Friday, August 31, 2007

The looting of Kenya

· Leak of secret report exposes corrupt web
· More than £1bn moved to 28 countries
· Property in London, New York , Australia

Xan Rice in Nairobi
Friday August 31, 2007
The Guardian

The former Kenyan president Daniel Arap Moi
The former Kenyan president Daniel Arap Moi. Photograph: Juda Ngwenya/Reuters
The breathtaking extent of corruption perpetrated by the family of the former Kenyan leader Daniel Arap Moi was exposed last night in a secret report that laid bare a web of shell companies, secret trusts and frontmen that his entourage used to funnel hundreds of millions of pounds into nearly 30 countries including Britain.

The 110-page report by the international risk consultancy Kroll, seen by the Guardian, alleges that relatives and associates of Mr Moi siphoned off more than £1bn of government money. If true, it would put the Mois on a par with Africa's other great kleptocrats, Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo) and Nigeria's Sani Abacha.

The assets accumulated included multimillion pound properties in London, New York and South Africa, as well as a 10,000-hectare ranch in Australia and bank accounts containing hundreds of millions of pounds.

The report, commissioned by the Kenyan government, was submitted in 2004, but never acted upon. It details how:

· Mr Moi's sons - Philip and Gideon - were reported to be worth £384m and £550m respectively;

· His associates colluded with Italian drug barons and printed counterfeit money;

· His clique owned a bank in Belgium;

· The threat of losing their wealth prompted threats of violence between Mr Moi's family and his political aides;

· £4m was used to buy a home in Surrey and £2m to buy a flat in Knightsbridge.

Kroll said last night it could not confirm or deny the authenticity of the report.

The Kroll investigation into the former regime was commissioned by President Mwai Kibaki shortly after he came to power on an anti-corruption platform in 2003. It was meant to be the first step towards recovering some of the money stolen during Mr Moi's 24-year rule, which earned Kenya the reputation as one of the most corrupt countries in the world.

But soon after the investigation was launched, Mr Kibaki's government was caught up in its own scandal, known as Anglo Leasing, which involved awarding huge government contracts to bogus companies.

Since then, none of Mr Moi's relatives or close allies has been prosecuted. No money has been recovered. Three of the four ministers who resigned after the Anglo Leasing scandal was exposed have since been reinstated.

Last night, the Kenyan government confirmed that it received the Kroll report in April 2004. But Alfred Mutua, the government spokesman, said it was incomplete and inaccurate, and that Kroll had not been engaged to do any further work.

"We did not find that the report was credible. It was based a lot on hearsay." He said the leaking of the report was politically motivated and insisted Kenya was working with foreign governments to recover the stolen money. "Some of the money is in UK bank accounts. We have asked the British government to help us recover the funds, but so far they have refused."

The report was obtained by the website Wikileaks, which aims to help expose corruption. The document is believed to have been leaked by a senior government official upset about Mr Kibaki's failure to tackle corruption and by his alliance with Mr Moi before the presidential election in December.

On Tuesday Mr Moi said he was backing Mr Kibaki for a second term, saying he was disappointed that "selfish individual interests have been entrenched in our society". Mr Moi remains an influential figure in Kenya and his endorsement is expected to go some way to ensuring his successor's re-election.

In the Kroll report the investigators allege that a Kenyan bank was the key to getting vast sums of money of out of the country via its foreign currency accounts. The same bank had already laundered $200m (£100m) on behalf of the late Mr Abacha, with the assistance of a Swiss-based "financier".

"It is believed that twice as much was laundered through the same system by the Mois," the report said.

Kroll confirmed last night that it had previously done work for the Kenyan government. A company spokesman was given extracts of the report seen by the Guardian. "We cannot confirm or deny that this report is what it purports to be," he said. "Nor can we talk about the scope, content or results of any work we have done for the government of Kenya, which remains confidential."

Gideon Moi is an MP and Philip Moi is a businessman. Daniel Arap Moi's spokesman did not return calls last night.

Monday, August 06, 2007


Oh, been long since I blogged but I just have to post this story about Nairobi from http://www.africaalmanac.com/top20townscitys.html

I have highlighted the most juicy part. Enjoy.

7. Nairobi, Kenya. The city of Nairobi has itself alone to blame for not being a better African city than it is today. It had all the opportunities in the past, the infrastructure, and (rare for Africa) decades of uninterrupted stability.

But despite its self-inflicted decline, it is still one of Africa's largest and most interesting cities.

More public facilities, more shopping centres with a wider variety of goods, more entertainment points with greater degrees of fun, csn be found in Nairobi than in any other city in East Africa, as well as the Horn of Africa and Central Africa.

Or as one Ugandan marketing manager visiting the city in 2001 remarked on its position as a major regional city despite the dscline: "Kenya is still Kenya."

Nairobi is the host city of several United Nations agencies as well as other international organizations. It serves as the location of a number of international news agencies' regional bureaus, and has more high-rise buildings than any city of any country in East and Central Africa.

Of the three East African countriee --- Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania --- Kenya's economy accounts for 60 percent, Tanzania's is at 25 percent, while Uganda's is 15 percent in size.

Nairobi shows this difference in size. It is one of the fastest-growing mobile phone markets on the African continent, has several dozen hotels, restaurants, and coffee shops, large supermarkets, has one of the largest fleets of public buses and taxi vans, yet they never seem enough.

Nairobi also has one of the most internationally-minded populations of any city in Africa. It is not a surprise to encounter a South African who has no clue that Nigeria is in West Africa and not a neighbour of Botswana in the southwest of Africa.

A typical West African urban dweller might find it hard to differentiate Malawi from Lesotho.

The Nairobi crowd tends to be well-informed on average, because of the fact that the country is heavily dependent on foreign tourism for national revenue, and also that Kenya has been host to numerous refugee populations from neighbouring countries.

What stands out most about Nairobi is the people.

All Kenya's neighbours tend to be traditional in outlook --- Tanzania to the south with Roman Catholic and Muslim-dominated populations, Ethiopia to the north and Eritrea to the north-east, mainly Muslim and Orthodox Christian, Somalia to the northeast, Muslim, Uganda to the west, just silghtly Roman Catholic-dominated, but also Anglican Protestant, and Sudan to the northwest, Muslim.

The societies are male-dominated, with well-defined, subsidiary roles for women, and a certain demure public behaviour expected of them.

Kenya and Nairobi in particular, has a different culture, where it appears that both men and women behave in a masculine manner.

All across the streets on a weekday are hundreds of thousands of these good-looking Kenyans walking briskly, the conversations revolving around the corporate and the pursuit of money. Pregnant women will casually disembark from a slow moving bus even before its reaches the stop, while holding another baby in their arms.

Open, cooperative and warm in manner, yet unsentimental, very direct and aggresive at the same time, is the Nairobi character. Kenyans freely and laughingly describe themselves as "rough" and "fast".

The taxis play unbearably loud club re-mixes of hit disco music, as pasengers sit unperturbed in silence.

Despite Kenya's relative high economic standards, public buses remain congested, with as many people seated as stand in the bus corridor, with few showing discomfort on their faces.

Life for them, it seems, is not life if it is not one of hustle and rough-edged. They seem to expect and be comfortable with that.

The Nairobi people are easy to approach and interact with, but this drive and their "rough" collective personalities can leave people from more traditional and polite societies feeling emotianally exhausted after some time.

Many visitors from the countries that neighbour Kenya often find this trait disorienting and even unmannerly.

However, it is this upfront and direct demeanor, the Tom Boyish yet sophisticatedly feminine trait among the women and girls, that makes for the exciting and rigorous city that Nairobi is --- loud street corner evangelists, charming female radio Disc Jockeys, the sizzle of the nightclubs and recreational centres, and sense of something happening all the time.

Thursday, December 21, 2006


I don't hate chrismas but......

-suddenly we remmember the less fortunate, like they dont need to eat the rest of the year.
-we remmember God and need to attend church on Chrismas day day and no other time.
-we have awkward office end year parties and everybody wants to make a technical appearance.
-every program on tv and radio is christmas related.
-we have to eat and drink (specially booze) like food and drink is getting exhausted.
-we all have to rush to shaggs.
-how come the no. of births in September shoots like crazy.

Happy holidays.

Friday, July 07, 2006

So Obama is coming to Kenya soon, Kenyan media makes it seem like a major event to the extent of contemplating the visits' impact on the country's socialeconomic landscape.You would think its Bush himself.
I submit that this trip will be one of those things that make Kenyans exicted, buzz about it sometime then quickly forget. I think Obama's contribution to Kenya will be zero, the only beneficiaries being his extended family and the hotels he stays in.
Get me right though, the guy is interesting as a person, he is an acheiver, admirable and I would love to hear him speak but he has absolutely no effect on the country as it is. His senatorship is far removed from the realities of Kenya, its only from where his origins can be traced.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


The holiday was ok though the weather was kind of dull, I had gone to my shags for an annual get together; that is grandparents, parents, uncles, unties, cousins,nephews etc. At least 4 generations were represented. Its been 10 years since we started meeting and the number of people keeps going up, so many births, we've not had a death in the family so far.
At the party I have no problem remmembering everybody's name but have a serious problem remmembering where they go to school, which class for the young ones and where they work for the older ones, not that I have no interest just poor memory.

Hope you all enjoyed your Easter!


My blog is about a month old now and keeping up sees soo difficult, blogging is almost like a fulltime job considering all the stuff you have to deal with every day.
I had recieved an email about the Kenyan blog awards but haven't had time to look at them. Hope to look at them soon.
Meanwhile Nairobi has been quiet, except the plane tragedy of course. There was the usual stuff, murders, theft, accidents etc but thats normal in Nairobi. It becomes abnormal only when it affets you directly.
We have a way of going on with our lives and hopes the unlucky ones will manage to pull through their misfortunes. You just watch the evening news and its all bad news after bad news. Or what can one do about other peoples problems?

Wednesday, April 05, 2006


I think Kenyans are the most exploited lot of consumers in the whole world. I'll give just one example of this; it happened a few years ago and nobody raised a hand or a voice. It galls me so.

For a long time, BREAD in Kenya was 500g, one day the bakers cartel decieded that bread was too heavy and too cheap. So, they not only increased the price by 50% but reduced the weight to 400g. The incresing price of wheat flour did not warrant such.

P S:I guess its my strong attachment to bread in high school that makes me soo mad.

Monday, April 03, 2006


If know Kenyans well you'll know that they will hold to their mobile phones even if its about 10 years old with 10 different faults, thats where the mobile phone tech cash in. People won't believe their phones are done for before they see this technicians.

Believe me, this technicians (techie) know their biz well. Not the phone repair part but the maximising profits part. This guys who are in every street in Nairobi know their customers very well, that is the customers' almost total ignorance about this gadgets. After interracting with this guys I know they guage a good days' work not with the number of phones successfully repaired but on amount of money earned. You cannot survive in this business if you soft hearted, you have to be totally ruthless. you should be able to tell a white lie with a straight face.

Here are some of their antics;

You taken your dead phone, probably after dropping it on the floor or in water, the techie practically salivates as he write you a job card and asks you to come after an hour or a day. He will revive the phone alright but not to your benefit...He connects the good motherboard with all the external gadgets and sells it. A completely dead one replaces yours, when you come back for your phone you are told 'Imekataa kwamka, pole'.

All techies advertise 'Repair and unlocking' but since very few do the actual unblocking ,you are told " Give me an hour" and the guy runs off to the unlocker for a small fee, then he tells you " Done, its really hard work thats why I took all that time".

The techies don't want you to see what they are doing to your phone because most of them don't have a clue about what they are doing. They mostly work on trial and error basis knowing that even if they mess up your phone some more, you will remain clueless.

etc etc......They are just too many.

Next time you see a mobile phone technician in Nairobi, do it at your own risk.

And for you guys abroad who send mobile phones to your folks back home, make sure its not locked to some network. If it is make sure you send the unlocking fee because for some powerful phones, it costs as much as buying a new phone in Kenya.