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