John Githongo

John Githongo (born 1965) is a former Kenyan journalist who investigated bribery and fraud in his home country and later, under the presidency of Mwai Kibaki, took on an official governmental position to fight corruption. In 2005 he left that position, later accusing top ministers of large-scale fraud.

He studied Economics and Philosophy at the University of Wales before returning to his native Kenya. He briefly worked as a management consultant and researcher before moving into journalism [ [http://www.weforum.org/site/knowledgenavigator.nsf/Content/Githongo%20John Profile of John Githongo at World Economic Forum] ] . In this role he wrote extensively for the Nairobi-based "EastAfrican" attacking corruption throughout Kenyan society under the Moi regime [ [http://www.worldpress.org/Africa/1747.cfm Profile of John Githongo at worldpress.org] ] .

AREAT

In 1998, political scientist Mutahi Ngunyi's NGO - Series for Alternative Research in East Africa (SAREAT) engaged Githongo to edit a regional political economy magazine, East African Alternatives. The magazine folded after an audit instigated by the lead donor Ford Foundation found suspected misappropriation and collusion on the part of Ngunyi, who was executive director of SAREAT and Dr Jonathan Moyo, who was the programme officer at the Ford Foundation in charge of disbursing the resources to the NGO. They have both been sued and the matter is still in court. It is known that the Ford Foundation has accepted Githongo's offer to be a prosecution witness in the case.

In 1999 he founded and subsequently ran the Kenyan chapter of Transparency International, a non-governmental agency devoted to fighting corruption he had already been working with for some years [ [http://www.weforum.org/site/knowledgenavigator.nsf/Content/Githongo%20John Profile of John Githongo at World Economic Forum] ] .

Anglo Leasing

In January 2003 he was appointed to the position of Permanent Secretary for Governance and Ethics by the incoming president Kibaki, who had been elected on an anti-corruption platform. He resigned from his position on February 7 2005 [BBC News: [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/4243619.stm Kenya's anti-graft czar resigns] ] without comment, though it was reported that he felt the government lacked commitment to ending corruption and that he had received death threats [BBC News: [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/4249679.stm Kenya graft fighter 'threatened'] ] . As a result of his resignation international aid to Kenya was cut. He remains a powerful advocate against corruption.

On 22 January 2006, Githongo named Vice-President Moody Awori as one of four top politicians (with Kiraitu Murungi, former justice minister and present energy minister; finance minister David Mwiraria and former transport minister Chris Murungaru) as being involved in scams worth $600m – known as the Anglo Leasing scandal. He also claimed that President Kibaki was complicit in the affair. The scandal centred around the award of a huge contract given to Anglo-Leasing – a company that did not exist. Githongo claimed that the money raised would have funded the government's forthcoming election campaign. These allegations were denied by Awori and Murungaru and an investigation was promised [BBC News: [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/4638728.stm Graft claims rock Kenyan cabinet] ] .

Exile

Githongo moved to the UK to live in exile after claiming that there have been threats to his life [BBC News: [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/4649566.stm Kenya 'safe' for anti-graft czar] ] , but is considering returning to Kenya to testify to the corruption committee [BBC News: [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/4655926.stm Kenya campaigner 'could return'] ] . He took up a post at an Oxford college (Senior Associate Member of St Antony's College). It has also been recently revealed that he taken up an additional position as a Visiting Fellow of the Ottawa-based International Development Research Centre. In an interview with Fergal Keane for the BBC's Newsnight programme on 8 February 2006, Githongo revealed what he claims is taped evidence proving that Kiraitu Murungi attempted to impede his inquiries [BBC News: [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/4695354.stm 'Taped evidence' in Kenya scandal] (includes 3.3Meg PDF of Githongo's dossier - a blockbuster)] [ [http://www.africafocus.org/docs06/git0602.php HTML version of above] ] . Murungi suggested that a 30M Shilling loan to his father by a lawyer A.H. Malik had been bought by Anura Pereira, and might be forgiven in exchange for 'going slow' on the Anglo Leasing investigation. He reveals that at the end of his investigations, he came to the inescapeable conclusion that the Anglo Leasing scandal went all the way to the top, and as a consequence his life was in danger. Anglo Leasing, and many other similar deals, were rumored by some people to be back-door financing to pay for NARC's election bid in 2007. While in Britain, Githongo spent two days giving evidence to a delegation of Kenyan MPs who were investigating the scandal. Both parties were positive about the outcomes of the meetings. [BBC News: [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/4707424.stm Githongo reassured after meeting] ]

ee also

* Corruption in Kenya
* Goldenberg scandal
* Anglo Leasing Scandal
* Mwai Kibaki
* David Mwiraria

References

External links

* [http://www.eastandard.net/archives/cl/print/news.php?articleid=36293 A British spy or whistle-blower]
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/4697612.stm A fearless Kenyan whistle-blower]
* [http://www.kabissa.org/news/githongo_joins_board.html January 2006: John Githongo Joins Kabissa Board of Directors]
* [http://www.newstatesman.com/200602060018 New Statesman profile of John Githongo, 2006]
* [http://www.ft.com/cms/s/1c4e2482-a6c0-11db-83e4-0000779e2340.html Financial Times profile of John Githongo, 2007]
* [http://www.mentalacrobatics.com/think/archives/2006/01/john_githongo_s.php Kenyan blog the latest on John Githongo]
* [http://www.marsgroupkenya.org/pages/clips/Mwiraria-Githongo.php Audio and transcript of incriminating remarks by David Mwiraria]


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