Massive Plunder of National Treasury Indicates Bad Governance Under Uhuru Kenyatta

Jared Odero

Jared Odero: The presidency is led by two men whose tenure in Kibaki’s government for instance, was riddled with incompetence and suspicious misuse of public funds

The newly released Auditor General’s damning report on Kenya’s “suspected expenditure” totaling KSh450 bllion within Government for the fiscal year 2013-14, has shocked Kenyans a few days after President Obama’s tough-talk on corruption, while visiting the country. Specific Ministries, Departments and Commissions, have accumulated a total loss of KSh66 billion. The Auditor General, Mr. Edward Ouko, has also noted that only 1.2% out of the country’s KSh1 trillion budget can be accounted for. The report shows how far the roots of corruption have permeated the fabric of Kenyan society.

The World Bank’s Report “Decision Time: Spend More or Spend Smart? Kenya Public Expenditure Review [PER] Volume 1 December 2014” raised a red flag on the rising public expenditure and increased public debt. “The reasons are varied and weighty: rising costs of rolling out devolution; costs of financing national security; huge infrastructure investments; funding of flagship projects to fulfill pre-election pledges; and, a hefty public wage bill, among others” (p. ii). The report further states that though Kenya has a robust tax system, the rising budgetary pressure undermines the revenue base whose sustainability is at risk, since the County governments have constrained capacity to generate adequate revenue.

“Kenya’s tax system is heavily dependent on income taxes which account for 50 percent of tax revenue (9 percent of GDP) as consumption taxes underperform at 5.7 percent of GDP generating 25.5 percent of revenues. VAT contributes about a quarter (4.6 percent of GDP) and the balance is from excise and import duty (Figure 4.2). In 2013/14, Kenya revenue/GDP ratio improved by one percentage points to about 19.2 percent. The growth was mainly from PAYE (0.3 percent), corporation tax (0.2 percent) and VAT (0.5 percent). Growth also emanated from non-tax agency revenue which grew by 0.4 percent mainly due to introduction of the railway development levy” (p. 43).

The above paragraph indicates that a high percentage of government revenue is generated from personal income tax, i.e. pay-as-you-earn (PAYE) squeezed from a workforce of some 22 million Kenyans, according to the PER. The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) met its revised revenue collection target of Sh963.7 billion at the end of the fiscal year in June 2015. Treasury’s set target for the taxman is KSh1.18 trillion for 2015-16, while the national budget is KSh1.7 trillion.

Where then, is the incentive to pay taxes if KSh450 billion has been suspiciously used to finance personal interest yet development is neglected? When Kenya turned to face East (read China) during Kibaki’s leadership, massive borrowing became the norm since his Government had escaped the scrutiny and conditionalities that come with borrowing from the West. Kenya’s debt burden is unsustainable at this rate, because recurrent expenditure almost surpasses the collected income. Continuous borrowing is thus the only solution. However, plundering State coffers to the tune of billions of Shillings, is the biggest factor leading to massive losses of revenue in Kenya. From time immemorial, sitting governments have never taken the Auditor General’s reports seriously. If such reports are that damning and reveal the deep rot in Government, why bother to have the incompetent, politically-influenced Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission? The Auditor General’s reports should lead to prosecution.

Massive plunder and poor governance
Kenya’s macro-economic growth barely trickles to the micro level because the political class must keep the voters poor. This enables them to go back and manipulate them with goodies and bogus stories of how the national government has refused to provide money for development at the county and constituency levels. For many years during Kibaki’s presidency, Members of Parliament had full control of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), yet very few managed to transform their constituents’ livelihoods.

The documentary film “Unfinished Business: What it means to be poor in the land of Presidents” by Maina Kiai, currently the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights to Freedom, questions what the ordinary Kikuyu have gained from having three presidents from the Mount Kenya region since independence in 1963. Kibaki’s 10-year presidency did not leave any special impact economically in his home area of Nyeri, nor did the late Jomo Kenyatta, in Kiambu. The same can be said of Rift Valley, under Dictator Moi. The presidency wields a lot of power and money, and can be used by wise leaders to transform Kenya into a vibrant and inclusive economy, but that has never been the case. The PER by the World Bank shows that curative health budget allocation favors the rich, while the poor are left with a lower budget for preventive healthcare. Surely, how can a sick nation grow economically? There has to be an equitable budgetary allocation for healthcare to bring inclusive growth.

The presidency is led by two men whose tenure in Kibaki’s government for instance, was riddled with incompetence and suspicious misuse of public funds. Uhuru Kenyatta as Finance Minister encountered a “Computer Error” (discrepancies) amounting to Ksh10.7 billion in the revised Supplementary Budget in May 2009. Although he was let off the hook by Kibaki’s side of Government, this was a sign of incompetence since by the time a budget is being presented in public, it must have passed through serious scrutiny. Other questionable actions by Uhuru at that time include the single-sourced purchase of Passat vehicles for Ministers and top Government officials, in the name of cutting back on public expenditure. Ironically as President, his Cabinet Secretaries drive some of the biggest fuel guzzlers in the country. Is he a principled leader?

Deputy President Ruto is not new to big financial scandals which can be traced back to when he was Organizing Secretary of the infamous Youth for Kanu ’92 (YK92). According to a blog, “Before 1992, Ruto used to idle around the Hilton Hotel, jobless. The Youth for Kanu ‘92 gave him a lifeline. With Cyrus Jirongo, they devoured on millions of stolen money to campaign for Kanu. And when he got a chance to join the government, Ruto went on a looting spree, almost bankrupting the Kenya Pipeline.” (http://www.kenyanentrepreneur.com/is-william-ruto-a-dead-man-walking)

Ruto was later linked to the illegal acquisition of 100 acres of land during the post-election violence in 2007/08, belonging to Eldoret farmer Adrian Muteshi, In 2013, he was ordered by the High Court to vacate the land and pay Ksh5 million to compensate Mr. Muteshi for the loss of earnings during his illegal occupation. William Ruto claimed ignorance in the process of purchasing the land, yet he owns massive property worth billions of shillings, and is smart enough to search for ownership before signing a land deal.

Uhuru and Ruto’s followers have invested so much emotion in supporting them politically, they have become blind to their well-oiled machinery of looting the national Treasury. The two leaders have compressed so much hope into their sycophants by marketing and talking big about economic growth in the service sector and through information and communications technology (ICT), yet the massive plunder of KSH 66 billion indicates that the country is surviving on the basis of robbing the taxpayer to finance their rock star lifestyles. William Ruto does not occupy his official home though it is maintained by the poor taxpayer. Similarly, Kibaki does not occupy his official retirement home in Mweiga, yet it is fully funded by poor Kenyans. This is Kenya gone to the dogs under the leadership of Uhuru, the son of Jomo Kenyatta.

Jared Odero

19 comments

  • Godfrey Onen Omony Kerali

    The rate of corruption in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and many, if not all, African countries from 2012 has set a world record. People should take a look at all the corruption reports and figures of embezzled public funds and compare these with the faces of the leaders and politicians, their empty promises, development strategies and policies during compaigns, and you will see plain lies. African leaders are absolutely greedy, selfish and blood thirsty vampires that have no sympathy at all about the poor citizens who vote them to power. They bite more than they can chew. They still more than they and their famllies need. I am disgusted by the crocodile smiles African leaders put on their faces while on tv. What a shame for them to visit europe and then claim that, their economies have improved yet so many poor citizens cannot afford 3 meals a day, cannot send their children to the poor performing government schools, cannot afford clothing, cannot afford to pay medical bills. The denial of the people by African leaders to these basic necessities of life is the biggest and uggliest insult to the principles of democracy. Kenyans, Ugandans, Tanzanians, Zimbabweans, Congolese, Nigerians and all Africans must become wise and stop electing hyenas to take care of their goats.

  • thieving government
  • corruption costs jobs

    Over 250,000 jobs lost to corruption in Kenya, says senior World Bank official

    By TFN Reporter

    0ver 250,000 jobs are lost through corruption in Keya, says Gabriel Demombynes, a senior poverty economist.All toung people can get jobs if corruption is tamedAll toung people can get jobs if corruption is tamed

    Demombynes says money firms ad individuals pay as bribes was enough to put to work all young people who are currently unemployed.

    Highlights

    Corruption, expensive and unreliable electricity and high cost of transport are major barriers to job creation.

    With the money Kenyan firms pay in bribes, they could hire 250,000 people.

    Upgrading skills, making schools work for all Kenyans, tackling corruption, expanding power generation, developing transport infrastructure and achieving peaceful political transition are some of the ways to speed up job creation.

    “Economic instability, weaknesses in infrastructure and pervasive corruption limit business growth and job creation,’ he says.

    “A job creation strategy is needed to move more Kenyans into better wage jobs and policy makers, especially at local levels should embrace informal household enterprises as legitimate parts of the Kenyans economy to enable them contribute to increased productivity.”

    Top on the list is public sector procurement system where Sh35.8 billion out of Sh298.5 billion was lost through corruption last year. The money was enough to employ 87,000 jobs.

    The private sector also lost Sh68 billion in lost sales through corruption, money that is enough to employ 166,000 jobs.

    “I went somewhere in Nakuru town and I wanted to get a supermarket job as a cashier,” says one unemployed youth based in Nakuru.

    “When I met he employer, he told me point blank that the salary for the position was 30,000 shilling, but for me to get the jog, I had to first give him Ssh10, 000. I did not have even Sh1000- I had borrowed money for fare.”

    Efforts to convince the employer to give him the job and deduct the sh10, 000 from the salary at the month end were fruitless and the job seeker went home disappointed.

    The case was not any different for John Kamau whose dream of becoming a soldier in the Kenya Armed forces has been thwarted by rampant corruption in the recruitment process.

    “I have this strong desire to join the armed forces from the time I was a child….. so I have tried twice once in Kisumu and another time in Kisii,” he says.

    The last one I went everybody was asked to write on their feet barua ya Mzazi (letter from the parent) ….I passed in all the tests, running, height, physical fitness.

    Then on the last stage, we were told that those who had a letter ( a code for bribe) from the parents to move aside and I went, and I could see many people wondering and shocked that there was a letter that was required and they had not been told.

    Kamau lost the opportunity because the Sh50, 000 bribes him and his parents were willing to pay was too little. He says other applicants were offering in excess of Sh200, 000.

    “After a while, another officer came and told us that we had failed because our parents’ letters were not heavy,” he says.

    “I went home disappointed and so depressed I could not eat for nearly a whole week, I just locked myself in the house.”

    With over 800,000 people joining the labour market annually and the modern sector only creating 50,000 jobs, the bank says competition among the applicants for the few jobs would intensify.

    A bank report launched Wednesday says the scarcity of ‘good jobs’ and modern sector wage jobs means that many young Kenyans have difficult finding work.

    According to the Economic survey figures, modern sector wage jobs are increasing by about 50,000 per year, while the working age population by about 800,000 per year.

    “At this rate of modern sector job creation, competition for such jobs is fierce, and modern sector jobs will remain constant and possibly fall as a share of overall employment,” says the bank.

    This is likely to happen if the government fails to address factors constraining job creation as well as fasten economic growth.

    Demombynes says the government needs to adopt tax and expenditure policies that will create incentives for savings and investment for the economy to continue expanding and creating quality jobs.

    Among the issues that need urgent attention is investing in transport and electricity, upgrading skills and eliminating job-smothering corruption.

    Industrialist Chris Kirubi blames the government for the rampant unemployment saying it had pursued liberalization policies that had turned the country into a dumping ground for substandard goods.

    http://todayfinancialnews.com/trade-and-investment/1784-over-250000-jobs-lost-to-corruption-in-kenya-says-senior-world-bank-official

  • corruption and insecurity

    May 29, 2015

    The Cost of Kenyan Corruption

    By Joshua Meservey

    In Swahili, a language spoken throughout East and Central Africa, “kitu kidogo” means “a little something.” In Kenya, the phrase is shorthand for the small bribes necessary to navigate virtually any encounter with Kenyan officialdom. In Nairobi, the country’s capital, it is wise to factor in extra time, and a lot of extra patience, for resisting bribe requests for anything from getting an identification document to having one’s water turned back on.

    Were Kenyan graft contained to balky bureaucrats, the problem would be only an irritation. But as illustrated in April by the attack by the Somali terrorist group al-Shabaab on Garissa University College, which killed 147 people, it is far worse than that. Corruption in Kenya costs lives. It corrodes the security services’ capabilities and alienates Kenyans whose cooperation is critical to countering domestic extremism. If Kenya is to avoid another Garissa massacre, it must fight the corruption that leaves it vulnerable to a ruthless terror organization.

    Garissa University was easy prey for al-Shabaab’s trained gunmen, but the death toll should have been lower. Elite Nairobi-based counterterror commandos took nearly eleven hours to arrive. The Daily Nation, one of Kenya’s largest newspapers, alleges that the tardy arrival was due in part to the delay of a police plane that was supposed to fly the commandos because it was instead transporting relatives of a high-ranking police official on an unauthorized flight.

    If true, the incident would be only the latest example of Kenya’s security services being hobbled by corruption. In the midst of a terror surge inside Kenya sparked by its 2011 invasion of Somalia in pursuit of al-Shabaab, millions of dollars were diverted from the security budget to a slush fund controlled by officials of the Internal Security Ministry. One of Kenya’s most notorious scandals involved senior government officials awarding lucrative contracts for security-related services that were never fulfilled. And directly after the Garissa attack, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta bemoaned a police shortage and called for the lifting of a court-ordered suspension of the current police recruitment process. Yet the suspension was imposed because a court found that the recruitment process was so compromised by graft it was illegitimate—marking the second time in ten years that the courts have been forced to halt a police recruitment exercise because of corruption.

    Kenya’s security services are not just victims of corruption but also among its worst perpetrators. During al-Shabaab’s 2013 attack on Nairobi’s Westgate Mall, which claimed sixty-seven lives, Kenyan soldiers laying siege to the attackers looted the mall of cash, electronics, and alcohol. Earlier that year, the Kenyan military liberated Kismayo, a port in southern Somalia that is the primary export site for Somalia’s lucrative charcoal industry. The United Nations and United States have banned the trade because it is a major source of al-Shabaab funding, yet the UN alleges that the Kenyan military—in exchange for a cut of the port revenues those exports help generate—has allowed the business to continue and even grow. By doing so, the military is enabling a group with which it is at war to generate vital income off the taxes it levies on charcoal production and transport in the areas it still controls.

    In other instances, Kenyan security personnel have aided al-Shabaab even more directly. Last year, two militants bribed Kenyan border guards to escort them to the port city of Mombasa. The two were later captured in the city driving a vehicle stuffed with automatic weapons, ammunition, and over 130 pounds of explosives. In June 2014, a squad of al-Shabaab fighters went on a two-day rampage in two Kenyan coastal towns, killing sixty people. An independent government commission later released a report alleging that a member of Kenya’s Anti-Terror Police Unit helped al-Shabaab smuggle the weapons used during the massacre into the country.

    Corruption deprives the security services of funding while empowering al-Shabaab, but it makes Kenya vulnerable in more subtle ways as well. The security services often target Kenyan Muslims—particularly ethnic Somalis—for extortion and collective punishment during security crackdowns, breeding resentment and distrust within a community whose support the police need to counter al-Shabaab’s influence. Sleaze of this kind is an easy propaganda opportunity for al-Shabaab, which showcases it in videos that have helped the organization recruit hundreds of Kenyans.

    Kenya is locked in a war with a terrorist group that is increasingly motivated to launch costly attacks. The country must confront its culture of corruption with the same determination with which it has pursued al-Shabaab. Failing to do so guarantees more Kenyan lives lost, part of the deadly price of corruption.

    Joshua Meservey is Associate Director of the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center. Follow him on Twitter at @jmeservey.
    http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/en/blogs/new-atlanticist/the-cost-of-kenyan-corruption

  • True Costs of Corruption

    The True Costs of Corruption

    Posted on 9 December, 2011 by Jon Custer

    The World Bank estimates that corruption may cost the world economy about a $1 trillion a year. In more practical terms, as the chart below shows, corruption in some countries is robbing the world’s poorest people of up to three quarters of their economic potential. This means less money to feed their families, send their children to school, buy medicine, or start a business with.

    A taboo subject for decades, corruption is now recognized as one of the biggest obstacles to both economic development and the growth of democracy. Today the global development community will be focusing its attention on this vital issue for International Anti-Corruption Day.

    To fight against corruption, it is important to first understand what “corruption” actually means. Corruption is notoriously hard to measure, since it takes place in the shadows, but it can also be surprisingly difficult to define. Most people would agree that a police officer accepting a bribe to let a criminal go free is corrupt (and deplorable). But corruption in government procurements can also cost countries – even developed ones – billions of dollars a year. Corruption in the private sector distorts competition and harms consumers, shareholders, and entrepreneurs trying to start new businesses. And political corruption skews elections and undermines government policy-making all over the world. To make things even more confusing, behavior that would be considered corrupt in one country may be perfectly legal, or at least socially acceptable, in another.

    Because of this complexity – or perhaps simply because it is more visible – discussions about corruption tend to focus on so-called “petty” corruption, like traffic police who shake down motorists, or building inspectors who take bribes to certify faulty structures. “Petty” is a misnomer, of course: this kind of corruption impedes growth all over the world – not to mention the human costs when, for example, those faulty structures fall down in an earthquake. But this kind of corruption can still be seen as a symptom of a larger disease. When people at the bottom are openly taking bribes, one can expect to find even more brazen corruption at the top.

    Like corruption itself, the battle against corruption takes many forms, from simple posters (like the ones above) to complex international agreements aimed at curbing bribe-paying by multinational corporations. However, too many of these efforts focus on exposing and punishing corruption after the fact, rather than fighting the underlying, structural causes of corruption. All of the kinds of corruption described above are rooted in perverse incentives and flawed institutions, institutions which it will take committed local stakeholders to truly improve. As CIPE regional director Abdu Alkebsi writes at RealClearWorld today, focusing on Iraq, “It is true that you cannot stop wolves from eating sheep by shaming, punishing, or educating them. Through comprehensive institutional reform, however, Iraqi society can build the ‘fences’ necessary to keep its sheep safe.”

    That’s why CIPE works with its local partners around the world to help civil society develop its voice and use that voice to combat the structural roots of corruption, such as bad regulatory policies, lack of accountability, and weak enforcement of existing rules.

    In Thailand, for example, CIPE works with its partners to encourage the private sector to take collective action against corruption, helping to attack the problem from the “supply side.” CIPE also supports the UN Global Compact, which encourages important initiatives for businesses to help fight corruption.

    On the “demand” side, CIPE has worked with Transparency International and local partner organizations to encourage the adoption of APEC’s procurement standards, bringing much-needed transparency to the $10 trillion government procurement sector not only in Asia, but also in Mexico, Peru, and other countries.

    The fact that the development community is finally recognizing corruption as one of the biggest roadblocks to development is heartening. But in the end, it is only the people and organizations in developing countries that can truly transform their societies and institutions and excise the cancer of corruption.

    For an in-depth look at the toll that abuse of power, neglect, and bribery have taken on economic growth and development in Yemen, watch the trailer for the CIPE-sponsored documentary Destructive Beast. You can also find out more about CIPE’s anti-corruption programs at our main Web site.

  • Measuring corruption in Kenya

    A New Way of Measuring Corruption in Kenya

    Posted by Lars Benson

    Transparency International last week released its annual report, which suggests that Kenya is losing the battle against corruption. According to the report, Kenya ranked 154 out of 182 countries surveyed, indicating that both Kenya and Zimbabwe, who are tied, are at the bottom of the scale of countries worldwide combating corruption. The plague of corruption in developing countries has consequences. Corruption scares away foreign direct investment, creates poverty, leads to unemployment, limits the ability of governments to raise tax revenue, results in a misallocation of resources, poor economic development, and a lack of competition. Against a 19% inflation rate and high unemployment, Kenya can little afford the consequences of corruption.

    Studies that measure public perception of corruption are a useful tool in comparing anti-corruption efforts (or the lack thereof) across countries, but they do not provide actionable data to combat corruption. In Kenya, the Center for Private Enterprise (CIPE) and its partners have recently tried a different approach. The Kenya City Integrity Project does not measure the level of corruption in Kenya. Instead, it looks at measures to prevent corruption and how effectively those measures have been implemented. And it does so at the city, rather than the national, level – the level where most corruption actually takes place.

    Last week the CIPE, Global Integrity, and the Kenyan Association of Manufacturers hosted a series of roundtables in Kisumu, Mombasa, and Nairobi for Kenyan stakeholders from civil society, local government, and the private sector to discuss the study, which was conducted by four Kenyan research organizations in August 2011. As a new kind of corruption “scorecard,” the study covered transparency, anti-corruption, and accountability efforts in Kenya’s three largest cities, which contribute about 80% of Kenya’s GDP. The purpose of these roundtables was to engage all stakeholders in developing specific recommendations that the government could act upon to improve service delivery and minimize corruption.

    The report is the first ever attempt at the city level to understand whether relevant anti-corruption laws exist and whether they are being properly implemented. It is also unique in its depth, covering 177 different indicators. In an effort to understand the key governance and anti-corruption mechanisms that already exist, the study focused on systems that govern city elections, media freedoms, how city governments resolve conflicts of interest, city fiscal and budgetary management, and city administration and business regulations. This report answers the key questions on whether citizens have access to city government, whether citizens effectively monitor government services, and whether citizens can freely and effectively advocate for reforms.

    The three city assessments do not seek to measure the extent of corruption but rather to understand the medicine applied to combat corruption: the public policies, institutions, and practices that deter, prevent, or punish corruption. The research was conducted by three Kenyan firms that understand the Kenyan realities – including the Kenyan Association of Manufacturers and Hakijamii Haki Yetu, the Civil Society Organization Network – utilizing Global Integrity’s award winning research methodology.

    Unfortunately, the study found that all three cities need to do a much better job implementing existing laws. Kenyan cities have policies and regulations in place that should allow for transparency and accountability in governance. However, although laws exist, they are not properly implemented. One of the quickest and most effective solutions to corruption in these cities would be for the city administrations to implement existing laws. The reality is that solutions combating corruption are often much more complicated than they appear.

    In Kisumu, the study found, the media has the freedom to report on corruption cases without fear of intimidation. City elections for the most part are free and fair. There are regulations in place that are being implemented on public procurement of goods and services and there are frequent audits of government purchases. In order to potentially reduce corruption the city needs to create regulations to enforce asset disclosures so that the electorate can determine who is financing the political candidates. There are no codes of conduct governing the city’s executive and legislature. This means that any conflict of interests between city officials and the provision of services cannot be properly enforced. Finally, the city needs to integrate the work of different departments as part of a comprehensive strategy to develop the city, provide services, and attract investment.

    The District Commissioner of Kisumu, Mr. Mabeya Mogaka suggested that “all stakeholders focus on hope. Changes are being implemented that include a 14 day requirement that all public officials respond to inquiries in writing. While this report was conducted in August, since then the city has elected new officials and we must give them time to assess what is going on and implement change. This requires that all of us government, civil society, and the private sector work together.”

    Mombasa’s strengths include its efficiency in managing public finances, disclosing budgets, collecting taxes, and auditing city expenditures. The researchers spoke highly of the city procurement system for goods and services, but there is ambiguity in how tenders are awarded. Although systems exist, the research revealed that a select few companies or individuals are often the beneficiaries of public tenders. Another weakness is the hiring process for public officials. Civil service positions are advertised in local papers, but the selection process is not very transparent. Although Mombasa has embarked on several development projects, political patronage seems to dominate where projects are implemented. Although journalists are aware of corruption few stories actually make it into the paper as editors block certain stories for fear of losing advertising revenues.

    Finally, Nairobi’s strengths include free and fair elections, excellent management of taxation and city audits, and the effective public administration and business administration systems that the city has put into place. Unfortunately, local businesses complain about the poor quality of service delivery in Nairobi even after paying taxes. Many businesses feel that the enforcement of city’s laws and regulations is selective and that there are not forums in place for business to provide input on policies or budget decisions. A business faces burdensome licenses and regulatory approvals and although citizens pay taxes, the quality of services remains poor.

    Over the coming months, KAM and the local researchers will present the report to government and civil society along with concrete recommendations that include further engagement, enforcement of existing laws, creation of “one-stop-shops” for licenses and tax payments, and a proposal that high-ranking civil servants sign a voluntary code of ethics.

  • corruption history in Kenya
  • world corruption
  • Kumedhuka Mtaani

    Uhuru Amekasilika Kabisa .Uhuru wants to eat and swallow Raila Odinga!

  • most corrupt nations
  • PLO Lumumba on corruption in Africa
  • PLO Lumumba African schizophrenia
  • Looters Paradise

    Ksh. THREE TRILLION LOST Causes of Kenyan Poverty: The Annual Disappearance of Ksh. 340 Billion: An Annual Looting That has become Both a Tradition, Practice & Ritual

    In 2011/12 we Kenyan masses faithfully paid Ksh.921 billion in taxes (BUT WE LOST KSH.1.5 TRILLION). In 2013/2014 we paid about Ksh.963 billion (WHILE WE AGAIN LOST KSH.1.5 TRILLION). We entrusted these colossal amounts to the Government expecting that it will apply every penny of it for our collective benefits. The cash was supposed to finance construction of new, and maintenance of older, roads; finance health services, electricity, education, security, etc. Alas, that was never to be. Only about 17% went to finance these things while 33% was LOST. The Government cannot sufficiently explain the whereabouts of a colossal amount of 33% or about Ksh.304 BILLION. The money cannot be traced or properly accounted for. In the following year- ending June 2013, the amount of funds that disappeared or could not be properly accounted for rose to about Ksh. 337 billion. In 1990s, the percentage of taxes lost was more less the same. Average losses in the last few years amount to Ksh. 300 BILLION. Thus OVER Ksh. 3,000,000, 000, 000 (THREE TRILLION) of our hard earned taxes have thus disappeared over the last few years.

    These monies could not be accounted for because they were possibly simply stolen through elaborate schemes. For example money would be paid to a project which was NEVER IMPLEMENTED. But records would show such projects were done and completed. This was the case with the Ksh. 1.8billion postal corporation, Ksh. 649.7million supplies to the department of defence; truckloads of drugs supplied to a hospital but 48 hours later no drugs were available; and Ksh.500million water project paid and complete yet no drop of water was flowing.

    The paradox is that the SAME SAME SAME leaders in Jubilee and Cord who have presided over these colossal losses are still governing us. They are neither remorseful nor ashamed of such losses. They have taken no SINGLE action to end this losses. They simply don’t care. These losses does not bother them as long as they are getting their huge dues and small amounts remain to appease and placate wananchi. When we lost over Ksh. THREE TRILLION: Kalonzo was the longest serving Minister and later Vice-President of the Republic; Uhuru was the Leader of Opposition, Finance Minister, Deputy Minister then President; Raila was the Minister and later Prime Minister; Wetangula was a long-serving Minister; Ruto was a Minister and now Deputy President; Bonny Khalwale and Ababu Namwamba were Chairmen of Public Accounts Committees, etc etc. If these people will continue governing us for the next 20+, 30+ years as they have alluded, over 30% of our taxes will never be accounted for translating to over Ksh. 400-500 BILLION in the coming years. Over the next 30 years, we shall lose another Ksh. 15 TRILLION. When shall Kenya develop in such scenario? Unemployment, more biting poverty and insecurity will remain. In 2050 we shall be talking of a very worse situation than the case is today. Taifa letu litaendelea je hali ikiwa hivi ndugu na dada zanguni?

    Now what would Ksh.. 3 TRILLION have done to Kenyans if these were properly invested? Check the next POST.

    Dr. Joseph Mburu

  • a den of thieves

    Top Kenyans shamed in graft probe

    02 Apr 2015 00:00| Paul Wafula

    President Uhuru Kenyatta’s trusted allies are among top Kenyan government officials, key opposition figures and politicians named in a list of 175 individuals linked to various corruption scandals to hit East Africa’s biggest economy.

    Five Cabinet secretaries and several parastatal chiefs were suspended in Kenyatta’s first corruption purge, including roads secretary Michael Kamau, lands secretary Charity Ngilu, labour secretary Kazungu Kambi and agriculture secretary Felix Koskei. Francis Kimemia, the secretary to the Cabinet, was also named.

    Kenyatta said “no one would stand between Kenyans and what is right in the fight against corruption”.

    Also named on the “list of shame” are principal secretaries who are the chief accounting officers in the ministries of transport, defence, and water and irrigation. The 175 were named in a report by the country’s Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, Kenya’s graft agency.

    After the list was made public this week, some of Kenyatta’s allies claimed they were being “targeted unfairly”. Lands secretary Ngilu said her constitutional right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty had been violated. She is accused of inflating the price of a piece of land in return for a KSh65-million (about R8.4-million) kickback. Koskei allegedly allocated permits to some businesspeople to import sugar without following an open tender process, thus violating procurement laws.

    The report has given a rare insight into the depth of corruption in Kenya, where the scourge is rarely addressed by the state. Government data estimates that Kenya loses more than KSh300-billion (R39-billion) in corruption every year – a third of its annual budget.

    Public pressure
    By Wednesday, in an unprecedented move, government officials and politicians continued to step aside – but not down – from their offices as public pressure piled on the anti-graft agency to take to court all those named after the expiry of a 60-day investigations window.

    Ironically, the opposition Orange Democratic Party (ODM), which had strongly criticised the government for failing to tackle graft, has condemned the report, saying the list did not include deputy president William Ruto, whom it labelled the “high priest” of corruption.

    Mention of former lands minister James Orengo, a trusted ally of opposition leader Raila Odinga, and the Nairobi governor, Evans Kidero, who is also from the opposition, are understood to be behind the opposition’s change of heart.

    Orengo was linked to an irregular disposal of public land in Nairobi’s Westlands by a private developer. The transaction was allegedly done at Orengo’s office and the anticorruption watchdog says he received a KSh5-million (R657 353) bribe.

    Other opposition leaders listed are Machakos senator Johnstone Muthama, Mombasa governor Hassan Joho, ODM secretary Ababu Namwamba and Caroli Omondi, chief of staff of former prime minister Odinga, now leader of the opposition.

    The country was especially shocked by the inclusion on the list of Kenya’s auditor general Edward Ouko, who is accused of defrauding the World Bank by more than doubling the budget to KSh500-million (R65.7-million). His office is also accused of paying KSh100-million (R13-million) in advance for Audit Vault, a security product, sourcing only one quotation.

    The purge’s biggest challenge is that it is spearheaded by a government whose top leadership has remained in office despite having faced charges for crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court (ICC).

    No moral authority
    Kenyatta remained in office as he fought the charges in The Hague, but now calls on public officers to step aside. The ICC withdrew charges against Kenyatta last year for lack of evidence. The opposition has said Kenyatta’s deputy, Ruto, has no moral authority to speak on the fight against corruption as he is still fighting charges at the ICC.

    Two parliamentary committees are facing dissolution after they were also linked to the corruption saga.

    Regional governors, through their chairperson Isaac Ruto, Bomet’s governor, have dismissed the purge, saying the president has no legal mandate to ask elected leaders to step aside.

    The Constitution says impeachment, death or incapacity are the only reasons a governor can be removed from office.

    At least 13 governors, including Ruto, Evans Kidero (Nairobi), Alfred Mutua (Machakos) and Samuel Tunai (Narok), were named in the report.

    This has given ammunition to critics of Kenya’s devolution system who say the governors have extended corruption to the grass roots.

    Some of those named have been the most vocal defenders of devolution. Ruto, a fierce critic of the Kenyatta government as the chairperson of the council of governors, is fighting corruption allegations. He is accused of irregularities in hiring ambulances from Kenya’s Red Cross Society at a monthly cost of KSh650?000 (R85?455), on a tender that was based on only one quotation.

    Ruto is also accused of accumulating immense wealth, including a KSh300-million (R39-million) helicopter, earth-moving machines estimated at KSh400-million (R52.5-million), and a palatial home he allegedly bought for KSh33-million (R4.3-million).

  • Youth engaged in NYS projects paid Sh164m weekly

    The National Youth Service pays youth engaged in its projects countrywide Sh164 million weekly.

    NYS Director-General Nelson Githinji said the agency has engaged 70,000 youth, who are paid Sh 471 daily for five days in a week.

    “Youth engaged in NYS programmes are paid WEEKLY through M-Pesa,” he said in a post on his official Twitter page on Tuesday.

    He added that the payments are made through mobile money transfers to ensure transparency and accountability.

    Dr Githinji added that “payment is only made when community youth engaged provide the correct registered numbers”.

    The youth are employed under an empowerment programme rolled out in 63 constituencies

    Dr Githinji made the announcement even as youth hired by the NYS in Chuka Igambang’ombe constituency blocked the Meru-Nairobi highway to protest delays in paying them.

    They cited delayed pay, mistreatment by their supervisor and high-handedness, among other complaints.

    County Commissioner Charles Monari told the youth their grievances would be addressed.

    He admitted that there had been a communication breakdown between the NYS officials and the youth.

    “You are going to get all your money, the only problem is your supervisor has not been explaining to you the progress of your work,” said Mr Monari.

    The NYS recently stated all those engaged to work in its project would be paid.

    “Youth that have not received their payment should report to the area commander with the correct phone details for payment to be done,” the NYS stated.

  • INTERPOL IMPOUNDS RUTO CAR

    ..

    Thursday, June 2, 2011 – 00:00 — BY STAR TEAM

    INTERPOL has impounded a car registered in the name of a company associated with Eldoret North MP William Ruto in Eldoret. The Range Rover House is among several vehicles netted by the International Police Organisation a probe into an international car theft ring.

    The vehicle’s engine number was traced by Interpol with the assistance of the Kenya Revenue Authority. The vehicle chassis and other identification numbers tally with those of a vehicle which had been reported stolen in the UK in 2005.

    The Star learnt yesterday that the vehicle was registered under Amaco Insurance Company, one of the biggest underwriters for public service vehicles in which Ruto has interests. “Amaco bought the car for Ruto a few years back after Ruto requested a car. He has been using it until it was impounded.He does not seem bothered by the development because he has several cars,” said a Ruto confidant. The vehicle is now parked outside Kiptagich House which has offices for the KRA and the Central Bank in Eldoret.

    The KRA officials on the lookout for the vehicle impounded it as it was being driven by one of Ruto’s drivers. They removed the number plate — KBL 001H — before driving the dark blue car valued at slightly more than Sh8 million to their yard. “We have all the documents for the car showing its origin, who sold it to us, at how much and the bill of lading that came with the car and KRA receipts showing the duty paid. The lawyers have been dealing with the matter and we hope it can be resolved soon so that Mheshimiwa (Ruto) can get back his car,” said a senior manager at Amaco who cannot be identified as he had not been authorised to comment on the matter.

    Four other cars with foreign registration numbers are being held within the same parking as police investigate how they were brought into the country.

    Interpol has in the last few weeks been sweeping Kenyan roads in search of stolen cars following reports that Kenya is becoming an important market for four-wheel-drive vehicles brought in by an international criminal ring operating in the UK and other parts of Europe. Agents from Interpol have carried out an operation in which dozens of
    expensive cars stolen in Europe were recovered. The operation ended last Thursday.

    Kenyan police confirmed that they worked jointly with Interpol to recover vehicles, some of which were on the road and locally registered.

    Seventeen vehicles were impounded on Wednesday. However, the Criminal Investigations Department director Ndegwa Muhoro said they were not in a hurry to take their owners to court. “Most of these people are innocent and we have to fully investigate to determine who is culpable,” said Muhoro in a report published on the website of the International Association of Auto Theft Investigators. The association, founded in 1952 in the US, has members from 33 countries.

    A source at the Office of the President said the operation was carried out in secret so that those who had bought the stolen vehicles do not hide them. More swoops for stolen vehicles, this time saloons and station wagons, are planned based on the information received from Interpol, the source said.

    The engine and chassis numbers of the vehicles impounded are being checked to establish if they were reported stolen in other countries.

    Muhoro said the cross-border operation, which started in Burundi and Rwanda, will be extended to other countries in the region. He urged those intending to import vehicles to consult the Regional Interpol Office in Nairobi to make sure they are not buying stolen cars. “The service is free of charge but sadly, Kenyans are not making use of it,” he said.

    Some unscrupulous people have been defrauding insurance companies by selling their vehicles in neighbouring countries and claiming they have been stolen.

    The Interpol office has an inventory of all vehicles stolen across the world and at a click of a button they are able to tell whether a car was stolen or not.

    Last September, a similar operation was conducted in Tanzania and 51 vehicles impounded. Twenty two of the vehicles were stolen from Japan, 12 from South Africa, eight from Malaysia, three from UK and one each from Kenya, Tanzania, Slovenia, Germany, Mozambique and Australia.

    Self-driven hired cars are increasingly becoming targets of an international car theft syndicates in Kenya. The cartel has been stealing an average of 10 vehicles each month from major towns and smuggling them to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi and Malawi via Tanzania and Uganda. They hire the cars posing as clients or hold drivers of hired vehicles hostage, drug them or tie them up before driving off with the vehicle.

    Another coordinated Interpol operation conducted in 2007 in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda netted hundreds of stolen vehicles. Head of Flying Squad Munga Nyale said car thieves had changed tactics and were hiring self-drive vehicles for an extended period, which they then drive across the border before they are reported missing.

    The syndicate had reportedly infiltrated the Registrar of Motor Vehicles offices, where it obtains blank logbooks that are used when smuggling stolen vehicles across the border.

  • Baashan Husseini

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