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John Githongo’s blog

So John Githongo decided to make his latest revelations on Anglo-Leasing via his blog. There’s a whole lot the typical smoke and mirrors from the government combined with the sensationalism from the local media that has become par for course with the Anglo-Leasing story. I am going to focus on something that struck me as more blogworthy – he has a blog!

The good: Choosing to release the tapes via a blog (embracing new media etc.), which makes it more accessible…at least to anyone with internet access.

The bad: The site went down within a few hours and is still down over 24 hours later. You want to tell me that Githongo didn’t expect high traffic to the site (what was the point of putting it online then?)? Very amateurish…I would have expected more from someone who’s had a lot of time at Oxford to contemplate various ways he can cause an effective stink.

The ugly:
Blogspot? Calling the blog “The Facts”? Honestly. It sucks. No intro, no background, no context, nothing. Just a link to the audio, that is now dead. I’m having flashbacks of Parliament’s website….uggh.

An aside: Maybe he should just send stuff to Mzalendo and KBW and we can spruce it up for him. It pains me to see people who should know better sitting with so much good info. (e.g. hello where is Gladwell Otieno?).

And on that note kudos to Mwalimu Matu and co. for speaking out and using their insider knowledge to try and comprehensively inform the public about the shenanigans of the government’s the “war against corruption” (link is a must visit).

28 comments to John Githongo’s blog

  • guest

    i have a question for you since u are legally trained – odes kenyan law allow or disallow class action lawsuits i have serached to see if any other commonwealth countries provides for this – apparently class action lawsuits have been filed in Australia.

    the point is can we as kenyans use the class action legal process to answers or deal with this issues of corruption, land clashes because clearly the political class is not willing to deal with this issues.


  • AK

    @guest, I have wondered about the same too. but I also know that our one and only AG, would shooot them down, one by one! yea, he has the powers to purge some lawsuits, almost at whim.

    KP, shed a bit more light on this one, if possible.

  • AK

    KP, that link to Matu & co is dead. Githongo might just laugh at you:grin:

  • sijui

    could not agree with you more vis a vis being ameaturish…..personally I have ‘checked out’ of this whole Anglo Leasing dealing……my point, with the information that Kenyans have now, what are they going to do about it? Unless I see decisive action in holding the political class to account come December, all this is HOT AIR, and Kenyans can put their RIGHTEOUS INDIGNATION up there where the sun don’t shine!

  • KP:
    Do not attack Githongo on bandwidth issues: not many people know about such technocal details (though i agree he should have at least expected it). At least he has made it available.

    (i)on hosting: John, youtube is used to such free bandwidth. I can assist you if you like.
    (ii) Wide availability: could have asked more folks to host it so that it would be everywhere, hence not easily crippled.

    NB: kenyans being kenyans, where will all this lead, anyway?

  • guest

    the thing with class action is that the AG is not involved it is not a prosecution. im waiting to hear if its possible though i think the problem is that in kenya the political class all have no interest in empowring people directly so issues like voter initiatives, recall clauses. will not see the light of day. The NGO’s also have their own interests they for the most part personal vehicles for profit and power

  • ory i titaly agree with you .i also thing the site is not down because of high traffic thats an excuse if you read the comments section you will realise that githongo’s attack had been countered by some very active pro government pundits .thats why he took down the comments he was afraid that the other side was getting their views across .

    plus how can the server be down when the audio part that he pulled down first was just a link . the link is still up for those who got a chance to save the address

    githongo just couldnt stand the heat against him on his own blog

  • nick

    Githongo’s tapes reveal deep seated ccorruption in the Kibaki government..It is a government for two tribes only…no outsiders please…..You either belong or you dont..definitely Githongo did not.. iT WILL BE VERY HARD TO CAMAYN IN THIS YEAR’S ELECTION ..gREAT TRIBALISTS.. NEVER B4 HAVE KENYANS BEEN MADE AWARE OF THEIR ETHINICITY…

  • Githongo’s tapes reveal deep seated ccorruption in the Kibaki government..It is a government for two tribes only…no outsiders please…..You either belong or you dont..definitely Githongo did not.. iT WILL BE VERY HARD TO CAMAYN IN THIS YEAR’S ELECTION ..gREAT TRIBALISTS.. NEVER B4 HAVE KENYANS BEEN MADE AWARE OF THEIR ETHINICITY…

  • kag pat

    With his education and contacts, JG should be able to construct a proven case against the government rather than tit bits designed to scintillate and keep him in the light. I see pleadings: ” Githongo reveal all!” etc. Be a real fighter for the people and do release all. It wasn’t hard to betray your official oath and now come out and tell it all, don’t keep people guessing and the government going for any longer than it should.

  • Githongo is a hero in ma’ face, someday, his evidence will be useful.Not soon but someday the truth will b known

  • Safi sana blogu inaweka mambo Hadharani

  • I think the effect of the tape of Mwiraria’s shameless cover-up being played online can’t be underestimated. Mwiraria was heading back to cabinet until last Tuesday. For that, John Githongo’s new media gambit deserves credit. Of course the blogsite wasn’t 100% ready for interaction, but he needed to do what he had to do – at a time when it’s foolhardy to rely on conventional media to have the courage to go with material that they (I hear) have had for a while. John’s working on an adequate cyberspace home for his tapes. I’m sure the next week will see its arrival. In the meantime, our website also suffers from its fair share of glitches. Apologies (to AK and all others) for any downtime experienced as we sort out the cyber-gremlins. Thanks so much for pitching our site. You’re doing a great job here and at mzalendo – speaking of which I still owe you something!

  • Adongo

    Githongo did the right thing. We all have to do our share instead of waiting for Githongo to nail the corrupt thugs for us.

    Like Mwalimu Mati says, the significance of the tape is in hearing Mwiraria in person literally begging Githongo to stop the investigation because it could bring down the Kibaki government. That right there tells you the big names in the loot were Kibaki’s people and the mission was to protect them by all means necessary.

    From the tape we also learn at least publicly that Mwai Kibaki was very much in the know about the Anglo thievery. Mwiraria says he sent as memo to H.E and H.E wanted the money returned. The question is who was returning. You can’t convince me that Kibaki wanted the money returned, but was not interested in knowing who was returning the money. If our president is prepared to protect international criminals by concealing their identities from Kenyans who elected him, it is obvious where his loyalties lie, certainly NOT with the Kenyan people.

    Githongo has been insulted and abused by government crooks and the hapless agents here and there including some self righteous types who think he could a better job. May be so. But my issue to all particularly our human rights crusaders (who would have known that human rights would become a dirty word) is what are we ourselves to hold Kibaki to account. Very little. And that is the problem.

    This is what we have put on Jukwaa some five/six months ago,


  • Ang'ila

    I agree with you. The fellows purporting to host credible data on the 2007 General Elections need to do a bit more homework. Springboard Kenya requires a few lessons in Geography and recent Kenyan history (maybe a shorter route would be to place a call to Michuki on the current state of the districts!). As for the other chaps, their pitch is most probably in readiness to support some fellow — even at my most optimistic best I cannot expect much from them in terms of objective standards.:twisted:

  • Vaju Pattni

    I need to contact Mr. Githongo. Please let me his contact info.


    need to contact Mr. Githongo. Please let me his contact information including email address, postal address and phone numbers.

  • Steven

    Late to this party since I found the blog.

    Githongo’s musings are full of sound and fury, but short on substance. Reading the information in Githongo’s report (was he really a journalist?), it seems clear that neither Mwiraria nor Murungi were part of stealing any money and they seemed surprised to learn of it. Mwiraria seems to have stated the obvious, that the scandal could bring the government down (it was elected on an anti-corruption platform). He then sought and was able to have the funds returned.

    Please inform me the grand corruption in this? (www.cipe.org/publications/ert/e22/E22_05.pdf) If there is more to the role of Mwiraria and Murungi, then Githongo should disclose that information, no, should have long ago disclosed that information. But what does he do instead…make insinuations that there is some ominous information that he holds:

    Corruption is a terrible thing for any country, especially when on a large scale, which is what I suppose grand corruption is. Seeking to protect the government from falling by recovering the money, is not grand corruption. Making statements to Githongo, who was not legally an investigator, was not unlawful.

    It seems to me that there was something nefarious going on. Githongo’s suggestions that it was to be used for political purposes seem naive, if so then Kenya is the only country in the world where the corrupt don’t steal for themselves and should be highly praised. Although I believe there were crooks, it is apparent that they were not Mwiraria or Murungi, yet Githongo has hounded them as if they were the perpetrators and the Kenya media (for sales) — and the British media and government for their own reasons (colonial view, belief all Africa is rotten to the core, or other unknown reason) have orchestrated noise against Kibaki at times that raise suspicions of their motives.

    Githongo’s own report says Murungi found out that some in government were involved. How then is he a suspect? Name the charge and provide the evidence. If the evidence is there, the guilty will be proven so. It doesn’t take this drama to do so.

  • Joseph Munyao

    Steven has a point.

    Does anyone out there remember that the government said that there would be a forensics audit carried out to investigate the so called “corruption”. Does anyone care? If not you should. Read on and I will explain why.

    I happen to have seen the so called “forensics” report and it reveals some very interesting facts that John Githongo did not know and would never have found from his amateurish spying technique. It took an auditing firm more than six months with full access to treasury records and other documents to prepare the document. It is unfortunate that the Govt cannot release the document as the investigation is still ongoing.

    The very fascinating facts of the matter are as follows.

    Between 1997 and 2002 the first batch of angloleasing contracts were signed into being – (did anyone care to remember that angloleasing was a child of the Nyayo Era).

    According to the report an estimated 12 billion Ksh was paid out against these contracts of which more than half was for goods and supplies that were not received (Add this to the Goldenberg corruption scandal and we are talking mega bucks).

    The initiators and co-signatories of these contracts were Messrs Mudavadi, Okemo, Cheruiyot, Kosgei, and Obure. All have been voted in as ODM members of Parliament as we speak today (Raila once swore that Mudavadi was responsible for Goldenberg, perhaps he should have stuck to this line and just added Anglo leasing at the end).

    The use of anglo leasing type contracts was approved by Nyayos Cabinet because they could not get donor funds as a result of their earlier round of eating. Raila Odinga ( he of DOMO DOMO fame happened to be a member of cabinet in Nyayos government during this time. Oh dont tell me – he was probably not in cabinet on that day!).

    So how does this stack up against the so called grand corruption that has been labelled on Murungi and his even less fortunate cabinet colleague Mwiraria who has taken all the blame.

    If you recall Mwirarias testimony in parliament he noted that he signed contracts that were prepared and sign contracts prepared and approved by his eminent cabinet colleagues, all of which had been cleared by non less thanthe AG and cleared by his less than honest treasury colleagues.

    His was a crime of trusting too much and before he knew what hit him he was being accused of corruption for post Nyayo era Anglo leasing contracts. According to the forensics report these contracts were worth 2 billion shillings, but oh wait a minute – 1.9 billion of this was reviewed and cleared by parliament as a legitimate deal (the so called naval ship). The remaining say 0.1 billion ksh is for work that has not been completed – perhaps because the contracts were stopped for further review.

    Well these are some of the facts that have not yet been revealed…and I am sorry that Mr. Githongo just could not (rather than would not…if he had any facts why hasnt he revealed them yet) tell Kenyans the truth because he did not know and the journalist in him would not allow the ant-corruption czar he was supposed to be to take his time and follow the trail.

    It is unfortunate for Kenya that his journalistic instinct for sensationalising matters and being first to run with the story got the better of him. So while his colleagues were asking for more time to dig into the case and uncover the rot he gave the government investigative file to the British HC (feet of clay with vomit all over them – hard to wash off the smell eh!) and gave his game away.

    Mwiraria DID stop the contracts and try to get the money for contracts signed under his watch back, but instead of Kenyans welcoming this; instead of Kenyans being glad that he immediately launched an investigation into Treasury Records to uncover what other rotten deals might have gone unnoticed; instead of kenyans thanking him for apologising and stepping aside (a first for Kenyan Minister) to allow a thorough investigation (which he is still awaiting the results of to this date) all we can do is call him names.

    Shame on all those Kenyans who judge, convict and lynch suspects before finding out the truth. Perhaps what we should be asking for – instead of calling him names – is that the Government complete the investigation that he stepped aside for them to conduct.

    Perhaps we should also ask ourselves why Raila has in his camp all the perpetrators of the real angloleasing corruption scandal – Mudavadi, Okemo, Obure, Kosgei and Cheruiyot – in his holier than though team (Oh dont tell me – he did not know that they had done anything wrong!!!).

    Finally the million dollar question – what exactly is John Githongo up to. After endless threats and innuendos he still cannot come up with anything concreate. We are tired of the “fairy tales”. Could he just own up and tell us what job he was promised by ODM. How come he reared his ugly head to rain blows on Kibakis government just about 10 days before elections ( Hmm….this is exactly as laid out in the scandalous ODM strategy memo of September 2007 that details the plan to demonise and alienate kikuyus to win elections and as a last resort initiate violence against them in order to WIN, WIN WIN.

    Well, I am sure you are unlikely to believe what I have said but if you dig hard enough you will find the evidence you seek. The facts are indeed the facts and more importantly the truth will set all of us free.

    A recent survey found that more people believe Gossip than believe the truth. Are you one of those who do not want to hear the inconvenient truth?

  • Steven

    Adongo, thanks for your comments.

    There is a difference between being a corrupt thug and trying to undo things that have gone wrong, which getting money sent back certainly is (it is also one of Githongo’s solutions) .

    There is a common saying, in US legal practice: “no harm, no foul.” In this instance, if Mwiraria, Kibaki and company asked for the money to be sent back, AND they were not the culprits themselves (which I do not believe), they are on the side of ensuring there is no harm. They were doing the obvious, preventing a scandal from taking down the government. Note and this is something that people seem to miss when they scream cover-up, is that cover-up typically means lying to a judicial arm of the law and investigators and using illegal means to prevent information to stop a crime from being investigated (see Watergate in the US). Githongo has not provided evidence showing who were directly involved or that they did anything illegal to prevent its exposure. His information suggests that Murungi and Mwiraria investigated (not in a legal sense) and discovered what was happening, and sought to reverse it. For this they have been villified by Githongo though insinuation and without statement of crime and provision of evidence.

  • Titus

    Very few readers in Africa with John Githongo quality! Our readers are selfish, thiefs and liers. WHY NOT GITHONGO FOR PRESIDENT. I NEVER VOTE, BUT FOR GITHONGO I WILL BE THE FIRST TO CAST MY VOTE

  • Safi sana blogu inaweka mambo Hadharani

  • John Githongo – Kudos to U.
    U have always been an inspiration to many in Kenya…myself included.

    God bless You-God Bless Kenya.

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  • 時計 シチズン

  • […] al”>the Anglo-Leasing scandal on his blog. This is great, Ory Okolloh notes, as it’s a nod towards transparency and new media. But releasing an aud […]

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