Kiraitu Murungi has persistently said that Anglo Leasing was a scandal that never was. He has gone on to declare it dead and buried. Now Amos 'Smiley' Wako has declared Kiraitu and former Finance minister, David Mwiraria as spotless as snow. This has awakened the top anti-corruption czar John Githongo from his winter hibernation. As usual, Githongo has promised to spill all beans on the scandal and name all the politicians involved. In short, he is their scariest nightmare.
Walks like a duck, quacks like a duck... It must be a duck!
The focus on the political aspect of Anglo Leasing is what in my opinion has killed the quest for justice over the scandal. The politicians will be killed while the master puppeteers have been spared to sack Central Bank another day.
The Anglo Fleecing schemes were hatched early 2001. On 16th of August 2001, Anglo Leasing signed a hyper inflated contract worth $54.56 million to build a Forensic Lab. On the same day, Silverson Establishment signed a $90 million contract to supply security vehicles. These two contracts opened a flood gate of multi-million dollar contracts by Apex Finance (AKA Sound Day Corp), LBA Systems, Universal Satspace, First Merchantile, and Nedemar (the company that wanted to sell the Kenyan embassy in Netherlands). All these contracts were signed and paid for by Nov. 2002.
5 months after the Narc government came to power; more firms joined the gravy train. These firms included; Midland Bank, Naviga Capital, Empressa, Euromarine, Infotalent, and Ciara Systems Inc. The eating through these deals went on till January 2004.
The common denominator in the 2 parts (the Kanu and Narc parts) of the scandal is the Kamani clan. Chamanlal Kamani, his daughter Sudha Ruparell, and his sons Rashmikant (Rashmi) and Deepak have been implicated in numerous economic scandals. There was the Mahindra saga where the Kamani’s though their company Kamsons supplied substandard vehicles to the police force at hyper inflated prices.
The lion’s share of the contracts in the Anglo Fleecing went to entities owned by the Kamanis. These contracts include the Anglo Leasing where Sudha Ruparell’s company Saagar Associates was the main mover; Infotalent –a company registered in India and owned by the Kamani’s Unicorn Holdings; and Apex Finance.
The Kamani’s were also involved in Anura Perera’s Navy Ship deals that were signed in the Naviga Capital, Empressa, Euromarine contracts. And who is Anura Perera? He is the man who paid President Kibaki’s hospital bill after the 2002 road accident. Perera was also involved in numerous defense contracts during the Nyayo era. The benevolent Perera is also the man who loaned Githongo senior money to buy a piece of land in Kitusuru.
It is puppeteers like these who will keep corruption alive. We have put all our focus on Kibaki must go and forgotten that Kibaki will go but the interests of the puppeteers will remain intact.
In a recent interview, Githongo said: “I feel badly let down (by Kibaki). I truly believed in Kibaki’s commitment to fight corruption. Perhaps I was naive and should have realised earlier that I was merely part of a window dressing process.”
There is yet another surprise awaiting the man the UK media is describing as an urban-raised, Western-educated, non-tribal, new generation African. Githongo is yet to find out that the UK’s commitment to assist Kenyans in fighting corruption. The clue is in the do nothing approach that the UK is giving to the issue of Kenyan citizens and UK businesses domiciled in the UK. This may be the biggest huddle in the war against corruption.
I plead with anybody with Githongo’s ear to tell him to widen his war. Going after the current politicians while ignoring politicians from the former regime is simply digging a grave for the Anglo Fleecing. Focusing on politicians while ignoring the puppets is putting the last nail on the Anglo coffin. We can only win by looking at Anglo’s past and present.