Karibu!

Wikileaks, Truth & Kenya

I’ve mentioned the Wikileaks report here before and that column received a big yawn from the readers.  The first time I mentioned it was in relation to the Kroll report, which had tracked about $4 billion dollars stolen by former president Moi and diverted into various bank accounts and properties around the world (you can read an abbreviation of where that money went here).

Also, in an interview he gave to Forbes Magazine, the Wikileaks founder, Julien Assange (who incidentally hid out in Nairobi for a short time) mentions that kroll report and has the following to say:

When we released the Kroll report on three to four billion smuggled out by the former Kenyan president Daniel arap Moi and his cronies, where did the money go?  There’s no megacorruption–as they call it in Africa, it’s a bit sensational but you’re talking about billions–without support from Western banks and companies.  That money went into London properties, Swiss banks, property in New York, companies that had been set up to move this money“.

Now, Wikileaks is out with yet another “leak” and because this blog is about Kenya, we’ll concentrate on that part of it (they haven’t released the full report, but I’m waiting for it to come out because I’m going to sift through it and write about it here).

However, what has come out so far is very damaging to both Kibaki and Raila and incidentally, I believe that’s why Raila has (all of a sudden) decided to start hitting out at homosexuals.  He’s trying to divert attention from the damaging Wikileaks report that will start coming out.

Anyway, as reported in the German magazine De Spiegel, here is what the US embassy in Nairobi had to say about Kenya:

Kenya? A swamp of flourishing corruption extending across the country. Fifteen high-ranking Kenyan officials are already banned from traveling to the United States, and almost every single sentence in the embassy reports speaks with disdain of the government of President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga“.

I’ve been writing about corruption over and over again on this blog and for some strange reason, Kenyans don’t want to hear it, but at some point, you have to start coming to terms with reality about your country and yes…..it will affect your ability to do business there.  Don’t keep fooling yourself into believing that you can do it just by working hard when the evidence of the reality keeps staring at you in the face.

Three years ago when I was warning people about William Ruto people thought I was crazy, but now they are seeing the truth play out.

When I wrote about the military changes that would take place (& I specifically said it would take about two years) and it would be re-aligned along tribal lines, some thought I had lost my mind, but now that’s coming true.

I am now worried about what Ligale did with the boundaries commission.  It’s crazy, not based on any logic whatsoever; blatant tribalism that will further entrench the distrust that already exists on all sides (& did I not say that the new constitution was bullshit? — Ligale’s moves proves it and Kibaki’s attempts to get rid of Ligale will prove it even more — it’s pure tribalism, not law).

Anyway, as I’ve said before, I think it’s crazy to talk about share prices and bank returns and IPO’s in a country with this level of corruption.  The Kenyan bloggers who discuss these issues and fail to ever mention corruption, have to be delusional at some level.

You cannot start waxing lyrical about share prices of companies at the NSE in a country that has trouble ensuring clean title to real property.  You just cannot.

Maybe if you have a software company that is web based and you have foreign clients and your bank accounts are in a separate country…maybe then we can have a real discussion about the cost of doing business and wages and all of that (because with this kind of set up, you’d be hedging your risks, i.e. if things collapse, you can easily shift bases)   — however, short of this, you’re either connected to a corrupt person and are benefitting from that system or you are living in a delusional world.

***

If a country cannot ensure clean title to real property, then it has no rule of law (whatsoever) and if you ever decide to start a business there, keep this in mind and take the necessary steps to protect yourself and your money.

Never fool yourself into believing anything else about a new constitution or a new dispensation or any of that b.s. — Kibaki and Raila are stealing and looking out for themselves and don’t ever believe they’re on your side.

Thank you….

*** New stuff on Wikileaks about Kenya (violence will be worse than 2007 if the corruption isn’t stopped)

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  8. untonyto
    March 23, 2011 at 9:22 am

    Please abeg!
    Those people in the states who endured Jim Crow Laws to build their country did not survive by persevering quietly! Sacrifices = someone somewhere fought and died fighting against what they saw and knew to be wrong. If our society is corrupt, and we all know and ‘accept’ and work inside this reality, we kill ourselves by eating off ourselves. Listen to those Tribe X declaimers above, ask what they think about owning their story. Our story as Kenyans plain sucks! If wikileaks reveals the true extent of our rot, our embarrassment is natural, but corrective action is rational.

  9. antojoe
    December 17, 2010 at 4:50 am

    ad how many Kenyans are employed in thre countys eg like vodafone in Kenya empoles many expartrates they are not on contract like KENYAS THEY ARE PAID FIVE TIMES OF WHAT OUR GRAJUETS GET SO DO NOT SURRPORT THIS WALAMI +SOMALIS

  10. antojoe
    December 17, 2010 at 4:44 am

    julius,
    Thats true mazee westen world is so grot out like ishs all my friends who go to Euro wana come kama wamekonda sasa europeans are like suches so pestilent to us like hitlers untyzionist.So we Kenyans it is time we ask our selfs how many Europeans are employed in KENYA

  11. Julius
    December 15, 2010 at 8:46 am

    Sijui, I like your determination to change Kenya. Its us Kenyans who will change Kenya; no one else will. I have no respect for the Kenyans who rush to the west in the hope of enjoying the prosperity and stability the countries have built painfully for generations.

    They end up sucking to the whims of these people. We must build our country from the fundamentals. We cannot build it by moving to the west and repatriating a few Dollars back home to buy apartments and pay school fees for our siblings.

  12. Jennifer
    December 10, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    Wikileaks may be telling us what we already know and most of it is real – but some of the stuff is not true at all. Dont ever forget the cables are all about US interests – if it was it their in best interests to undermine some individuals who would not toe their line, then they did. Take everything with a pinch of salt, some of these allegations might actually be libellous……

  13. kenyanentrepreneur
    December 8, 2010 at 8:19 pm

    Sijui:
    Like I said, you’ve made a decision and are willing to accept whatever consequences come from that and I guess we’ll wait and see how things turn out.

    On another note, I was reading about Groupon.com’s offer from Google ($6 billion dollars) which they turned down! and as I was looking into the companies history, I found out that Groupon.com was started only two years ago and already has $500 million dollars in sales!

    So, if we take your situation (as a Kenyan who used to live in the west and decided to move back) — When you look at a company record like that of Groupon, doesn’t that tell you something? i.e. where else in the world, could one start a company and in just two years accumulate $500 million dollars in sales?

    Then, if you these kinds of examples, why then would you chose to relocate to Africa? The only reasons I can think of are:

    1) You have a family connection to a power source, which will ensure easy access to money for you.

    2) You’re like the Chinese – i.e. your in Africa to extract minerals like oil, copper, ore, etc, etc

    3) You have refused (despite the evidence) to accept the reality of the situation and you’re a bleeding heart liberal – i.e. you want to change Africa; i.e. your thinking with your heart, not your head.

    4) Your a genius and have seen something that everyone else has missed & that all the fact don’t point out(& this is a possibility).

    However, I find all entrepreneurial journeys to be endlessly fascinating. The high’s, the lows, the successes, the failures…so, you’ll always be welcome to come here and share your story. Stories always offer insights (just like the Kencall story – it’s a fascinating story).

    Hey…it’s your journey and your money. I’m just interested in the story.

  14. Sijui
    December 7, 2010 at 4:06 am

    KE, all societies must strive to form a more perfect union, HOWEVER LONG IT TAKES. Kenyans will have to do that JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE THE WORLD OVER HAS DONE.

    Frankly this was one of my foremost reasons for moving back home and guess what of course you can make it in Kenya without government corruption and tenders, I’m definitely doing it and many, many more so its not like corruption and the ills in society are DEBILITATING. That is just not true, and many of us who are actually living here can testify to that hence why I have little patience for the doom and gloom bandwagon. Does Kenya have problems, hell yeah, many problems but we can’t keep moping about and whining, we need to fix them. Countries have gone through far worse hell trying to fix their problems, look at the U.S. THEY FOUGHT A CIVIL WAR that pitted brother against brother, now folks all want to rush there and benefit off the TOIL that Americans fought for instead of doing th same thing in their own screwed up countries i.e. staying put and making the sacrifices that are required to build a better country.

    If it takes Kenyans another 50-100 years to get it right then so be it, we need to own that reality and get to work about making things better. I choose to invest in the country and let the chips fall where they may, not run away from the problems and yell Chicken Little the sky’s a fallin every second about our problems. I’m fully aware that things could be much worse like living under an apartheid state or under Jim Crow conditions and guess what even in those most dire of circumstances, people persevered and lived to see a better day and didn’t wait around for someone to come and save them.

  15. kenyanentrepreneur
    December 6, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    Andika:

    Yes, it’s true, we all know, but after you read books like “It’s our turn to eat” and after you look at the Kroll report (which I have a link to above) It just hits you in the gut at a different level.

    I don’t think a lot of people read these things and that’s why they are able to convince themselves that things are changing and are stunned when the reality reveals itself.

  16. kenyanentrepreneur
    December 6, 2010 at 8:39 pm

    Sijui:

    Okay, Sijui – you are going to make your own decisions based on your own assessments and if they don’t work out, you will take the blame yourself. Fine.

    However, Kenyans DID try to make a change in 2002 when they voted Moi out and AGAIN in 2007 when they voted out 80% of their incumbent MP’s.

    So, they are aware of the problem and they are voting accordingly (the poor especially) but it’s not working and now what? What do you want the poor masses to do?

    My choice about confronting the realities was really for middle class Kenyans who have options outside the country (they can’t keep waxing lyrically about a country & lots of Kenyan blogs contribute to this skewed reality by posting information, which doesn’t connect all the dots).

    Also, you should start reading the reports on Dubai & how real estate investors who thought that place was paved with gold have now lost most of their money and because Dubai had a weak rule of law system, they have no hopes of ever getting anything back, but had they confronted the reality of what Dubai really was, they would have hedged their risks.

    See article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10.....build.html

    However, if like you, they’ve accepted the reality and are willing to take on that risk — then fine. It’s your money and you can do what you want with it. If you make it, good for you and if you lose it, shauri yako. It’s your money and it’s your sweat. You are not using taxpayer money like the politicians.

    I suggest you use the search option on this blog and type in : It’s our turn to eat where I wrote an excerpt from the book. It did give the harsh reality. Not sure if you’ve read it, but every Kenyan should read it.

    **But let me ask you this (& anyone else is welcome to answer this question) — Do you think you can do it without government tenders or government help/corruption?

    **
    I’ve been looking up the wikileaks site on info on Kenya and nothing good has come out yet. Waiting for the second batch.

  17. andika masakwe
    December 6, 2010 at 9:41 am

    There is nothing wiki leaks can leak about Kenya. Who doesn’t know that our leaders are the architect of nepotism, tribalism and corruption? Just look around them and their close associate. Patrick Lumumba is just but, another passing cloud like those who were there before him. There is no political will to fight these evils hence Lumumba is bound to fail.

  18. Sijui
    December 6, 2010 at 4:58 am

    P.S. And I wish Kenyans would stop taking a pious and holier than thou attitude on this thread about this. How do you think the country got in to such a shitty state? :idea:

    How about looking in to the mirror everyone? How about stop blaming the politicians, the elite, the Devil etc, etc, etc and start playing your part to change the system and stop perpetually being the VICTIM.

  19. Sijui
    December 6, 2010 at 4:49 am

    A BIG YAWN TO ALL OF THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Tell us something we don’t already know.

    Kenya is irredeemingly corrput, what else is new? The fact is the status quo will remain until Kenyans do something about it, until then there’s not much point wasting ink on this. And personally I’m not one to get my knickers in a twist about this because I fully understand that corruption is systemic throughout Kenya meaning ordinary Kenyans are corrupt hence the reason why their leaders are a reflection of them. I accept the Kenyan business environment as is, meaning this is a mentality that permeates the society at large so either I a) take my investments elsewhere as many obviously have done hence the reason why Kenya is a relatively poor country or b) decide that there are investment opportunities despite the risks and navigate the landscape accordingly.

    What this means in terms of the wider socio-economic impact on the country is frankly of no concern to me, I can’t save Kenyans from themselves so I might as well concentrate on those productive elements within the society that can earn me a good buck.

  20. Anonymous
    December 5, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    I run a business and an ngo on the side and all my employees are from my shags or surrounding areas. Somebody called me a tribalist, but the reality is that job opportunities in Kenya are few and far between, if I dont employ me relatives, who will? as KE keeps on ranting, tribalism will only end when we have enough jobs to around everybody, and that will only happen when factories polluting the environment all over the 47 counties in the country.

  21. ck
    December 5, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    It should be mandatory that in all Gorvement offices and indeed all offices in the land ,for the top 5 consecutive offices should be held by different tribes.This will kill triblism because this is where triblism and hence corruption is practised.

    Samle this: Some time back,
    Minster for Education—Kikuyu
    Asst.minister —Kikuyu
    Permanent secretary —Kikuyu
    NOW
    Minister forFinance—–Kikuyu
    Asst minister —–Luo
    Permanent secretary—–Kikuyu
    Central Bank Gorv.——Kikuyu
    WHAT DO YOU EXPECT !
    Where is Kacc boss–Lumumba
    Mr.Kibunja,you have gone quiet over this issue

  22. chris
    December 5, 2010 at 11:22 am

    The young generation cannot remember what evils Kenyatta regime did,they can only see the evils of Moi regime.No one, including Moi has any authority to subject Kenyans to the suffering we are facing.The Kenyatta regime stolem funds are now being ploughed back to the economy and no one talks about it.Equally,after 30 years the Moi regime money will be brought back to be enjoyed,not by aa kina Moi themselves but by their grandchilden.Also assess Kenyatta regime critically so that we are fair to all.

  23. muli
    December 5, 2010 at 10:59 am

    My mother is 80 years old and my father is 90 years old. I was shocked to read in the newspapers that the aged who receive an allowance of ksh 1500 are demanding more.I was also shocked to learn that the pilot study for the purpose of determining the efficiecy of this programme is in Thika and Nyeri.I have no problem with Kibera because i think the poverty level there is high.Is this not TRIBLISM/CORRUPTION.

  24. Anonymous
    December 5, 2010 at 10:35 am

    I blame the Tribe x for all the evils deviling this country.The triblism monster this country is facing originating from Tribe x regime.The Tribe x have a secret code of ” Grab (buy ) from other tribes,hold it until you get a Tribe x buyer”. This is a very dangerous code and will drive this country into civil war.I learned this when i wanted to buy a plot in Eldoret and i could not get it because i was not of Tribe x ,I was only helped by a Tribe x lady whom we have married their daughter.With this code you will soon find your town gone.Do not forget that Tribe x has been empowered finacially and they will buy your town at a song.

  25. kenyanentrepreneur
    December 4, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    Ammy:

    If you were applying for a government job (& it sounds like you were) then I don’t know why you were surprised at the tribalism.

    This is the realism I keep saying that people need to come to terms with. When Moi was the president, things were good for Kalenjins. Now, Kibaki is the president, things are good for Kikuyu’s, but that will change when he leaves.

    It’s seems sometimes that people just don’t want to believe the reality of how that system works.

  26. Ammy
    December 3, 2010 at 3:08 am

    Hi

    I have been reading the secret documents on wiki leaks before it was taken off.It took me along time to digest the reality in Kenya, i did have hopes that if i work hard i will make it.wapi. i was axxed in my last employment, was not tribalically correct…. i noticed when the HR was tribe x,the finance manager was tribe x, the procurement manager, even the secretaries. over lunch time the would speak in x language, i realised i was lucky to have been recruited coming from a minority tribe called S.anyways, i got a boss who was also tribe x, then things got worse…. there many complains abt me….when it got too much i resigned. my post was advertised and later learnt a tribe x person was recruited….

    to make matters worse, i then applied for 4 posts, i was short listed for one…. they called me for an interview… on that day while iwas waiting for my turn, irealised from the list of applicants… i was the odd one out with another lady. i went for the interview, and waitied, they never called me back, i later found out that a lady from tribe x got it!!!

    why lie kenya has changed. lets face the truth.

  27. Chamgei
    December 2, 2010 at 7:51 am

    wikileaks are stressing a point thats already home, this makes no sence to Hardworking Kenyans. As I know its not only kenya thats corrupt, Even in the US there are fishy deals(The US envoy was even involved in bribing witnesses to tie some guys).

  28. rashid
    December 2, 2010 at 4:59 am

    mine is not about wilileaks but the nominees of jsc especially lsk nominee Mr abdinassir ,who is a prominent lawyer ,we ask our self if the guy has a criminal record why then now…. parliament should not use such excuses to manipulate the implementation process.

  29. Cass
    December 2, 2010 at 1:41 am

    Really hate the new constitution. So full of bs and the only good things about it are that Wako and Gicheru just might – and I say this with hesitation- finally shove off.

  30. kenyanentrepreneur
    December 1, 2010 at 9:34 pm

    The real problem with this kind of corruption is that it creates a situation where real production will never really take hold. Why? because an individual is not going to toil and sweat for years on end, when they can simply get a tender and with it, make millions of shillings in one fell swoop.

    Then, without real production, the problems of poverty will continue to manifest themselves and only get worse as the population increases. It’s very dangerous, short-term thinking.

    The chinese operate differently. They’ll tell a company like Boeing that they can come into China and take advantage of their cheap labor costs, but in exchange for that, Boeing has to SHARE their technology and TEACH them how to construct and build their own planes. This is long-term thinking because the Chinese are thinking that in the future, they are the one’s who are going to start manfucturing planes and selling them around the world, but for the Africans, it’ all about getting the quick cash NOW and buying a mercedes or buying a hotel in London. They have no interest in knowledge acquisition, which is essential for real production.

  31. King`wara
    December 1, 2010 at 7:10 pm

    :twisted: It is said that Government means SIRIKALI in Swahili word, wikileaks has made this very clear, why should it matter when the leaks are true, what is the secret in it. A dirty house has to be swept, if you leave it un swept you would be brooding so many funny creatures. A corrupt Nation is like a beautiful Toilet from outside while the inside is full of maggots and the inside wall is written by Shit. :roll:

  32. King`wara
    December 1, 2010 at 7:02 pm

    Oh! Yes! This is becoming real now… it is time 4 the world to wake up. How can some countries pretend to safe guard rotten secrets as if they are government properties? Let the leaks continue…. What goes around comes around! True?

  33. Njegegu
    December 1, 2010 at 8:45 am

    It’s is really surprising that Kenyans are so naive about their own country! The likes of Kibaki, Raila Moi and their cronies are nothing but a private club with the sole mission of enriching themselves at the expense of the tax payer. To add insult to injury they also use the tax payers money to protect their ill gotten wealth. Please wake up and see beyond your noses.

  34. musaigon
    December 1, 2010 at 7:26 am

    no news pal.We heard the wikileaks trash long time ago in other fora.

  35. Kay
    December 1, 2010 at 7:08 am

    i actually agree with Marto, Mbuvi had a soiled past, and so are most of the politicians, it is just that they have not gotten caught, but the fact that he is doing something for his people is a plus for him!! However, this does not mean he be absolved from the crimes he has committed, those he still has to pay for if he is convicted and found guilty.

    About the Wikileaks, well it is the same old story,esp about Kenya, don’t we all know about it. however it has also shed light in situations that abroad has kept in the dark, about wars and torture in Iraq and Afghanistan.

  36. Mzalendo
    December 1, 2010 at 5:04 am

    Half Trues and some facts mixed up!
    A real cook in misinformation
    http://www.kenyanentrepreneur......rgreen.gif

  37. donny
    December 1, 2010 at 4:16 am

    I don’t care the track record of a man who is out to truly help his people and especially when he doesnt care if they are from which tribe.I agree with Marto.Mandela who was regarded as a terrorist in the west and was banned came from jail to the top.Kenyatta came from jail to state house even after being labelled a terrorist and a mau mau cannibal.Joseph in the Bible came from jail,paul too was jailed many times…

  38. marto
    December 1, 2010 at 2:02 am

    Jacky, whatever the name of a boy or girl!!!! Point of correction on the name of the MP is Gidion Mbuvi-kwani kwani where do you read newspapers??? Ama ni gutter press. I don’t mind if the fella is a criminal or drug barrron -what really matters is how he is helping the people of his constituency- we don’t want someone with a clean track record who just sits there in the office and fails to do anything. You better have a criminal helping people as part of his reform or rehabilitation in the society. Anyway, who said people should not have a second chance cause if everyone had only one chance to live some us would have been dead long time ago. Give it a second thought.Cheers !!!

  39. Mohan
    December 1, 2010 at 1:57 am

    :mrgreen: I wonder why is Kenya ruling elite fuming about wekileaks. The whole world just heard what is already known. Raila had better disassociate with his ‘eating’ partners. It is likely that he will end up as the opposition leader in the next parliament as the more habitual thieves are joining hands. The likelihood of him becoming the ‘the best president Kenya never had’, will bestow him a legacy similar to his fathr’s, going down in history as a hero who went down fighting.

  40. Jacky Daniels
    December 1, 2010 at 1:37 am

    What else would you expect these Caucasians to say about their ‘trained; Africans? we have been sucking up to America and Britain and never wanted to be independent. True we have stupid leaders, but the fellows who vote for these stupid leaders are the same ones complaining about them…take for instance Mike mbuvi Sonko MP for makadara…Pure unadulterated idiocy from the Kenyans who voted him in.

  41. Karis
    November 30, 2010 at 10:32 pm

    Wikileaks is saying that the sky is blue, basically. Nothing new there.

  42. kenyanentrepreneur
    November 30, 2010 at 8:10 pm

    Isn’t Arunga trying to get into politics. Oh yeah…she knows where the real money is. Say yes to the placenta party.

    I suppose the key with any kind of information is to help you understand the realities of the world so that you don’t end up making decisions based on emotionalism or based on blind patriotic adherence.

    Looks like Interpol has issued an arrest warrant for the founder of Wikileaks:
    http://www.interpol.int/public....._52486.asp

    Ecuador has offered him a safe haven, but in truth, Asange is not safe anywhere.

  43. workingstiff
    November 30, 2010 at 6:00 pm

    Where is Esther Arunga, when a change of topic is needed? ;-) :twisted:

    I wonder who those people are who do not believe that corruption occurs in Kenya. Are you sure they are not just trying their own hustle (“see bwana mkubwa, I just got on the internet, and blasted the noise maker…”).

    Also, I am sure others cannot look to close under the covers, in case they raise the wrath of someone upstairs.

    BTW,
    here is the reality of a connected mzungu (and we know how we go crazy about wazungu)

    http://www.bauck.com/business/kafka-container/

  44. Ndaya
    November 30, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    Please, y’re out to cause panic & despondency at this crucial time of implementation of our hard earned constitution! You saboteurs give us a break!

  45. Luchiano
    November 30, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    Troubling to say the least and even with al this we stil make do,its the power of adaptability so we al buckle up..the whole world is fucked up!

  46. james
    November 30, 2010 at 11:39 am

    Well its about time the whole truth shine`s Kuddos to wikileaks at least the youth now get to understand where our shall we say mentors arraived to their riches.It is also hypocritical for the author to grimmly suggest that the whole kenya is corrupt,when one or two apples are rotten in the busket does it mean the rest of them are bad too,Infact various European,American and Australian counries aided this fellows to this idiotic vice so is fooling who?

  47. kenyanentrepreneur
    November 30, 2010 at 9:42 am

    Kwame:

    That’s a good question. I guess wikileaks reminds us not to be naive about how the world really works or if you’re in Kenya, become a politician because that’s the only place where the real money is :lol:

  48. kwame
    November 30, 2010 at 7:04 am

    So sasa unataka tudo what ?

  49. mbugua
    November 30, 2010 at 6:43 am

    this is shocking.
    Wikileaks is doing a really great job. not just for kenya..globally.

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