butts, then dragged them to a waiting car. The officers detained the two suspects for 16 days without treating the injuries inflicted during the arrest and failed to notify their families about the arrests. The officers also did not present the suspects in court, as required by law, while seeking orders to extend their detention.
In four additional cases Human Rights Watch documented, ATPU officers beat suspects, did not bring them to court as required, and held them for long periods without charge.
The wives of two terrorism suspects were detained with their week-old babies on two separate occasions in Nairobi in March 2012. A 41-year-old grandmother said she was summoned to the ATPU headquarters in Nairobi after police killed her relative: “They accused me of … receiving dollars from terror groups. They said it was only a matter of days before they kill me the way they killed my [relative]. I know they will kill me, yet I have done nothing wrong.”
The ATPU also arrested and detained minors. In one example, a 17-year-old student at a Nairobi school told Human Rights Watch that he was arrested in April 2012 and detained for a year, first at Garissa police station and then in Shimo la Tewa prison:
I was interrogated by ATPU officers for days in the absence of an adult or a lawyer. I was then taken through a normal court process and not a juvenile court as required. An appeal court judge freed me after one year and criticized the lower court for failing to protect our rights and convicting us without evidence.
Source URL: http://www.hrw.org/news/2014/08/18/kenya-killings-disappearances-anti-terror-police
© Copyright 2014, Human Rights Watch
Top officials on the spot over transfer of Sh8bn from State’s secret accounts
President Kenyatta’s recent reshuffle of senior officials at OP linked to the dodgy payments.
The Office of the President is in the spotlight over suspicious transfer of Sh8.3 billion into and out of government’s secret security accounts.
Large transactions happened during the 2013 transition, raising audit concerns.
The Auditor-General’s report, released a month ago, flagged some of the cash movements.
A source with close knowledge of the workings of the OP said the large cash transfers were part of the reason President Kenyatta transferred senior officials and procurement staff.
The leaks point to serious behind-the-scenes infighting at OP, whose top officials are powerful because of their proximity to the presidency, their control of large budgets and security responsibilities.
Former Director of Finance and Administration at the President’s Office Joseph Kirubi was removed from OP in March alongside more than 100 procurement staff after the Head of State ordered their redeployment.
AMMOUNT ‘IS SCANDALOUS’
On Monday, Defence Principal Secretary Mutea Iringo, who as Internal PS during the transition was the accounting officer, pointed out that his transfer last Thursday had nothing to do with audit queries.
“Someone is trying to be malicious. My transfer has nothing to do with it. The mentioned amount is scandalous, it cannot be,” Mr Iringo said when contacted by the Nation.
His boss at the time, Mr Francis Kimemia who was Head of Public Service, was also demoted to the less glamorous job of Secretary to the Cabinet.
The big job went to former Treasury Permanent Secretary Joseph Kinyua, who also doubles as President Kenyatta’s Chief of Staff.
The Nation has seen copies of documents which showed withdrawals of cash through accounts registered under the Commissioner of Police and Office of the President, long after the Office of the Commissioner of Police was scrapped and an Inspector-General of Police sworn in in December 2012.
The Auditor-General’s report questioned these withdrawals and another Sh2 billion which had not been accounted for.
“During the year under review, the ministry transferred a total amount of Sh8.3 billion to Kenya Police Service through contra-entries on cash book and Ministry headquarters recurrent bank account amounting to Sh1.4 billion and Sh6.9 billion respectively.
“On March 14, 2013 alone, Sh2 billion was transferred through account number 0-101-000-6530101 through voucher number 272 under the account name Police Commissioner which was closed in December 2012.”
The Sh2 billion was withdrawn only four days after the declaration of official presidential results by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission.
The Auditor-General’s report states: “The transfer of Sh1,415,000,000 through contra entries was not supported by payment vouchers contrary to section 5.5.11 of the Government Financial Regulations and Procedures.”
The auditor further revealed that Sh2.8 billion out of the Sh8.3 billion transferred from OP to the said “police commissioner’s account” was not receipted and that a further examination of the Police Account revealed the withdrawal was not approved by the accounting officer.
In the audit report, the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government, which took over some dockets previously under the Office of the President, is said to have attempted to prove the financial movement of Sh2.3 billion of the Sh2.8 billion under audit as unaccounted funds claiming it was re-channelled to the ministry from the police headquarters.
But auditors were unconvinced.
The report states: “The ministry purports that cash amounting to Sh2.3 billion was transferred from Kenya Police headquarters back to the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government.
“However, the justification and utilisation of the alleged security funds by a non-security agent has not been explained. Further, the explanation for the remaining Sh511,000,000 has not been factual.”
The report states that the Ministry of Interior, then under Mr Iringo as PS, claimed that it transferred Sh400 million to the National Intelligence Service.
But the auditors rejected the explanation arguing that the law prohibited reallocation of funds from one government entity to another.
Said Mr Iringo: “We gave all responses to the audit queries as raised by OAG. Everything must have been explained to them. There is nothing we never explained.”
Further, the ministry’s claim that it paid Sh25 million to the Criminal Investigations Director on March 8 was also rejected after verification of cheque number 08619 through which the payment was made was found to have originated from the ministry and not from the Kenya Police headquarters.
Payment vouchers seen by the Nation revealed a sequence of payments, mostly cash, and around the time the country was engaged in elections.
The Inspector-General of Police was unavailable for comment while Mr Kirubi, who is now at the Ministry of Mining, did not respond to calls and several text messages.
The last Commissioner of Police, Mr Mathew Iteere, retired on December 24, 2012.
But OP officials continued to credit millions of shillings to the Commissioner of Police’s official account as late as June this year.
Normal practice at the security docket is to open an account into which a specific amount of money is put for use by the person in charge of the police to discharge his duties.
This confidential expenditure is normally not questioned, with the auditors saying it is open to abuse.
Intriguingly, Mr David Kimaiyo had taken over as Inspector-General of Police on December 21, 2012 and a new account was supposed to have been opened for him.
Four times, millions of shillings was also deposited in his account.
There are numerous examples that the Nation has seen of millions credited into the account of the Commissioner of Police, long after it ceased to exist, and the money then withdrawn by OP officials.
Date Amount (SH)
2-Jan-13 150 million
8-Jan-13 10 million
15-Jan-13 60 million
22-Jan-13 150 million
22-Jan-13 200 million
8-Feb-13 30 million
12-Feb-13 200 million
18-Feb-13 10 million
14-Mar-13 2 billion
19-Mar-13 100 million
19-Mar-13 6 million
19-Mar-13 200 million
11-Apr-13 10 million
26-Apr-13 10 million
10-May-13 300 million
15-May-13 10 million
17-May-13 200 million
24-May-13 300 million
29-Jun-13 400 million
29-Jun-13 10 million
29-Jun-13 300 million
Source: Total Cash Transferred to Commissioner of Police from Office of the President, Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government during F.Y. 2012/2013
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