True to their hypocritical selves, Kenyan critics have been yelling about the government’s treasonable decision to continue plundering billions of public money under the guise of paying “Anglo Leasing debts” yet omitting to name and shame those who conceived and executed this despicable crime.
For about three weeks, we have been inundated by reels of stories and opinion columns published in the local media about this scam, all of them deliberately and cowardly skirting the real issue: the scoundrels that looted our coffers and are threatening yet another raid with the open approval and facilitation by the Government of Kenya.
“We want to know the faces behind the Anglo Leasing scam!” Many government critics, NGOs, and the main opposition party, ODM, have been screaming themselves hoarse.
The deceitfulness is nauseating. I’m sickened to the pit of my stomach by these useless noises. Why? Because those behind the high treason are well known. They have been known at least since 2005.
The decision to pay a group of people who had conspired to defraud – and actually defrauded - the people of Kenya hundreds of billions of shillings constitutes treason because this kind of grand larceny against a deprived, exploited and suffering people is worse than murder.
In my books, it constitutes mass murder because the amount of money involved can feed millions of ordinary Kenyans for more than a decade. If that money was invested in food production, it could feed tens of millions of Kenyans for decades.
Taking such colossal amounts of money from the mouths of hungry children and starving peasants and workers is like dropping atomic bombs on all the slums and villages around the country. The effect is devastating.
The act of openly plundering hundreds of billions of shillings from a people already chocking under the sky high inflation, unaffordable commodity prices, unimaginable public debt, poor sanitation, homelessness and unspeakable deprivations constitute a betrayal of public trust or confidence. It undermines the people’s faith in their government.
If we invested just a fraction of the billions that have been paid to the despicable looters and the billions that the Jubilee government intends to pay, we would have said goodbye to a lot of our national problems.
Yet, the defiance and arrogance exhibited by the Jubilee government in trying to circumvent moral, legal and constitutional principles in order to pad the looters’ nests is tantamount to one acting in concert with others to overthrow or harm the country’s sovereignty.
It amounts to one giving aid or comfort to the enemies of one’s government. This is because the act of looting from one’s public coffers will have the corresponding effect of causing disaffection among one’s populace.
The very act of paying local and foreign looters hundreds of billions of shillings under the pretext of satisfying bogus claims abroad amounts to an orchestrated campaign against the very government that intends to make the payment.
That’s because the people will most likely rebel against that government. If pushed against the wall, there is potential for insurrection and instability. If that happens, the government would stand accused for attempting to overthrow itself.
Accordingly, the proposed ‘payments’ amounts to the Jubilee government violating its allegiance to our sovereignty or to our state.
On assumption of power, both the President and the Deputy President took oaths of allegiance of President and the Deputy President in which they stated as follows:
"I, Uhuru Kenya/William Samoei Ruto, in full realisation of the high calling I assume as President/Deputy President of the Republic of Kenya, do swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to the Republic of Kenya; that I will obey, preserve, protect and defend this Constitution of Kenya, as by law established, and all other laws of the Republic; and that I will protect and uphold the sovereignty, integrity and dignity of the people of Kenya – So help me God."
On taking the oath of affirmation of due execution of office, the President added that, “I will truly and diligently serve the people of the Republic of Kenya…I will diligently discharge my duties and perform my functions in the Office of President…and I will do justice to all in accordance with this Constitution, as by law established, and the laws of Kenya, without fear, favour, affection or ill-will – So help me God.”
Similarly all cabinet secretaries, secretary to the cabinet, chief justice, judges of the Supreme Court, judges of the Court of Appeal, judges of the High Court, Members of Parliament, the speakers and deputy speakers of the two chambers of Parliament also took solemn oaths undertaking to diligently serve the people, to impartially do justice in accordance with the Constitution, the laws and customs of the Republic and to uphold and to obey, respect, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution.
These weren’t trifles. They were sombre, solemn undertakings.
They fully bound those who took the oaths. They created positive duties on the office bearers to perform their functions diligently in accordance with the law. Consequently, authorising and/or facilitating payments from public coffers to known criminal cartels would constitute disrespect, disobedience and a fundamental breach of the laws of Kenya and the Constitution. This is because neither the Constitution nor the laws of Kenya permit payment to criminals.
That’s why I am today, publicly demanding that the former Attorney General whom Professor Philip G. Alston called the embodiment of the culture of impunity and current ODM luminary Amos Wako, under whose watch this high treason was perpetrated, must come clean and tell the country who was involved, how much each conspirator has pocketed and why he shouldn’t be held personally responsible for this serious crime.
Having gone through the Wikileaks cables, the Uhuru Kenyatta-led probe report on Anglo Leasing, John Githongo’s dossier and Michela Wrong’s It is Our Turn to Eat, Kenyans of goodwill must demand answers from the Jubilee government why those implicated like Moody Awori, Chris Murungaru, David Mwiraria, Joseph “Jimmy” Wanjigi, Alfred Gitonga, Anura Perera, Deepak Kamani, Kiraitu Murungi and Joseph Kibwana have never been charged and prosecuted for the alleged crimes.
Who is protecting these people and why? Are these individuals above the law?
As a lawyer, I cannot convict anyone unheard. Neither can I purport to be a court of competent jurisdiction that can or has tried the alleged perpetrators. Those named are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
However, having said that, it is imperative that we focus on credible evidence (in the public domain) that has already been adduced against some or all of the above-named individuals and fervently demand their prosecution (without any further delay) to the full extent of the law.
Finally, I know gratuitous critics will waste no time in demanding that I focus on “issues” and not “personalities.” Fortunately for me, in the English language which I am very familiar with, the word “issue” is just another elegant word for “a point” or “a question.” Thankfully, these concepts only exist in relation to individual enquiry.
Anyone with a fleeting understanding of the English language, therefore, either knows or ought to know that no issues exist outside human conceptualisation. Whether we are discussing grand ideas such as democracy, constitutionalism, freedom or liberation, we must always remember that without individuals who conceived of, practised or pursued these ideas or causes, the ideas themselves would be as barren as the Kalahari desert.
Mr Miguna Miguna is a lawyer and author of Peeling Back the Mask: A Quest for Justice in Kenya and Kidneys for the King: Deforming the Status Quo in Kenya. [email protected]