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Kenya's Former Anti-Corruption Chief Implicates High Ranking Officials

Kenya’s former anti-corruption chief says he came under high-level pressure to scale back his investigations of fraud and bribery. John Githongo said he was trying to uncover which senior officials were involved.

Githongo left Kenya last year after receiving death threats. He named former justice minister Kiraitu Murungi as one of those who pressed him to abandon his investigation. Githongo spoke in an interview broadcast yesterday by the BBC. He said he secretly recorded a meeting in 2004 in which Murungi told him a loan owed by Githondo's father "would be made to go away" if the corruption probe "eased off."

Githongo has linked Murungi and other high-ranking Kenyan officials to a massive corruption scandal known as the "Anglo-Leasing" affair. It involved the diversion of 300 million dollars in government payments. Murungi and other Kenyan officials deny any wrongdoing.

Some members of parliament are supposed to visit Githongo in London to learn more about his information.

Wangethi Mwangi is the editorial director for the Nairobi newspaper The Daily Nation. He told English to Africa reporter Shaka Ssali:

“The Parliamentary Accounts Committee is supposed to be traveling to London tomorrow night to have two sessions with Githongo and his legal advisor. They’ll be trying to collect as much evidence of the scandal as he investigated and then bring it back to analyze it and see if they can build a strong case against the people implicated in the Githongo dossier.“

Mwangi says the scandal is receiving a lot of attention among the public. He says some say Githongo is a traitor, while others say he’s a patriot. As for the business community, he says, “…They are happy that for once someone is digging deeply into this corruption and there is hope we may ultimately be able to come to terms with this problem…and wipe it off the face of Kenya once and for all.”