David Andrews, the IMF Assistant Director, has some strong advice for the Kenyan government regarding the Anglo Leasing financial scandal.
He thinks that it would be in Kenyaâ€™s interest to honour those promissory notes and pay up for services which were not delivered by ghost suppliers.
To date, the very suppliers claiming K50b from our Treasury are yet to show up. Never mind that in the heat of investigations over the scandal, the same ghosts apparently wired back to the Treasury close to K1b to stall legal pursuits against them.
I do not know much about promissory notes because I am not a banker and neither am I a lawyer like one Evans Monari, who would like to concur with David Andrews probably on a legal technicality.
If you come proposing to sell me your car, you may persuade me to pay deposit in that when you deliver the said car, I will pay the rest of the amount. That pledge to pay the rest of the amount can be either verbal or written. It could very well be a MoU signed in front of a commissioner of oaths. It is binding on both of us; the seller and the buyer. Failure to deliver, you refund my deposit. If you deliver, you get the balance.
In my opinion, and I may be wrong, the Anglo Leasing scandal is a moral issue. It is an issue that has to do with local thieves and international crooks. It has everything to do with western countries encouraging the plunder of our meagre resources under the guise of fictitious debts even if our citizens have to go hungry, die for lack of medicine in our hospitals or get murdered by thugs because we cannot provide enough resources for our police force.
For over a decade, the West has continued to yell at governments in Africa for being corrupt, despotic and ready to siphon IMF and World Bank loans back to safe volts in Switzerland and other European capitals. The likes of Joseph Mobutu, Sani Abacha, Kamuzu Banda, Houghuet Boigny, Mengitsu Haile Mariam, Siad Barre, Emperor Bokassa, Robert Mugabe and even Daniel arap Moi have been ready examples if not the whipping boys of the West over such matters.
How many times have the IMF and the World Bank denied Kenya funds and caused numerous projects to stall on the basis of corruption in government? How come when these thieving itching fingers are caught red-handed, with their fingers in the till, the IMF has the audacity to turn around and say we can go ahead and honour fraudulent documents?
This reminds me of a quote from John Perkins when he introduces his book, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man. He says: â€œEconomic hit men (EHMs) are highly paid professionals, who cheat countries around the globe out of trillions of dollars. They funnel money from the World Bank, the IMF, the US Agency for International Development (USAID), and other foreign â€œaidâ€ organisations into the coffers of huge corporations and the pockets of a few wealthy families who control the planetâ€™s natural resources.â€
Their tools include fraudulent financial reports, rigged elections, payoffs, extortion, sex and murder. They play a game as old as empire, but one that has taken on new and terrifying dimensions during this time of globalisation. I should know; I was an EHM
Can David Andrewâ€™s advise be taken at face value that he is a genuine friend of Kenya or can this be a fine example of an Economic hit man in our midst out to arm-twist, intimidate or extort money from Kenya to pay to their overseas clients and collaborators?
It is true we are really a pathetic lot. Our gate keepers at the Treasury are not helping any matters by issuing confusing and contradictory statements. And it gets messier when you have an anti-corruption authority which been investigating the same scandal for years yet the necessary papers like the promissory notes cannot be found in their custody.
The question many Kenyan tax payers are asking is a simple and straight forward one. Are we still paying fictitious loans that some ghost lenders gave to the Kenyan government in exchange for irrevocable promissory notes worth K50b? On what moral and legal authority can we accept to reward thieves that have never provided any service to this country?
Robert Mugabe was in town recently and it was a week to remember. As usual, his pet subject of ridicule were good old British and other Western leaders who have in the past lost no opportunity to lecture this continent on its endless iniquities.
Mugabe is a man under siege. His government is broke; literally broke. Inflation rate is soaring in the thousands of percentages. He is no longer a member of the British Commonwealth, the club he pulled out of in the nick of time to avert imminent suspension if not expulsion over his handling of the relics of British farmers and their farms in Zimbabwe.
Mugabeâ€™s decision to repossess White farm lands and redistribute the same to landless Zimbabweans had earned him the wrath of self- proclaimed democrats in the West.
In the eyes of the European nations and Americans except for France, Mugabe is a living demon that should not walk a free man on the face of the earth. To them Mugabe is a latter day Saddam Hussein that deserves to be hanged by the rope.
No one in his right senses should condone what Mugabe has done for his country and his people in particular. Once the pride of Africa, Zimbabwe is now a shell of its former self. The land of freedom fighters is now a wailing nation wallowing in abject poverty. Human rights violations are the order of the day.
Opposition politicians have been the target of Mugabeâ€™s whipping boys. Press freedom is long gone. The nation is under siege from one ageing strong man.
Yet the very sins for which Mugabe is being punished are the very wrongs we want to correct with our stringent procurement laws and anti-corruption institutions. They are the loopholes perfected by international economic hit men together with their local errand boys that we need to seal. And the errand boys come in many shades and colours.
We have local crafty lawyers that are just too willing to draft fraudulent papers for presentation to the government. Then we have willing collaborators in the corridors of power ready to receive their 10% peanuts to rape this countryâ€™s economy to eternity.
If the war has been raging in Northern Uganda for two decades, who has been funding and fueling it? Who has been footing the bill for rebels in the North? If Ivory Coast has gone to the dogs, who has caused that countryâ€™s disintegration? When the Rwanda Genocide occurred, who masterminded the shooting down of the plane carrying two presidents? If the Liberian and Sierra Leone wars took decades to quell, who fuelled for all that time? Was it not the greed of diamonds from international economic hit men?
If today Somalia is on its knees, is it not the fabricated terrorist theory that is killing Somalis in their thousands?
Mugabe may be the bad guy; but sometimes Africa wishes there were more Mugabes and Chaveses in the continent to tell David Andrew and his kin that they should stay far away from us with their blood money.
The writer is a communication
specialist in Nairobi
Who is a lesser devil? Robert Mugabe or IMFâ€™s David Andrews