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Thursday, March 29, 2007

Karua Hitches A Ride on the Propaganda Train

Following the furore over my excoriation of Finance Minister Amos Kimunya's presentation in Atlanta, Gorgia, here's more evidence of the Kibaki administration's propaganda drive. This time from the UK.

In an interview with the BBC's Hardtalk, Justice Minister Martha Karua has said that she could offer no evidence that the war on corruption was being won. After more than 4 years in power, the she admitted that the Kibaki administration could not produce a single corruption conviction of note. All she could come up with were "indicators" such as increased revenue collection (up by over 80%), GDP growth (up to 6%) and a budget that's 95% domestically funded.

Whatever happened to zero-tolerance of corruption? Is it not a telling indictment that the government is unable to even deliver on Kibaki's promise from "our very first day in office" to implement the report of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes? That report recommended that Professor George Saitoti and Fred Gumo "be investigated with a view to prosecution" for his role in Goldenberg. However, one of the first acts of Kibaki's Presidency was to appoint the said Saitoti and Gumo to his Cabinet!

Apparently referring to Saitoti's subsequent case challenging the findings of the Kibaki appointed Commission of Inquiry on the Goldenberg Affair (which also recommended that he be prosecuted), Karua states that the Goldenberg report is not conclusive. Though the plaintiff may have succeeded in convincing a constitutional court to expunge certain parts of the report, that in no way prevents the reintroduction of proceedings in case of fresh evidence.

The clear implication is that investigations against Saitoti are on-going. If so then why was he reinstated as Minister for Education? Keep in mind that the AG appealed Saitoti's case. It is then obvious that he has not been cleared of wrong-doing. His reappointment to the Cabinet is therefore a betrayal of the zero-tolerance promise and a slap in the face of all right thinking Kenyans.

The question remains, given all of the above, how can Karua possibly support her statement that the government is "winning the war on corruption"?

10 comments:

alexcia said...

The US AG scandal has shown me how far we have come and how many of us take it for granted. Could this happen in Kenya? How could this kind of conduct be legally sanctioned in a first world nation?

Coming closer to home, the vexing thing about K's government is its Schizophrenic nature

The left brain is corrupt for survival, (Blame politics)

While the right for greed, sleaze, money (inexcusable)

mwangi said...

Gathara. Thx. I'll post a comment after I watch the whole interview ...

Gathara said...

Alexcia,
Great comment! Haven't seen you in these parts for a while though. Thanks for dropping in.

mwangi said...

That BBC Interviewer was very uncivilized. They tried to set Karua up for a "hit job" but it failed miserably. Karua is an iron-willed woman and there is no way someone who knows nothing about Kenya was going to out duel her. She was just reading out a script, and even blundered, accusing Ngilu of being a Kikuyu!!
She also seemed to harbour the opinion that British govt. officials are the sole judges of truth ... that simply because they have been to Nairobi and reported ABC, then it must necessarily be true. That was an abuse to our sovereignty and the biggest load of bull crap I ever heard.
Karua was taxed about corruption, an dit is clear that they haven't done enough coz she resorted to an indirect approach of measuring reduction in corruption ... but which govt. in this world does not have a black sheep?
It is a long process, which as she rightly put it, will require a complete change even in the ordinary mwananchi perception ...

Gathara said...

Mwangi,
The programme is called HARDTALK! Of course they were going to do a hatchet job! That is the entire concept and purpose of the show.

You have not tackled any of the issues I raised. I was concerned with Ministers making sweeping statements about corruption, the economy and Kibaki's record and then producing the most flimsy of arguments to support their declarations. If that's not propaganda, what is?

alexcia said...

Ultimately only the people are responsible for this and other crap in our country

If they are not upset, furious then why should the politicians be?

Mwalimu said...

a friend tells the BBC re Hard Talk and Madame Karua's role in saving David Mwiraria from his deserved come-uppance: "The Minister referred to the first parliamentary disclosure of the Anglo-Leasing series of scandals in 2004, as if it was her handiwork. In fact, in her previous job, she was the person who manipulated a parliamentary vote to expunge - before the report had even been tabled - an unfavourable reference to her colleague, the then Minister of Finance, in a report by the Public Accounts Committee. She enabled that minister to be absolved of personal financial responsibility by his peers: that is, by the 59 MPs present, or three-elevenths of the membership of the whole House. The majority in his favour was three, representing 5% of those voting. To put it a different way, therefore, his majority was one seventy-third of the whole House. Oh, and his own vote in his own favour represented 33.33 recurring of that majority, in thunderous vindication of his conduct."

Gathara said...

Good point Mwalimu!

Frugal African said...

The interview is actually embarrassing to watch - anyway thank you Gathara for sharing. Sorry I couldn't finish watching!

Nyakalingo said...

Mwangi. I think the reverse is true. Marther completely failed to impress. she could do better than that is only she did not completely digress. About tribalism, the situation is worse than BBC could diclose and you are right! Martha Karua was lucky Zeinab does not know 10% of what I do, I would have shredded her with very precise questions in parastatals and the PSs on the tribalism topic.

Some day we will have leaders, just someday....