Corruption scandal rocks Kenya

Corruption scandal rocks Kenya

NAIROBI – Kenya’s former anti-corruption chief says he has “incontrovertible” proof ministers were caught up in a multi-million-dollar scam that has heightened Western donor disillusionment, documents seen by Reuters show.

The latest revelations in the “Anglo Leasing” saga – in which state funds went to a fictitious firm – threatens big damage to President Mwai Kibaki’s government, swept to power in 2002 on vows to tackle graft in east Africa’s biggest economy. Kenyans list official corruption as one of their chief concerns, and major Western donors such as former colonial power Britain have labelled Kibaki’s government as “gluttonous” as that of his predecessor Daniel arap Moi.Opposition figures called for the ministers to resign.One even urged Kibaki to step down.But analysts believe he will survive, albeit hurt by the scandal in the former British colony traditionally seen as an anchor of relative stability in turbulent east Africa.In a leaked letter and statement from November 2005, former anti-graft boss John Githongo said he repeatedly briefed Kibaki about Anglo Leasing and the officials suspected before quitting in early 2005 from what friends say was growing frustration.”I had evidence of culpability on the part of the senior-most officials of our administration in some of the corruption-related scandals,” he wrote in a letter sent to Kibaki.”I am in a position to conclusively substantiate the claims made…by means of incontrovertible material evidence.”Kenya’s anti-corruption body has said it wants to quiz Vice-President Moody Awori, Finance Minister David Mwiraria, Energy Minister Kiraitu Murungi and sacked Transport Minister Chris Murungaru.They were all named in Githongo’s documents.The quartet, who would not immediately comment yesterday, have said they have nothing to hide from the inquiry.- Nampa-ReutersKenyans list official corruption as one of their chief concerns, and major Western donors such as former colonial power Britain have labelled Kibaki’s government as “gluttonous” as that of his predecessor Daniel arap Moi.Opposition figures called for the ministers to resign.One even urged Kibaki to step down.But analysts believe he will survive, albeit hurt by the scandal in the former British colony traditionally seen as an anchor of relative stability in turbulent east Africa.In a leaked letter and statement from November 2005, former anti-graft boss John Githongo said he repeatedly briefed Kibaki about Anglo Leasing and the officials suspected before quitting in early 2005 from what friends say was growing frustration.”I had evidence of culpability on the part of the senior-most officials of our administration in some of the corruption-related scandals,” he wrote in a letter sent to Kibaki.”I am in a position to conclusively substantiate the claims made…by means of incontrovertible material evidence.”Kenya’s anti-corruption body has said it wants to quiz Vice-President Moody Awori, Finance Minister David Mwiraria, Energy Minister Kiraitu Murungi and sacked Transport Minister Chris Murungaru.They were all named in Githongo’s documents.The quartet, who would not immediately comment yesterday, have said they have nothing to hide from the inquiry.- Nampa-Reuters

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