Tuesday, 4 July 2017


So, here's the thing. In 2015, a British court successfully prosecuted Smith & Ouzman Ltd. and two of its directors for bribing our election officials to obtain contracts for printing of election materials. The two directors were jailed and the company was fined.
Ahead of the sentencing in Britain we, Kenyans for Peace with Truth and Justice (KPTJ), wrote to the Serious Fraud Office providing some context with regard to the serious damage done to any young democracy when its electoral institutions are undermined through this kind of corruption. We also argued that any fines levied on the company should be sent to Kenya as the Kenyan people were the ultimate victims of this crime.
Ahead of the confiscation hearing at which the company's fine was to be assessed, we wrote to the AG asking him to apply to be enjoined in the proceedings to canvass Kenya's public interest and to specifically make the case for the money to be sent back home to Kenya. He ignored our letter. We also wrote to the IEBC seeking to know what steps it was taking to recover the money that had been stolen from it through inflated prices for the election materials printed by Smith & Ouzman, but again we did not get a response.
A few days before the confiscation hearing, we travelled to London and met with the SFO to further argue our case for restitution. In all our letters and meetings, we insisted that the money should be given to a cause that would benefit the Kenyan people and not merely returned to IEBC where it might be stolen again.
In the meantime, the Kenyan government would not prosecute the officials implicated in the Chickengate scandal, notably the then IEBC Chair Issack Hassan and the then Energy Secretary Davis Chirchir. Instead, it maintained a studious silence even as the UK justice system did its work with speed and alacrity. Only rather belatedly was former IEBC CEO Oswago charged.
Fast-forward to yesterday and the President is reported and pictured heartily launching ambulances bought with the proceeds of the Chickengate scandal without any sense of irony. This is especially telling given that the alleged masterminds of the Chickengate scandal continue to walk free and billions of shillings have since been reported stolen from the health budget with members of the President's own family having been adversely mentioned.
But the media reports of the President launching the ambulances dare not point out that our emperor has no clothes.