Anglo Leasing: Are the wheels of justice finally beginning to role?

Posted: March 5, 2015 in Politics/Current issues
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More than ten years later, the wheels of justice on the Anglo Leasing scandal have begun to roll. The scandal which involved contracts being awarded to phantom firms saw Kenyan tax payers lose billions of shillings.

Seven Anglo Leasing fraud suspects have been charged in a Nairobi court with abuse of office and conspiracy to defraud the government. (Source: Daily Nation)

Seven Anglo Leasing fraud suspects have been charged in a Nairobi court with abuse of office and conspiracy to defraud the government. (Source: Daily Nation)

Anglo Leasing scandal dates back to 1997 where about 30m euros ($33m; £21m) was paid to the British printing firm to supply the Kenyan government with a system to print new high-technology passports.

According to Wikipedia, sophisticated passport equipment system was sourced from France and forensic science laboratories for the police were sourced from Britain. The transaction was originally quoted at 6 million euros from a French firm, but was awarded to a British firm, Anglo Leasing Finance, at 30 million euros, who would have sub-contracted the same French firm to do the work. None of the contracts were honoured.

Now, Kisii senator Chris Obure, two former cabinet secretaries, Dave Mwangi and Sammy Kyungu, and former post master general, Francis Chahonyo, are among seven suspects that have been charged in court, with several counts of abuse of office, breach of public trust and conspiracy to commit economic crimes.

An international warrant of arrest has also been issued against two foreign Anglo Leasing suspects, Brian Mills and Bradley Beckenfield begging the question, could there be hope that the masterminds of a corruption scheme that has lasted for more than a decade are finally going to be prosecuted?

Anglo Leasing is a corruption scheme that previous governments have always failed to act on.

Then then minister in charge of the project Chris Murungaru, was banned by the UK government from travelling to Britain. A ban that was speculated to be due to his involvement in corruption  involving, among others, the Anglo-Leasing scam.

John Githongo in January 2006 also named Vice-president Moody Awori as one of four top politicians, former justice minister and later energy minister; finance minister David Mwiraria and former transport minister Chris Murungaru as among the leaders being involved in the scandal. Githongo even went ahead and released audio recordings of an incriminating conversation with Mwiraria on the internet. He claimed that President Mwai Kibaki was complicit in the affair.

Githongo claimed that the money raised would have funded the then government’s forthcoming 2005 Constitutional Referendum and 2007 Election campaign. These allegations were denied by Awori and Murungaru and an investigation was promised, Kenyans never what the investigations found out.

Among the Anglo Leasing-type contracts awarded were deals to buy a navy ship, set up a new tamper-proof passports system, install new communication equipment for security forces and forensic laboratory for the CID in Kenya

Others charged include former financial secretary Samuel Bundotich and former State officials Joseph Magari and David Onyonka.

Are the wheels of justice finally beginning to role?



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