Is Uhuru Kenyatta Fit for The Presidency?

uhurus kenya“Treasury dismisses Auditor-General (A-G) over missing funds” was the headline carried in the Daily Nation (DN) newspaper on July 30, 2015 as the official answer to the recent A-G’s report on the alleged misuse of Ksh450 billion during the financial year 2013-14. A signed statement by National Treasury Secretary Henry Rotich said: “We have since established that though most ministries, departments and state agencies provided the necessary documents to office of the Auditor General during the final stages of audit review, these were not taken into account before the report was submitted to the National Assembly.”

In my KSB article “Massive Plunder of National Treasury Indicates Bad Governance Under Uhuru Kenyatta”, I noted that the A-G reports have never been taken seriously by sitting governments. Apart from a few Kenyans interviewed by mainstream media houses and some angry online comments, the new report has already been archived and forgotten in the minds of the political class.

On October 13, 2013 the DN headline for the 2011-12 A-G’s report was: “Third of govt’s 2011/12 expenditure unaccounted for: audit.” I quote from the newspaper: “Edward Ouko told the National Assembly at a specially organised session last evening that of the Sh920 billion spent by government in that financial year, Sh303 billion “can be regarded as not having been properly accounted for.” In a presentation like that of the Budget Statement by the Treasury Cabinet Secretary, Mr Ouko said that of the 252 financial statements examined, only 15 (six per cent) could be deemed clean. This was however an improvement from the previous year, where there were no clean accounts.” The A-G mentioned that there were no “clean accounts” from the previous year – meaning that for the financial year 2010-11, the situation had been worse.

For the 2009-10 financial year, the DN headline read: “Auditor-General shows Sh16bn bills not settled.” I cite a section: “About 60 ministries and departments did not settle bills amounting to Sh16 billion in the financial year 2009/10, the Auditor-General has said. The money, part of which was Sh5 billion relating to recurrent expenditure and Sh11 billion to development, was carried forward to 2010/2011, according to a report. Some of them are Internal Security (Sh953 million), State House (Sh10 million), Foreign Affairs (Sh80 million), Home Affairs (Sh349 million) and Planning, National Development and Vision 2030 (Sh10 million). Others are Finance (Sh121 million), Defence (Sh197 million), Agriculture (Sh768 million), Local Government (Sh2 billion), Roads (Sh9 billion), Education (Sh319 million) and he Interim Independent Electoral Commission (Sh280 million).”

Uhuru as a leader
Uhuru Kenyatta was appointed by former President Mwai Kibaki as Kenya’s Finance Minister in January 2009 and resigned in January 2012, (due to mounted pressure for his alleged links to the post-election violence in 2007-8). He is therefore fully aware of the operations at the National Treasury, considering some of the steps he took to implement failed austerity measures, stimulus packages, and so forth. However, as president, he has not revisited those failed policies to make sure that grand corruption is reduced, to streamline the National Treasury. His Treasury Cabinet Secretary has already dismissed the latest audit report from the A-G, yet the current unaccounted sum of Ksh450 billion, is just an escalation of the Ksh303 billion reported by that office for the fiscal year 2011-12, while Uhuru was Finance Minister.

When he became president in 2013, Uhuru promised to curb public spending yet the public wage bill has not only risen, but he has created employment for his “politically correct” cronies for political expediency. Uhuru thinks that hand-outs and playing the populist card is what will advance Kenya economically. He is not short of personal wealth, having been brought up in immense wealth acquired dubiously by his parents, according to available documentation. Therefore, he should use that privilege to transform Kenya into an economically inclusive society by shedding off those who are hell-bent to acquire wealth behind his back using taxpayers’ money. He should atone the documented economic blunders made by his father, first President Jomo Kenyatta, which marginalized many parts of the country socio-economically.

Uhuru should take seriously the impact of global initiatives for development such as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Education for All (EFA), to know where Kenya is heading, since we are signatories. The world is soon moving towards Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Where do we stand? He needs to be surrounded by intelligent advisors and not noisemaking sycophants whom he often takes selfies with. He should be grounded in the country and not be traveling all over to every inauguration and birthday for dictators around the African continent. He should also stop the habit of being seen off and welcomed back repeatedly by a coterie of politicians and military bosses at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, since that amounts to wastage of public money by driving back and forth. It also disrupts the smooth flow of traffic which costs taxpayers who are hindered from meeting their obligations in time, in the name of Uhuru’s security.

Wastage of taxpayer’s money
The Business Daily on June 3, 2015 reported that: “Uhuru’s frequent flier diary strains State House budget”. A section read: “Official data shows that the Presidency has already exceeded its recurrent budget allocation for the fiscal year ending June 30 by Sh300 million with travel spending as the main driver. Concerns over the cost of the President’s foreign trips mounted last week after it emerged that 84 people would be accompanying him to the inauguration of Nigeria’s president-elect Muhammadu Buhari.” How much can Ksh300 million do for hungry schoolchildren who walk many miles to school wearing tattered school uniform? Paying school fees as Uhuru does to a few pupils and students, or bailing out a patient in hospital due to accrued bills is not the answer. It is being populist. He should see to it that public institutions deliver. It does not matter that county governments exist and claim separation of power. He can influence their productivity and quality of service.

When Kibaki’s henchmen plundered the National Treasury for 10 years, he never uttered a word and his sycophants said he was too old to control them. Many blamed his advisors. However, Kibaki knew the game and let them ‘eat’ as much as they could. He is the one who, in his December 2002 presidential campaigns, had promised to stump out corruption after the 24-years of looting by the Rift Valley cabal of Dictator Moi. His supporters always squeeze in Raila Odinga’s name (who shared the Grand Coalition Government as Prime Minister), to make Kibaki look good. However, records show that as Roads and Housing Minister in 2003-05, Kibaki’s political allies fought Raila’s efforts to eradicate “Cowboy Contractors” who billed the Government for fake road construction deals and were paid, despite his protests. Therefore, assuming that Raila later let loose his grip on fighting corruption, it was because he did not get support from Kibaki’s side of government.

The so-called ‘old and senile’ Kibaki must have laughed at the Kenyan taxpayers after he signed for himself a fat pension package. “The amended presidential retirement benefits law gave Mr Kibaki a lump sum of Sh25.2 million, a monthly pension of Sh560,000, entertainment allowance of Sh280,000, fuel allowance of Sh195,000 and a house allowance of Sh299,000. The former president also enjoys an annual in-patient medical cover of up to Sh21.2 million. Mr Kibaki’s upkeep in retirement will set the taxpayer back Sh82.86 million in the financial year ending June while Mr Moi’s total pay stands at Sh66.85 million. The Treasury’s estimates for 2015/16 year show that Mr Kenyatta and his deputy’s combined salaries and allowances increased by Sh4.29 million despite the duo’s announcement last year that they had taken a 20 per cent pay cut to contain the bloated wage bill” (Business Daily, May 13, 2015). Wake up, you foolish Kenyan Taxpayer.

Jared Odero

20 comments

  • Kenyan VIPs shown dust

    How the powerful and mighty ate humble pie during Obama visit

    By Standard Team
    Updated Sunday, August 2nd 2015 at 00:00 GMT +3

    It was a humbling experience for some top political leaders and senior government officials, when the Kenya-American President, as Barack Obama proudly proclaimed himself, toured his father’s homeland.

    Playing the good host — a fact that Obama repeatedly appreciated — President Uhuru Kenyatta momentarily took the backseat as US marines and officials took charge of events during the three-day visit. Or probably Kenya was just adhering to dictates of international protocol during the visit of a President of the world’s most powerful nation.

    But probably blind to this arrangement, some leaders arrived at Nairobi’s Kasarani Gymnasium last Sunday for Obama’s speech, without cards or prior invitation. Many more came in their convoys and attempted to drive to the venue only to be stopped midway and asked to walk up to the sports complex.

    There were two gate entries to the venue: Gate 2 was reserved for President Obama and his host, President Kenyatta, and Gate 12, for all the other members.

    Turned away

    Although on Kenyan land, the event was purely a US affair – organised by US Embassy, with Obama as the sole key speaker. Unlike previous forums, President Kenyatta, too, sat through as an invited guest, with Obama’s sister Dr Auma Obama, introducing and inviting the US leader to the podium.

    All guests were required to be in the packed gymnasium a half an hour before Obama’s arrival. Those who showed up late or without cards were respectfully but firmly turned away by mean-looking US marines.

    Cabinet Secretaries Raychelle Omamo (Defence) and Eugene Wamalwa (Water and Irrigation), were among the senior officials in government, who showed up at Kasarani without cards. The two came in separately and briefly engaged the US security officials in an argument.

    Even after informing his tormentors that he was a Cabinet Minister in the Kenyan government, Wamalwa was turned away. He neither carried an invitation card nor did his name feature on the list of invited audience. “We are not disputing that you are a minister, sir, but where is your invitation card?” they insisted.

    But Omamo was luckier. Her name was on the list of invited guests but she could not prove to the “strangers” that she was the Raychelle Omamo. “This name (Raychelle Omamo) is on the list, but how do we know you are the one Ma’am? Where is the proof?” an officer asked her, as her aides fidgeted embarrassingly.

    After a standoff that lasted nearly an hour, her card came through just in time for the Obama address. It was handed to her by an aide, raising questions whether she forgot it at home, in the office, official car or she – being a Cabinet Secretary – did not think it necessary to carry it along.

    Equity Bank Chief Executive Officer James Mwangi had the misfortune of missing two crucial meetings. He skipped one at the United Nations offices in Gigiri and dashed to Kasarani for Obama’s address. He arrived on time – 10 minutes before Obama walked into the arena – but the officer manning the gates shouted at him: “I am sorry you are late, sir!”.

    Kenyan senior security officers, who served alongside the Americans, were particularly amused at the humbling experience of the local VIPs. “For once, and backed by the US soldiers, we enjoyed real authority of telling off these guys where necessary and standing firm about it without intimidation from ‘above’,” one of the officers who manned traffic along Thika Road near Safari Park told The Standard On Sunday.

    Ordinary citizens

    Perhaps the most discomforting experience for the VIPs was seeing them walk long distances and queuing for hours to Kasarani. Also invited were university and high school students, operatives of non-governmental organisations and members of youth and women groups.

    These form the group so commonly referred to as “ordinary citizens”. Ordinarily, in banking halls or anywhere else where Kenyans queue for service, the VIPs are accorded preferential treatment. But this was not the case as impatient VIPs were seen queuing behind a group of students in some instances, with no option of jumping the queue.

  • Daniel Wavomba

    Corruption has been talked over and again. The audit report has come out with huge amount of fund misappropiration. Nobody is going to talk about it. The next thing the opposition will be blamed for it. Evern if the opposition somehow goes over board in some issues by engaging the govt, but the obvious is seen by our citzens irrespect of the opposition. Let us be honest so that every citzen enjoys the national cake. Tax is paid nation wide but a funny language is talked “be in the govt side to develop”.This is absurd. But my question is,we are in kenya under the governance of the president. THEN WHEN IS A KENYAN CITZEN OUT OF THE GOVT AND IN THE GOVT?

  • The same tax payer voted in this government. If only we Kenyans understand what the collective responsibility means, then we would wake up and demand that politicians behave otherwise we revoke their mandate by a “RECALL”.

  • kenyanlooters.com

    Money doesn’t grow on trees? Someone tell govt

    By L. Muthoni Wanyeki

    Posted Saturday, August 1 2015 at 13:29

    At the end of June, the small proportion of Kenyans employed in the formal sector were all frantically scrambling to file their returns with the Kenya Revenue Authority.

    This scramble was hardly a national crisis given that, according to this year’s Economic Survey, only 17.3 per cent of employed Kenyans are in the formal sector. The KRA gouges what it can from the 82.7 per cent of Kenyans in the informal sector through VAT.

    But the frantic scramble felt like a national crisis, with everybody trying to navigate the KRA’s much-vaunted e-Tax system. Naturally, everybody had waited until the very last minute. Meaning the system was overloaded and slow.

    Complaining about the process to media editors, I heard the unconfirmed story that the company which installed the system had been shortchanged — and thus hadn’t handed over all its coding, adding to its clumsiness.

    But that would be uncharacteristic of the KRA. Which is, to our mingled admiration and hatred, one of the few public institutions that works. Admiration because it takes its job of squeezing blood from stone seriously.

    Hatred because it is our blood, from our stones — that then goes on to be squandered by the government with reckless abandon.

    Consider the most recent Auditor-General’s report, for the 2013-4 financial year. The Auditor-General is another public institution that works — albeit with a time lag that makes his always shocking revelations come way too post-facto to be of any value.

    This time round, he questioned unsupported spending by the government to the tune of a staggering Ksh450 billion ($4.5 billion).

    The mind boggles. That is our money. Gone. Spent without a justifiable paper trail. Our parents’ frequent refrain was that money doesn’t grow on trees.

    This government apparently thinks it does. That amount is nearly a quarter of this year’s astronomical projected expenditure of Ksh 2,001 billion. It is just under what this government is going to have to borrow to finance that projected expenditure — Ksh 570.2 billion, with the lion’s share from external borrowing at Ksh 340.5 billion.

    The point being that if this government didn’t act as though money grows on trees, maybe our debt burden could contract back to more sustainable levels. Parliament has bought wholesale into the notion that big spending on infrastructure will catapult us into the current millennium.

    It helps that big spending on infrastructure means equally big commissions and kickbacks.

    But external credit ratings companies have taken those edicts seriously. Fitch’s recent credit rating report on Kenya downgraded us as a reliable borrower—from B+ to B-. Why? According to Fitch’s analysts, our current expenditure is too high when revenues are declining.

    Should we care what Fitch says? Yes, because credit ratings send the signals to markets from which we want to borrow. Again, this year’s budget anticipates no less than Ksh340.5 billion will need to be borrowed from external markets.

    The shilling’s sudden and alarming slide against the dollar means that we’ll no doubt see an infusion of money from those with dollars who can wait out the tide. Speculative forex dealing. Currency traders will laugh all the way to the bank, literally. But that won’t change the bottom line for us as a whole.

    L. Muthoni Wanyeki is Amnesty International’s regional director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lake

  • WHAT WE KNOW Kenya has 3rd best performing President! His government of Kenya cannot account for Kshs 390B. The administration of the 3rd best performing President, has presided over theft of Kshs 67B. That same leadership is acting eyes off, hands off, legs off or everything off even as ‪#‎JosephGithu‬ said that KQ is being run down so as to be sold to some Qatar businessman who is core-businessman some powerful friend of big man, and Mumias is being crippled because High Priest of corruption is already in negotiation to buy Mumias through some decoy Chinese company.

    Some of us, Western/Luyha &Luo fools were happy when the 3rd best performing president announced Kshs.1B bail out for Mumias. What we did not know is that same 3rd best performing president though his ‘everything off’ policy knew that KDF is an occupying force in Somali that serves as safe corridor for his friends to import cheap sugar through Kismayu port, then transport into Nairobi and repackag it as Mumias sugar.

    Under 3rd best performing president Kenya has become a ‪#‎HotBed‬ of corruption, theft and impunity such that we are not sure if we shall have our country after their 5years. Fellow country wo/men, take POTUS words seriously, it is time for all of us, not to be fools anymore. It is time to tell Uhuruto that “enough is enough”. Shall we?

  • Auditor: Ksh67bn of government money can’t be traced

    By BT CORRESPONDENT
    Tuesday July 28, 2015

    Auditor General Edward Ouko has released a damning report showing financial impropriety in the National Government during the first year of President Uhuru Kenyatta administration.

    The 2013-2014 financial audit shows that several ministries and departments did not follow the regulations issued by the Public Sector Accounting Standards Board of Kenya in compliance with Section 83 of the Public Finance Management Act 2012, Tuko reports.

    Out of the audited 101 financial statements, only 26 financial statements, or 26%, had a clean (unqualified) audit opinion, 50 had qualified audit opinion, 16 had an adverse opinion while nine 9 had a disclaimer of opinion, according to the report.

    Mr Ouko says only Ksh12,581,506,707 (1.2%) of the total Ksh1 trillion National Government’s budget was spent in an effective way. The auditor spotted discrepancies in how Ksh600 billion (60%) was spent while there were no documents to verify whether or not the remaining Ksh390 billion was spent in line with the law.

    ALSO SEE: STATE HOUSE SPEAKS ON NYS SCANDAL

    The financial statements availed for auditing by the institutions indicated unauthorised expenditures, excess, unsupported expenses or lack of adequate disclosures. The National Government might have lost Ksh66.7 billion as 17 institutions that failed to produce relevant documents to support their expenditure during the 2013/2014 financial year.

    Here are the ministries, departments, commissions and funds that could not account for their expenditures:
    1. Ministry of Health – KSh 22,500,344,808
    2. Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure – KSh 22,050,510,900
    3. Ministry of Education, Science and Technology – KSh 12,826,647,906
    4. Office of the Attorney General and Department of Justice – KSh 2,705,850,667
    5. Ministry of Energy and Petroleum – KSh 2,408,723,869
    6. Ministry of Foreign Affairs – KSh 1,456,170,114
    7. Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries – KSh 1,289,737,385
    8. The Judiciary – KSh 463,366,769
    9. Ministry of Industrialization and Enterprise Development – KSh 300,000,000
    10. Government Press Fund – KSh 271,742,000
    11. National Humanitarian Fund – KSh 142,667,974
    12. Teachers Service Commission – KSh 128,392,939
    13. Witness Protection Agency – KSh 79,358,109
    14. Ministry of Defence – KSh 74,237,939
    15. National Police Service Commission – KSh 59,846,608
    16. Ministry of Environment, Water and Natural Resources – KSh 15,900,000
    17. Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution – KSh 9,200,000

    Fourteen other institutions are said to have overspent during the year under review money totalling Ksh24,566,651,642.

  • corruption all over
  • Uhuru ni yule yule
  • Africa's lost billions
  • Obama Senior the unsung hero

    Posted Friday, July 24, 2015 | by- KEN OPALA

    How Barack Obama Sr’s brilliance changed Kenya

    On the morning of November 23, 1982, the body of a male adult was found in a mangled pick-up on Elgon Road in Upper Hill, Nairobi. The then popular Nairobi Times newspaper carried the subsequent story as a brief (journalistic lingo for a very short story) almost a week after the discovery of the body.

    Barack Hussein Obama Snr had left behind “four wives and several children”, the newspaper reported.

    On the same day, the Nairobi Times carried a story on the death of thespian Stella Awinja, a student at the University of Nairobi. She was also killed in an accident, struck by a building block that fell from the top floors of Lilian Towers on University Way, which was under construction as she walked by.

    In contrast to the shy coverage Obama attracted, the piece about Awinja covered nearly a third of a page.

    FIRST BLACK PRESIDENT

    While Awinja — who, ironically lived in the same Mawenzi Estate neighbourhood as Obama, according to some accounts — is immortalised in a hostel name at the university, Barack Obama disappeared just like his soul — until his son traversed America’s politics as a colossus.

    Dozens of books have been written about the man since his son became the first black president of the world’s most powerful nation.

    Indeed, for a man whose role in Kenya’s economic development is immense, the mild news coverage was perplexing. Yet it would be rash to fault the media.

    The father of America’s 44th president was certainly a controversial character, hugely labelled for the small sins (love of whisky) rather than his national, nay regional, achievement (economic planner of repute).

    Critics dismiss him as a person in continuous self-destruct mode, one whose life ricocheted between drinking and womanising.

    It is thus hardly surprising that indefatigable wordsmith Philip Ochieng said Barack Obama Snr could easily have been mistaken for the fabled “Mr Toad”, the excitedly reckless character in Kenneth Grahame’s novel, The Wind in the Willows, and also in the play, Toad of Toad Hall. The “Mr Toad” depiction clearly tickled David Maraniss, a top editor at America’s Washington Post who met Ochieng as he researched for his blockbuster Barack Obama: The Story.

    In The Wind in the Willows, Mr Toad is intelligent, creative and resourceful. However, he also appears conceited, self-centred and in complete lack of even the most basic common sense. His reckless streak exposes itself when he steals a car and subsequently crashes it.

    “Obama was excitable, and this explains the many road accidents he was involved in,” says Ochieng, in apparent reference to reported motor crashes in 1965, 1967, 1969 that broke his limbs, and the 1982 one that killed him.

    AN ICON

    I traversed the country in 2010 as David Maraniss’ research contact. Philip Ochieng’s portrayal of BHO — as Barack’s friends fondly called him — cropped up in virtually every interview I contacted, even in his birthplace in K’Ogelo Kanyadhiang’, Kendu Bay, and in K’Ogelo Nyang’oma in Siaya, where the family later moved to.

    Only a handful of his allies spoke about his achievements on the national level: He was an icon who shaped Kenya’s tourism industry and physical infrastructure — roads, aviation, harbour, electricity and railway.

    He conceived and planned the Bomas of Kenya, the cultural milestone in Nairobi’s Lang’ata. He made possible the construction of the landmark Hilton Hotel that is the soul of Kenya’s capital. Obama’s Kenya Tourist Development Corporation (KTDC) contributed two-thirds of the costs towards the Hilton’s construction.

    The quintessential 9,000-km Northern Corridor transport road network was also his project. And at the time of his death, at age 46, he was a top contender for the position of Central Bank of Kenya governor.

    Indeed, the cynicism in media coverage of the icon’s death opens the inside of a controversial lifestyle — and perhaps the modest life of the man. To the media, he was personification of Mr Toad — excitedly self-destructive. When I inquired from Ochieng whether or not BHO was a drunkard, he quipped thus “not any more than I was … I was told he was quite knowledgeable about his work.”

    ECONOMIC PLANNER

    Barack’s true story as a topnotch economic planner is preserved at the Kenya National Archives — not in the streets and villages that are a magnet to those in search of Kenya’s own Mr Toad.

    As will be seen later in this article, after his tumultuous exit from the KTDC, Obama removed himself from Kenya and decided to tour the world. He became so broke; it was Finance Minister Mwai Kibaki who later picked him from the abyss of depression and gave him a job in his ministry in 1975.

    The following year he was picked to head the Department of Industry and Infrastructure, according to the staff directorate of Government of Kenya, 1976. Other officers in the department included H.B Kigunda, K. Winkel, Z.J Opore, A.G Bevis, D.W Kabunge, and G. Richards.

    He was moved the following year to head the commerce section in the ministry. He seized his new job with the vicious attack he only reserved for double whisky.

    When Robert Ouko was made Minister for Planning — following its split from the Finance docket then headed by Kibaki — BHO was given the position of planning officer “responsible for industrial development planning, including preparation of papers for New Projects Committee and Industrial Protection Committee”, according to the government staff directorate. He was in charge of road development, building and construction. That was in 1978.

    Huge corporates, among them the Kenya Posts and Telecommunications Corporation, Kenya Airways, Kenya Harbours (Kenya Ports Authority) were placed in his docket.

    Obama would later become a key plank in the development of the Northern Corridor road transport network. For most of 1981, just before he lost his life, Obama shuttled between Lusaka and Brussels, Addis Ababa, Kampala and Kigali, representing the Kenyan Government in meetings with donors on infrastructural development in the region.

    Indeed, it is ironic that through infrastructure projects like Power Africa, the US president is helping to fulfil what his father started

    TRANSPORT SYSTEM

    Nine months before the fateful accident, BHO led a Kenyan delegation to a meeting with donors in Brussels that deliberated funding for the proposed major road network.

    Obama oversaw the Mombasa-Kampala-Kigali-Bujumbura Transport System, which was part of his Northern Corridor road initiative. And on January 19 to 22, 1981, he attended the sixth meeting of the Kenya-Sudan joint technical committee on the Lodwar-Juba Road Link, where he was the sole representative of his ministry.

    The “transport and communication” section of President Moi’s speech to the Organisation of African Unity (since renamed African Union) in 1980 was drafted by Obama. He also, with other officials of the ministry, wrote a brief for the OAU.

    Although his drinking appeared to have hampered his rise in government, he at one time was in the same position as his Maseno schoolmate, Yekoyada Francis Omoto Masakhalia, who would later serve as Finance minister in Moi’s administration.

    Masakhalia worked with Obama at KTDC and later at Treasury. “Drink didn’t interfere with Obama’s work”. As the permanent secretary for Economic Planning Ministry, Masakhalia kept delegating his duties to Obama in 1980 to 1982.

    SILENT RIVALRY

    Yet it wasn’t just roads, railways and air transport under Obama’s watch. He came up with the Tourism Industry Licensing Bill in 1967/8 to help authorities keep records of tourists visiting Kenya.

    So powerful was Obama at KTDC that he distressed his bosses. In fact, a number of board members were unhappy with reports indicating that Obama was a regular feature on Voice of Kenya (VoK) talk shows. They said he was drawing two salaries.

    But the Richard Leakey-Obama silent rivalry is the sub-plot in the story.

    As KTDC’s second in command in 1967-70, Obama resisted attempts by conservationist Leakey and hotelier W M Dunford of Carnivore to “take over” the cultural centre he had proposed, planned and moved to construct.

    Obama drew up the concept for the “African Village” and proposed it be sited near the “entrance to the Nairobi National Park so that we would be in a position to tap visitors who are going to the park” and that it should not be “too far away from the city centre so that those who would wish to go there by means other than car can have easy access”, he said in a letter to the Ministry of Tourism.

    He added: “Furthermore, the village should be in a wooded area, which would give the impression of forest dwellings, which is what many tourists think Africa is like.”

    Jan Mohamed, the assistant Minister for Tourism, had suggested that the proposed village be located over the Ngong Hills.

    Yet, even as he pondered the idea of the African Village, the National Museums of Kenya (NMK) and the University of Nairobi planned to either create their own cultural facility or take over Obama’s idea.

    As NMK’s head, Leakey said he had no plans to “steal the show from anybody” but was merely concerned about the likelihood of “duplication of effort”. His organisation, he stated was “willing and competent” to develop the cultural facility.

    The cultural village should be constructed by “professional people who are versed in the subjects in anthropology and ethnology”, Leakey stressed in a letter to the Tourism ministry in an apparent swipe at Obama. Obama was unrepentant. Leakey would later write to Obama requesting “informal discussions” over the matter. Obama had had his way.

    WAS SACKED

    However, Obama’s Achilles Heel was his arrogance and self-conceit. After winning the war of wits with Leakey and Dunford, Obama went ahead and varied the Bomas project’s valuation and awarded the tender unilaterally, without involving the board.

    Among members of the board were Kenneth Matiba, John Michuki, G G Kariuki, Masakhalia and Ondiek Chilo. He reasoned that he had the authority to do so and that other officials were dilly-dallying, delaying the project.

    The board would hear none of this. It called Obama’s decision a “gross action of irresponsibility”.

    On June 2, 1970, the board sacked Obama and gave the tender to a different company. But Bomas of Kenya was developed the way Obama had conceived it.

    J B Omondi, a close friend of Obama who once served as director of External Aid, was part of the Northern Corridor Committee headed by Obama.

    During my interview with him in 2010, it emerged that Obama’s lethargic rise in government wasn’t entirely about his drink; it was about the anti-Luo politics of the establishment — and given that he wasn’t exactly a political conformist.

    “We used to work into the night; he was a workaholic,” said Omondi.

    Yet many today only remember him for his twin sins of whisky and women.
    http://mobile.nation.co.ke/blogs/Barack-Obama-Sr-Government-Kenya/-/1949942/2807464/-/format/xhtml/item/0/-/t2yduvz/-/index.html

  • Kenyatta eating Kenya

    How Kenyatta Milks Money From Poor Citizens’ Coffers

    by admin · November 1, 2013

    No doubt about it, President Uhuru Kenyatta is the most astute businessman in Kenya today.

    Not only does he earn a big salary, bigger than you and I do. But he also makes a lot of money through government contracts.

    The President is not stupid. Merely cunning.

    The first thing that he recognised is that the New Constitution of Kenya had a clause that barred State and Public officers to do business with their close relatives and friends using public funds.

    The original CIC Bill, taking cue from the new Constitution, specifically barred the use of government resources to award contracts to:

    “State officer’s spouse, child, relative, friend, or any other person with direct or indirect pecuniary interest with the officer”.

    This clause was taken out by hon Eugene Wamalwa on behalf of his Mt. Kenya mafia paymasters!

    Uhuru Kenyatta now safely and obviously wants public funds to continue profiting his businesses at CMC motors ( which is the supplier of VW Passats. This on its own is a contract worth billions of Kenya shillings. When Uhuru Kenyatta was the Finance Minister he exonerated Treasury of any breach of law in the procurement of 120 Volkswagen Passat vehicles for senior government officials.

    Appearing before the Parliamentary Accounts Committee (PAC), Mr Kenyatta said that the Finance Ministry was not involved in tendering for the vehicles but only used pre-qualified tenders approved by the Supplies Officer at the Ministry Public Works.

    Another cash cow for the Kenyatta family is the Commercial Bank of Africa which offers very high-interest-rate domestic loans to Treasury.

    Of course there is also the holding of expensive public seminars at his various resorts and hotels.

    The new Constitution was threatening all this extra money and good tidings until ‘savior’ Eugene Wamalwa came to his rescue.

  • Mama Ngina ivory smuggler

    But despite its exalted history, Tsavo would later became a byword for the slaughter that devastated Kenya’s wildlife.Tourists began to drop away, eschewing the depleted Tsavo for the teeming reserves of the Maasai Mara and the Serengeti. Tsavo had 35,000 elephants in the late 1960s, but by the late 1980s, elephants numbered just 6,500, an 80 per cent fall.

    Tsavo had come to epitomise official ambivalence and corruption that had allowed the destruction of its greatest asset. Indeed, Mama Ngina, wife of Kenya’s first president, Jomo Kenyatta, and mother of its serving one, Uhuru Kenyatta, was believed to be heavily implicated in the ivory trade.
    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/elephant-appeal-few-are-willing-to-say-just-how-bad-the-poaching-crisis-is-9035157.html

  • An auditors job is simple, he asks for supporting documents, they are provided within certain timelines, failure to which an assumption will be made that the documents are not there. You can’t give people a lifetime to manufacture evidence. Why was the President’s and Vice Presidents dockets given a clean bill of health and the rest of the dockets not? Rotich should stop covering for inefficiencies and excuses given by accounting officers under him.

  • heavy borrowing

    Banks’ lending to the Treasury jumps above Sh800bn

    By CHARLES MWANIKI

    Posted Wednesday, July 29 2015 at 19:26

    Banks have raised their holdings of state domestic debt by 1.2 percentage points to 57.1 per cent since the beginning of the month, pushing their lending to the government past the Sh800 billion mark.

    The holdings have now risen by Sh16 billion to Sh805 billion since the beginning of the month, out of the total Sh1.41 trillion. Lenders are looking for higher yields on the low risk lending platform.

    Over a one-year period (from July 2014) commercial banks have raised their share of the government’s domestic debt by Sh117 billion, mainly through increased purchase of Treasury bonds. Government domestic debt one year ago stood at Sh1.28 trillion.

    “Given the rise in yields over the last few weeks, banks have definitely spurred lending to the government particularly during primary Treasury bill auctions….although tight liquidity in the money market has also affected banks, not only institutional investors,” said Genghis capital fixed income analyst Vinita Kotedia.

    “We expect yields to continue to rise in the medium to short term as liquidity in the money market remains tight, while investors are likely to bid aggressively in light of inflationary pressures and a tighter monetary policy.”

    There has been limited growth of total government domestic debt over the past few weeks. The growth in banks’ total treasuries investment has come after a reduction in investment provided by other investors who include individuals, saccos and investment clubs from 6.8 per cent to 5.5 per cent.

    This represents a reduction of Sh18.1 billion. Pension funds have seen their holdings of the domestic debt remain steady at 24.9 per cent of the total this month, while that held by insurance companies has grown marginally from nine to 9.1 per cent.

    The debt held by pension funds has therefore gone up by Sh750 million, with that of insurance firms up by Sh1.7 billion.

    The share held by parastatals stands at 3.5 per cent compared 3.4 per cent at the beginning of the month, translating to an increase of Sh1.5 billion.

    The Treasury has in the past said it intends to cut back its level of domestic borrowing to avoid crowding the private sector out of the credit market, hence the push towards foreign debt and a lowering of interest rates.

    Even though yields on government paper are rising (with the latest bond offering a rate at 14.3 per cent) analysts still think despite the increase in Central Bank Rate (CBR) and subsequently Kenya Banks Reference Rate (KBRR) banks will still look to lend to the private sector.

    “Banks increasing lending to the government would not affect private sector lending as such. The rise in the CBR rate which will consequently push up interest rates will also encourage banks to spur lending to the private sector,” said Ms Kotedia.

    In the first quarter of this year, there was considerably high liquidity in the money markets, giving banks the necessary resource to up their lending to government.

    At the same time, the friendlier lending rate on government securities encouraged the Treasury to borrow more, seeking to plug its rising budget deficit.

  • Githongo on corruption

    Corruption in Kenya ‘worse than ever’ says veteran campaigner

    Tristan McConnell, AFP

    Aug. 2, 2015, 1:56 AM

    Corruption in Kenya is sliding out of control, veteran anti-corruption activist and whistle-blower John Githongo, pictured in Nairobi on July 31, warned in an interview following a scathing audit of government finances

    Nairobi (AFP) – Corruption in Kenya is sliding out of control, veteran anti-corruption activist and whistle-blower John Githongo has warned in an interview following a scathing audit of government finances.

    The comments also came after US President Barack Obama’s visit to Kenya when he spoke of “the cancer of corruption”.

    The publication of an official audit found just one percent of Kenya government spending and a quarter of the entire $16 billion (15 billion euro) budget was properly accounted for.

    “This is the most rapacious administration that we have ever had,” said Githongo.

    “Corruption in Kenya has deepened and widened,” since President Uhuru Kenyatta came to power in 2013, he claimed.

    Apart from the Auditor-General’s report, a series of scandals have emerged in the media concerning government procurement and land grabbing, perhaps the oldest trick in Kenya’s corruption playbook.

    The country is slipping down Transparency International’s annual corruption index and is now 145th out of 174 nations, down from 136 in 2013. With media and civil society also under pressure the 50-year-old corruption fighter warned of “the speed with which democratic space is shrinking”.

    The government insists it is battling graft and Kenyatta has spoken out clearly and often against corruption, including during Obama’s visit. Earlier this year a handful of ministers and other officials were suspended, but Githongo said this was “lip service”.

    “There is a complete disconnect between what he says and what he does,” he claimed, accusing Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto of creating “the atmosphere in which civil servants, politicians and businessmen can engage in corruption on the kind of grand destructive scale we are seeing today.”

    In a speech to the Kenyan people last Sunday, Obama said, “Corruption is tolerated because that’s how things have always been done”.

    Paying bribes to police and bureaucrats remains routine for ordinary Kenyans, but Githongo said the current level of corruption outstrips anything he has seen in a more than 20-year career battling graft.

    “The details come out in dribs and drabs, but it’s clear we’ve reached a scale of looting that surpasses anything we’ve had in Kenyan history,” he said.

    – ‘Captured by corrupt elites’ –

    In 2002 Githongo was appointed ‘anti-corruption czar’ by then president Mwai Kibaki, but three years later he fled for his life after uncovering a $770m (700 million euro) security procurement scam known as Anglo Leasing.

    Githongo’s whistle-blower story became the basis of Michela Wrong’s 2009 book “It’s Our Turn to Eat”, a year after Githongo had returned home.

    The earlier government of Daniel arap Moi, who ruled for 24 years until 2002, was defined by the $1 billion (900 million euro) gold subsidy fiddle known as Goldenberg.

    More recently, parliament has questioned the tendering behind the new $13.5 billion (12.4 billion euro) Mombasa-Nairobi railway line, a huge infrastructure project seen as essential to Kenya’s economic growth.

    Githongo said there are suspicions the railway was “from the very beginning… engineered as a corrupt project”, while the Auditor-General had exposed “an environment of unprecedented permissiveness” for corruption.

    “That only 1.2 percent of government expenditure can be properly accounted for is a stinging indictment of the management of public resources. The entire system is either in a state of failure or has been captured by corrupt elites,” he said.

    On Thursday, Finance Minister Henry Rotich shrugged off the 361-page auditor’s report in a three-page statement that said his ministry “has since established that there were no resources lost”. As with the government accounts, scant supporting evidence was provided.

    Githongo dismissed the recent, belated start of prosecutions in the Anglo-Leasing case as “a fig leaf” allowing Kenya to claim to be fighting corruption.

    Nor was he impressed by the suspension of ministers, depicting the well-worn path of stepping aside, going to court and avoiding prosecution, as “a laundromat to cleanse their reputations and allow them to go back to public office”.

    “This administration isn’t going to have one Goldenberg or one Anglo Leasing, we have got several going on at the same time in different departments,” said Githongo.

    Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/afp-corruption-in-kenya-worse-than-ever-says-veteran-campaigner-2015-8#ixzz3hf5kdb5J

  • fighting corruption in Kenya

    5 ways Kenyans are fighting corruption

    Whether it’s on the radio, in schools or across rural counties, Transparency International Kenya is engaging citizens young and old in the fight against corruption. Here are some snapshots:

    Anti-corruption lessons begin early in Kenya with our Integrity Clubs, which are run in primary and secondary schools. These clubs have resulted in students becoming more active citizens who help to promote good values in their communities.

    We’re using colourful murals and graffiti to cover the walls of schools to put the spotlight on good governance in education. Poorly equipped schools as well as teacher and student absenteeism are some of the challenges. The artwork aims to inspire communities to actively improve the situation.

    Our mobile anti-corruption legal advice clinics travel across the remote rural areas of the country and hold public forums to make villagers aware of corruption and its effects, as well as ways to fight it. In 12 months, we received 3,900 reports, a large number being land and public administration related complaints.

    To ensure effective humanitarian aid, we run a service that helps the public report complaints or concerns about aid and service delivery. People can submit complaints online, through a toll-free SMS number or by visiting their nearest office. The initiative brings together numerous aid and service delivery institutions, including the County Government of Turkana, the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, OXFAM and World Vision Kenya.

    Transparency International Kenya’s Executive Director Samuel Kimeu talking about corruption on the radio. Ninety per cent of Kenyans receive their news and information from radio making it a key way to engage people and raise awareness of their rights. We’ve reached an estimated 25 million people with our radio shows that cover a wide range of corruption related topics.

  • This time, Nyanza leaders have promised to welcome Uhuru, saying the visit was long overdue, and urged him to visit more frequently, especially to launch development projects.

  • James Prieto, what development projects will Uhuru bring in Nyanza? He has nothing to offer apart from getting the youth to clean in the National Youth Service. Any development project yay first have a budget allocation which Is not Uhuru’s responsibility. He can come to
    Nyanza to look for future voters.

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