Living Large: Counting the Cost of Official Extravagance in Kenya

Last week, you read press coverage of the report on government spending (waste) on luxury cars by KNCHR and TI-Kenya.

Now you can get access to the full report here.

Couple of quick observations. First, we sorely need a Freedom of Information Act in Kenya. Getting access to the information in the report was very difficult, yet we are talking about public funds. The draft bill is of course still pending, thanks to our lazy Parliament (which should also be exercising oversight on government spending)

Second, it’s a point that’s been beaten to death, but here I go again…Kenyans need to question their government more either as individual citizens or through their MPs…particularly given how aggressive the KRA has become about collecting taxes…where is it going. As Whispering Inn points out, it’s a bit foolhardy to be indignant about dog food offers when your government is spending Kshs 800 million on luxury cars (and that’s just the tip of the iceberg, who knows what’s going on in travel, allowances, cell phone bills etc.)

Finally, now that Githongo’s dossier is all over the “internets” and now that he’s probably exposed himself even further, si he just unleashes EVERYTHING he knows? OK, maybe just a few more leaks…it’s not just about the characters involved, I think it’s important to expose just how the systems work and just how entrenched the networks are.

24 comments to Living Large: Counting the Cost of Official Extravagance in Kenya

  • Osas

    I had found the broschure on the TI Kenya website a few days ago, and think it is quite a good job which you have done jointly.

    Another question however is the integrity of TI Kenya itself. In my eyes, they were themselves so badly soiled and besmirched that they deserve excatly zero credibility now, being part and parcel of the corruption system. You remember the sacking of Gladwell Otieno and the scandalous revelations of Anyang Nyong’o.

    However, this my outside view may be slanted and unfair. Feel free to erase this question or to answer me privately via email if you feel that the topic is not suitable for your blog.

    Best regards,

  • “Kenyans need to question their government more either as individual citizens or through their MPs…”

    I totally agree with your sentiments here though my emphasis would be: Kenyans need to question their Government AND their MPS a lot more.

  • Excellent work you folks at KNCHR and TI-Kenya are doing. You’re absolutely right – we need Githongo’s info to uproot the whole corruption networks and systems, not just the above-ground shoots (Saitoti, Murungaru, Mwiraria et al). Good job!

  • Can I say,once again, how much I appreciate your work? Access to these reports is simply wonderful.


    You’re welcome!

  • Osas

    Soon (in a few weeks), the quarterly and annual reports of the KACC will also be accessible online. These will give you full statistics (e.g. 309 cases brought to the commission alone in January 2006), full names, outcome of the single cases, the prices of bribes paid (and how much they were haggled down) – brim full with substance. The statistics also show where the main obstacle to efficient prosecution lies: in the AG’s office.

    Notwithstanding this announcement, let me follow in Keguro’s tracks and state that I feel KNHRC did a marvelous job in unearthing the vehicle expenditures via the dealers. You really did beat the obstructive bureaucracy! Respect.


    Great, let us know when the reports come up. The AG is the stealth weapon of all corrupt politicians.

  • Haven’t heard a chance to read the report (this lawyers world) read read read sheesh and more reading being the reason. Just any excuse not to read but i am sure i will read it
    Thanks for your resourcefulness.

    Btw i applied for the first monday thing and they told me good luck.

  • “heard” to be replaced with “had”

  • Irena

    “Kenyans need to question their government more either as individual citizens or through their MPs…”
    Are they going to reply to those queries if they deny in the daylight that they are not guilty of corruption. First of, we need to educate the masses,( Civic Education). Without that only you and I who have access to the internet or hold such honest discussion will question. I have said it before, if the general masses in Eldoret, Mwea, Turkana, Meru etc are not in touch with their MPs and they trully understand the stakes of their votes and the responsbility of their chosen leaders, then this will go on. I think the problem has to be tackled from grassroot levels and sensitize the masses on how to hold their leaders accountable. Otherwise, few elites who can critically analyze Githongo dossier ALONE simply does not cut it.

    While we are making this information available, we need to also use the layman’s language to those Kenyans who may not have taken accounting 101 or Political science and make them understand fully good governance.

  • pappy

    The whole report is oky, but im not convinced the even Githongo didn’t have his own deal which didn,t go thru and as a result he decided to implicate Mwiraria and the rest

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  • Luk

    An anonymous source has sent us this alleged internal Audi document

  • [...] 7 Mercedes Benz cars for Ministers, assistant ministers and their personal secretaries. As Ory “Kenyan Pundit” Okolloh notes: Kenyans need to question their government more either as indi [...]

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