Connect with us

General

Uhuru, Ruto clash in fight against graft : The Standard

Published

on

Loading...


President Uhuru Kenyatta inspects a guard of at State House, Windhoek, Namibia. [PSCU]

A presidential salvo fired in a far away land, and State House’s pulling down of his social media accounts over claims of infiltration yesterday exposed the muted fallout within President Uhuru Kenyatta’s government over the fight against corruption.

Barely a day after Deputy President William Ruto expressly described the ongoing purge as selective, lacking integrity, fought on convenient half-truths and with political outcomes in mind, the President endorsed the purge, saying nobody — not even his “closest political ally” — would stand in the way of the anti-graft fight.
In a no-holds barred offensive delivered in Windhoek Country Club to Kenyans living in Namibia after he attended that country’s Independence Day celebrations, the President said every corrupt person regardless of their rank or stature will face his big stick.
“Whether they like it or not, whether friend or foe, brother or sister, if you are hellbent on corrupt ways, we will fight you,” the President said before adding, for emphasis: “You can be my brother, you can be my sister, you can be my closest political ally, you can be… whatever you are, but you are an enemy of the Republic of Kenya and we will fight you.”

SEE ALSO :Uhuru moves to stem clash of egos in anti-graft agencies

“I won’t be clouded by ethnicity or status in my quest to leave behind a united nation and I will continue championing Kenya’s unity,” Uhuru said in one of the messages pulled down.
The President’s tough talk was captured both on print, online and audio. However, in a confounding move that caught everyone’s attention, the President’s social media pages containing the message were abruptly pulled down in what State House Chief of Staff Nzioka Waita described as a result of a breach of access.
He, nevertheless, maintained that the President’s pronouncements on corruption as reflected in the pulled down statements still stood.
“On account of unauthorised access to the official social media handles of H.E. the President of the Republic of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta, all official social media handles for the President have been temporarily suspended to allow for the necessary remedial measures to be undertaken,” reads Nzioka’s statement, which was also posted on Twitter.
“The President has not distanced himself from the comments on corruption and his comments still stand,” Nzioka added.

SEE ALSO :Uhuru urges border communities to embrace unity and shun politicking

Loading...

A team divided
The ping pong on the social media pages, coming only months after a similar suspension and reorganisation of the pages, exposed the underlying fights among the men and women handling the President’s communication.
It is an open secret that there has been a fight between two factions within the State House communications team, with one pledging allegiance to the Office of the Deputy President and the other to the President.
As Kenyans absorbed the turn of events, Amani National Congress leader Musalia Mudavadi was in Mombasa delivering his strongest jab yet against top government officials for paying lip service to the fight against corruption. He accused the government of shielding “pirates and sundry masters of corruption”.
“It is instructive that when you say the country is being looted, someone whose name nobody has even mentioned is the first person to say, ‘I am not a thief.’ He says, ‘The amount you are saying has been stolen is not right, what has been lost is less than that.’ He tells you the stolen money has been insured,” Mudavadi said.

SEE ALSO :Uhuru furious with Cabinet members fingered over graft

Ruto has in the immediate past dismissed the probe into the multi-billion-shilling Arror and Kimwarer dam projects, saying the country did not lose any money as it was insured. He also claimed that what was in question was about Sh7 billion and not the Sh21 billion claimed.
The DP has also said that those investigating the loss — the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) — were being used in a long drawn political witch-hunt, as his allies claimed that the Directorate of Criminal Investigations did not have the legal mandate to fight graft. “There has also been an attempt to hijack the war on corruption and turn it into a war against specific individuals. In the attempt to wage this convoluted version of the war on corruption, many government programmes and projects, as well as many innocent public servants, have become casualties,” Ruto said on Wednesday while opening the same workshop Mudavadi was closingyesterday.
But Ruto also rooted for the fight against corruption, asking professionals to lend a hand to the fight and pleading with them to re-xamine their place in the corruption chain.
While closing the workshop, Mudavadi criticised the government for botching the war from within, in the process watering down investor confidence and impoverishing Kenyans. He put on notice civil servants colluding with political leaders to perpetrate large-scale graft.
“Let me warn you that senior figures lurking in the shadows to force you to sign a form to release money will be questioned when the DCI starts to ask questions”.

SEE ALSO :How Uhuru trip exposed bitter political divisions in Gusii

President Uhuru KenyattaWilliam RutoCorruptionEACC



Loading...

General

Sordid tale of the bank ‘that would bribe God’

Published

on

Loading...

Bank of Credit and Commerce International. August 1991. [File, Standard]

“This bank would bribe God.” These words of a former employee of the disgraced Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) sum up one of the most rotten global financial institutions.
BCCI pitched itself as a top bank for the Third World, but its spectacular collapse would reveal a web of transnational corruption and a playground for dictators, drug lords and terrorists.
It was one of the largest banks cutting across 69 countries and its aftermath would cause despair to innocent depositors, including Kenyans.
BCCI, which had $20 billion (Sh2.1 trillion in today’s exchange rate) assets globally, was revealed to have lost more than its entire capital.
The bank was founded in 1972 by the crafty Pakistani banker Agha Hasan Abedi.
He was loved in his homeland for his charitable acts but would go on to break every rule known to God and man.
In 1991, the Bank of England (BoE) froze its assets, citing large-scale fraud running for several years. This would see the bank cease operations in multiple countries. The Luxembourg-based BCCI was 77 per cent owned by the Gulf Emirate of Abu Dhabi.  
BoE investigations had unearthed laundering of drugs money, terrorism financing and the bank boasted of having high-profile customers such as Panama’s former strongman Manual Noriega as customers.
The Standard, quoting “highly placed” sources reported that Abu Dhabi ruler Sheikh Zayed Sultan would act as guarantor to protect the savings of Kenyan depositors.
The bank had five branches countrywide and panic had gripped depositors on the state of their money.
Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) would then move to appoint a manager to oversee the operations of the BCCI operations in Kenya.
It sent statements assuring depositors that their money was safe.
The Standard reported that the Sheikh would be approaching the Kenyan and other regional subsidiaries of the bank to urge them to maintain operations and assure them of his personal support.
It was said that contact between CBK and Abu Dhabi was “likely.”
This came as the British Ambassador to the UAE Graham Burton implored the gulf state to help compensate Britons, and the Indian government also took similar steps.
The collapse of BCCI was, however, not expect to badly hit the Kenyan banking system. This was during the sleazy 1990s when Kenya’s banking system was badly tested. It was the era of high graft and “political banks,” where the institutions fraudulently lent to firms belonging or connected to politicians, who were sometimes also shareholders.
And even though the impact was expected to be minimal, it was projected that a significant number of depositors would transfer funds from Asian and Arab banks to other local institutions.
“Confidence in Arab banking has taken a serious knock,” the “highly placed” source told The Standard.
BCCI didn’t go down without a fight. It accused the British government of a conspiracy to bring down the Pakistani-run bank.  The Sheikh was said to be furious and would later engage in a protracted legal battle with the British.
“It looks to us like a Western plot to eliminate a successful Muslim-run Third World Bank. We know that it often acted unethically. But that is no excuse for putting it out of business, especially as the Sultan of Abu Dhabi had agreed to a restructuring plan,” said a spokesperson for British Asians.
A CBK statement signed by then-Deputy Governor Wanjohi Murithi said it was keenly monitoring affairs of the mother bank and would go to lengths to protect Kenyan depositors.
“In this respect, the CBK has sought and obtained the assurance of the branch’s management that the interests of depositors are not put at risk by the difficulties facing the parent company and that the bank will meet any withdrawal instructions by depositors in the normal course of business,” said Mr Murithi.
CBK added that it had maintained surveillance of the local branch and was satisfied with its solvency and liquidity.
This was meant to stop Kenyans from making panic withdrawals.
For instance, armed policemen would be deployed at the bank’s Nairobi branch on Koinange Street after the bank had announced it would shut its Kenyan operations.
In Britain, thousands of businesses owned by British Asians were on the verge of financial ruin following the closure of BCCI.
Their firms held almost half of the 120,000 bank accounts registered with BCCI in Britain. 
The African Development Bank was also not spared from this mess, with the bulk of its funds deposited and BCCI and stood to lose every coin.
Criminal culture
In Britain, local authorities from Scotland to the Channel Islands are said to have lost over £100 million (Sh15.2 billion in today’s exchange rate).
The biggest puzzle remained how BCCI was allowed by BoE and other monetary regulation authorities globally to reach such levels of fraudulence.
This was despite the bank being under tight watch owing to the conviction of some of its executives on narcotics laundering charges in the US.
Coast politician, the late Shariff Nassir, would claim that five primary schools in Mombasa lost nearly Sh1 million and appealed to then Education Minister George Saitoti to help recover the savings. Then BoE Governor Robin Leigh-Pemberton condemned it as so deeply immersed in fraud that rescue or recovery – at least in Britain – was out of the question.
“The culture of the bank is criminal,” he said. The bank was revealed to have targeted the Third World and had created several “institutional devices” to promote its operations in developing countries.
These included the Third World Foundation for Social and Economic Studies, a British-registered charity.
“It allowed it to cultivate high-level contacts among international statesmen,” reported The Observer, a British newspaper.
BCCI also arranged an annual Third World lecture and a Third World prize endowment fund of about $10 million (Sh1 billion in today’s exchange rate).
Winners of the annual prize had included Nelson Mandela (1985), sir Bob Geldof (1986) and Archbishop Desmond Tutu (1989).
[email protected]    

Loading...

Monitor water pumps remotely via your phone

Tracking and monitoring motor vehicles is not new to Kenyans. Competition to install affordable tracking devices is fierce but essential for fleet managers who receive reports online and track vehicles from the comfort of their desk.

Loading...
Continue Reading

General

Agricultural Development Corporation Chief Accountant Gerald Karuga on the Spot Over Fraud –

Published

on

Loading...

Gerald Karuga, the acting chief accountant at the Agricultural Development Corporation (ADC), is on the spot over fraud in land dealings.

ADC was established in 1965 through an Act of Parliament Cap 346 to facilitate the land transfer programme from European settlers to locals after Kenya gained independence.

Karuga is under fire for allegedly aiding a former powerful permanent secretary in the KANU era Benjamin Kipkulei to deprive ADC beneficiaries of their land in Naivasha.

Kahawa Tungu understands that the aggrieved parties continue to protest the injustice and are now asking the Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission (EACC) and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to probe Karuga.

A source who spoke to Weekly Citizen publication revealed that Managing Director Mohammed Dulle is also involved in the mess at ADC.

Read: Ministry of Agriculture Apologizes After Sending Out Tweets Portraying the President in bad light

Dulle is accused of sidelining a section of staffers in the parastatal.

The sources at ADC intimated that Karuga has been placed strategically at ADC to safeguard interests of many people who acquired the corporations’ land as “donations” from former President Daniel Arap Moi.

Despite working at ADC for many years Karuga has never been transferred, a trend that has raised eyebrows.

“Karuga has worked here for more than 30 years and unlike other senior officers in other parastatals who are transferred after promotion or moved to different ministries, for him, he has stuck here for all these years and we highly suspect that he is aiding people who were dished out with big chunks of land belonging to the corporation in different parts of the country,” said the source.

In the case of Karuga safeguarding Kipkulei’s interests, workers at the parastatals and the victims who claim to have lost their land in Naivasha revealed that during the Moi regime some senior officials used dubious means to register people as beneficiaries of land without their knowledge and later on colluded with rogue land officials at the Ministry of Lands to acquire title deeds in their names instead of those of the benefactors.

Read Also: Galana Kulalu Irrigation Scheme To Undergo Viability Test Before Being Privatised

Loading...

“We have information that Karuga has benefitted much from Kipkulei through helping him and this can be proved by the fact that since the matter of the Naivasha land began, he has been seen changing and buying high-end vehicles that many people of his rank in government can’t afford to buy or maintain,” the source added.

“He is even building a big apartment for rent in Ruiru town.”

The wealthy officer is valued at over Sh1.5 billion in prime properties and real estate.

Last month, more than 100 squatters caused scenes in Naivasha after raiding a private firm owned by Kipkulei.

The squatters, who claimed to have lived on the land for more than 40 years, were protesting take over of the land by a private developer who had allegedly bought the land from the former PS.

They pulled down a three-kilometre fence that the private developed had erected.

The squatters claimed that the former PS had not informed them that he had sold the land and that the developer was spraying harmful chemicals on the grass affecting their livestock and homes built on a section of the land.

Read Also: DP Ruto Wants NCPB And Other Agricultural Bodies Merged For Efficiency

Naivasha Deputy County Commissioner Kisilu Mutua later issued a statement warning the squatters against encroaching on Kipkuleir’s land.

“They are illegally invading private land. We shall not allow the rule of the jungle to take root,” warned Mutua.

Meanwhile, a parliamentary committee recently demanded to know identities of 10 faceless people who grabbed 30,350 acres of land belonging to the parastatal, exposing the rot at the corporation.

ADC Chairman Nick Salat, who doubles up as the KANU party Secretary-General, denied knowledge of the individuals and has asked DCI to probe the matter.

Email your news TIPS to [email protected] or WhatsApp +254708677607. You can also find us on Telegram through www.t.me/kahawatungu

Loading...
Continue Reading

General

William Ruto eyes Raila Odinga Nyanza backyard

Published

on

Loading...

Deputy President William Ruto will next month take his ‘hustler nation’ campaigns to his main rival, ODM leader Raila Odinga’s Nyanza backyard, in an escalation of the 2022 General Election competition.

Acrimonious fall-out

Development agenda

Won’t bear fruit

Loading...
Continue Reading
Advertisement
Loading...
Advertisement
Loading...

Trending

Kenyan Tribune