How Cartels Exploit Presidency to Loot Military Millions - Report

  • President Uhuru Kenyatta gives an address in front of Harambee House in Nairobi CBD.
    President Uhuru Kenyatta gives an address in front of Harambee House in Nairobi CBD.
    The Standard
  • As the Jubilee government grapples with rampant corruption, a report sheds more light on how cartels take advantage of the secrecy clause of the military as well as the presidential privilege to loot millions.

    The report, released by Africa Centre for Open Governance (Africog) titled State Capture – Inside Kenya’s Inability to Fight-Corruption, disclosed that the cartels stole millions of taxpayer money since they were allowed to operate in completely unaccountable ways.

    The report further pointed out that tactics President Uhuru Kenyatta was using were not likely to work in taming corruption given the percentage of corrupt Kenyans walking scot-free. 

    "On the bureaucratic side, there is usually a coterie of favoured officials who are allowed to accumulate, concentrate and exercise power in completely unaccountable ways, often behind the shield of presidential privilege, state security or defence procurement," states the report in part.

    President Uhuru Kenyatta inspecting military equipment
    President Uhuru Kenyatta inspecting military equipment
    PSCU

    In an interview with the Daily Nation for its Sunday, March 22, issue, Wachira Maina, the author of the Africog report, that the military receives a substantial budgetary allocation but it is insufficiently audited, offering the platform for cartels to cash-in without the risk of being prosecuted.

    In the financial year 2019/2020, the Ministry of Defence was allocated Ksh121.6 billion which represents 4.3% of the budget.

    Mwenda Mbijiwe, a security expert who previously served in the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) corroborated with Wachira's findings disclosing that politicians occasionally manipulate tendering and make an easy kill.

    “Arms dealers are always looking for high-ranking politicians to influence the government’s tendering process in their favour.

    “In other cases, government officers involved in the negotiations ask the supplier to inflate the price so they can get a cut,” he disclosed.

    Former Sports Cabinet Secretary Rashid Echesa is under Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) crosshairs after he was accused of being in a cartel aimed at conning a foreigner in an arms deal.

    The Office of the Deputy President and Defence headquarters were also adversely mentioned in the scandal that was set to cost the foreigner in the upwards of Ksh39 billion.

    Former Sports Cabinet Secretary Rashid Echesa in the dock at the Milimani Law Courts on Monday, February 17
    Former Sports Cabinet Secretary Rashid Echesa at the Milimani Law Courts on Monday, February 17, 2020
    Daily Nation