Brave Journalist Who Uncovered Goldenberg Scandal

  • In 1992, Peter Warutere who was a business editor at the Nation became the first journalist to write a story on the much hidden Goldenberg scandal, a scandal which had slowly robbed the country billions of money and later turned out to be the biggest scandal to have rocked the country.

    The story by Warutere slowly ignited reactions in parliament, leading to opposition MPs Paul Muite and Anyang’ Nyong’o revealing in the house on what was going on in the Central Bank of Kenya.

    Speaking to Kenyans.co.ke, Warutere gave a story of utmost journalistic dare that he employed to make sure that Kenyans got the information that the government had tried hard to hide from the public.

    Chairman of the Goldenberg Commission Justice Samuel Bosire hands over the findings to President Mwai Kibaki in March 2009

    “I got a hint about what was going on at the CBK from a junior clerk who effectively acted as my insider.

    “However, we needed to have the documents from Central Bank of Kenya to assist us get a formidable ground to expose the corrupt leaders who were robbing the country,” remarked Warutere.

    In the hard task of establishing the right way to write about the scandal, Warutere resulted to having a plan to get the files that contained the details from the topmost bank, a dangerous venture that bore fruit.

    “With the help of the junior clerk at CBK, we planned on how the files will reach me. On the planned day, the clerk craftily got the files from the bank and brought them to me over lunch hour.”

    “We agreed that I should make copies of the necessary documents and later return the files to CBK within one hour,” remarked the source.

    After receiving the files, Warutere headed to the Nation offices at the Old Nation house where he took up the task of making copies of the documents and later compiling a story that brought out the rot in the country. 

    “When I got to the office, almost everything had to stop as colleagues assisted in making the copies with the limited number of photocopy machines that were available by then,” added Warutere.

    According to a report by the East African, the Goldenberg scandal was planned and conducted between 1991-1993, earlier disguised as a foreign earner to the country through the sale of minerals.

    Businessman Kamlesh Pattni before the Public Investments Committee on July 22, 2015, when he was questioned on duty free shops.

    Businessman Kamlesh Pattni and spy chief James Kanyotu who together owned Goldenberg International were tasked with the ill-intended role of exporting gold and diamond jewellery where they would later receive compensation from the government for earning foreign exchange.

    Unknown to many the company was not exporting any gold and diamond jewellery as it depicted with their claims that were fictitious.

    The scandal was estimated to have led to a loss of sh 100 billion taxpayer’s money.

    In a bid to unravel the scandal, President Mwai Kibaki set a task force chaired by Justice Samuel Bosire tasked with the role of investigating the happenings that led to the scandal.

    Among those who were adversely mentioned in the scandal included George Saitoti, Kamlesh Pattni, James Kanyotu, Gideon Moi, Philip Moi among others.

    After the release of the report in 2006, George Saitoti and Kiraitu Murungi stepped down as minister of education and energy respectively to give way for thorough investigation into the case.