Douglas Kimani writes from Kenya
The corruption debate in Kenya is being driven by a few NGO-types who want to revive what we used to call Industry Moi, in reference to former president Daniel arap Moi
I wish to start by giving a little story. Just this morning, I attended a so-called social forum to discuss corruption
Among those present was the TI who recently told the world that the government had tried to bribe her into silence with all of 1,700. In fact, the money was payment as seating in a government-appointed committee apponted to
Al;though the TI head created the impression that only she had received the payment, similar paments were actually made to all 20 members of the committee, includiing the head of National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK), the Rev. Mutava Musyimi. Last night, on national TV, he said that the allegations that the seating allowance was a bribe 'ridiculous'. Of course this wasn't reported by Reuters.
In front of international newspeople, the lady declined the payment, but somehow said she would donate the money to anew school meant for underprevilaged girls allegedly because returning
If the truth be said, some of us are really distraught at the lack of real change
But I want all my international colleagues to consider the following:
British troops killed more than a quarter of my ethnic community between 1952 and 1960 during the war of independence. The British government still refuses to give legal aid to my people to sue for compensation, despite the fact, for example, that Jews continue to be compensated for war crimes committed in 1942. In fact, Mau Mau, the freedom army was only registered in Kenya last year because Britain pressurised President Mwai Kibaki's predecessors not to register the group as a welfare association.
British Banks have routinely charge Kenyan customers 40 per cent interest. The result was that one bank, say Barclays, repatriates the same amount of money that Britain's agency for development gives Kenya in one year.
The British army, through a colonial agreement still practices on Kenya's Savannah. Two years ago, the British government agreed to pay compensation of about Ksh600 million to hundreds of pastorsalists - because they routinely left unexploded ordinace that had blown tens of hapless kids up.
More than 600 women from the pastoralists community say they were raped by British soldiers over the last 30 years. Many of us have started to say that the agreements that allow the soldiers to practice on our soil have to be reviewed. Kibaki listens. His government is termed corrupt.
Since independence, the Kenya Navy has bought patrol ships from Britain. Nobody has ever complained. This time, the navy decided to buy a blue water ship from Spain. Corruption is cited.
Kenyan money is printed by a British firm, De la Rue. The ministry of finance cancels 10 year single-sourced contract and advertises internationally. Corruption is cited by HC Clay.
Where in the world can an ambassador call members of his host government 'Hyenas' - one of the worst insults in many Kenyan cultures?