Southern Sudan is, as we all know, a sad, sorry mess at the moment. This is very depressing, but it is also unsurprising. If you have spent a bit of time learning about the history of Southern Sudan, you will recognise the pattern quite easily.
The region has a long history not just of civil war with the north of what was back then Sudan, but also a long history of southern infighting.
Re-reading ‘Emma’s War’ a little while ago reminded me of that quite strongly, the narration of the Bor massacre, for example, was a painful déjà vu.
So a bit of memory is useful. And I am worried about the current, say, forgetfulness (by which I mean full lobotomy) when it comes to that seemingly undying zombie AngloLeasing, midwifed under Mzee Moi’s administration, and then adopted by Mzee Kibaki’s administration. Because really, at the first mention of ‘AngloLeasing’ and ‘payments’, the entire country should have sat up and thrown such a side eye at whoever first brought it up again that this person would have scuttled away quietly, quickly, shamefully.
Instead, we are actually having something resembling a discussion on paying these bogus claims. It truly begs belief. If you feel a little shaky on the facts of the matter, sit down with a cup of coffee and your friend Google who will help you find Mr Githongo’s dossier in moments.
Mr Githongo, as you will probably recall, went to considerable lengths to investigate the AngloLeasing contracts, and kindly wrote up all the details of how those companies that were to be paid millions, hundreds of millions, of dollars were briefcase companies.
He also listed the people inside and outside of the government who were involved in these sham transactions. And then he also briefed Mzee Kibaki on all these details over months.
That was a whole lot of work. Re-read it, because it is your taxes, and because the depth of information he dug up is still well impressive. Especially with hindsight, as hindsight reminds you that nothing really serious has happened to anyone involved in the multi-million dollar scam.
Government back then said that payments made had been refunded, but curiously could not say who refunded it. Possibly because as recent as 2012, a Kenyan judge also found that the AngloLeasing companies did not actually exist. Duh!
You might think that the governement should have investigated this. This is perhaps not a realistic assumption, given the number of people in the government who Mr Githongo had flagged as participants in the scam - government investigating itself is a bit of a conflict of interest. And alas: In 2009, the UK’s Serious Fraud Office had halted its investigations because; "This case depended on mutual legal assistance from the government of Kenya.
The director of the SFO has exercised his discretion to terminate the investigation as there is currently no reasonable prospect of conviction without the evidence from Kenya."
One of German’s lovely compound nouns is Richtlinienkompetenz. This translates roughly into the capacity to direct policy, and is part of the job description of the head of government, the chancellor. Something like that is what I would have expected from the head of state and his deputy.
Knowing full well, as all of us and our pet fish do, that there is no such thing as a legitimate AngloLeasing company, and that there was never any intention of actually delivering on any of those contracts, to say ‘No, nada, will not happen, not even going to go there. Ridiculous. Next.’ Nothing else. No passing the buck to parliament.
Not letting a respected technocrat as Mr Henry Rotich(Treasury Cabinet Secretary), or a man of the intellectual capacities of the AG, defend payments to briefcase companies.
This is where your Richtlinienkompetenz kicks in: to make it very clear that no, the idea of making such obviously illegitimate payments to non-existent companies will not fly, end of, back to work.
Of course the AngloLeasing resurgence might also make you take another look at the proposed 2014/20145 budget and the government’s recent security initiatives. Items such as forensic labs were part of the bogus AngloLeasing contracts.
Now just imagine that the governemnt had spent money on the purchase of an actual forensic lab, and staffed it, and used and maintained it.
Wouldn’t that be useful to investigate such awful events as the car bomb that killed four people at Pangani police station, just to mention one recent incident?
The existence of such a lab might have been useful to prevent further attacks years ago. And what does that say about your confidence that the governement will actually make these purchases this time round after budgeting for them?
PS: Those CORD MPs threatening to release the names of the people behind AngloLeasing: Get on with it already. If you have knowledge of a massive crime, or an attempted massive crime, do not just sit around making ominous threatening noises. That makes you complicit.