Anglo-Leasing scandal

Anglo-Leasing scandal

The Anglo Leasing Scandal, also known as Anglo-fleecing, is the popular name for a corruption scandal in Kenya.

Origins

The scandal is alleged to have started when the Kenyan government wanted to replace its passport printing system, in the year 2002. 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. The tender was not publicly advertised, and its details were leaked to the media by a junior civil servant. The Anglo-Leasing sales agent was Sudha Ruparell, a 48 year old woman who is the daughter of Chamanlal Kamani and sister of Rashmikant Chamanlal Kamani & Deepak Kamani. The Kamani family has been involved in various security supplies scandals in the past. In January 2006, the Anglo Leasing Scandal was given fresh impetus through the publication of John Githongo's report. The new revelations indicate that Anglo Leasing Finance was just one of a plethora of phantom entities, including some UK companies, used to perpetrate fraud on the Kenyan taxpayer through non-delivery of goods and services and massive overpricing.

Impact

The then-British envoy to Kenya, Sir Edward Clay, publicly raised the issue of Anglo-Leasing at a dinner in Nairobi (see [http://www.guardian.co.uk/kenya/story/0,12689,1424014,00.html the Guardian Newspaper article] ). He subsequently came under pressure from Kenyan politicians to make public his evidence, and was reported to have provided the President, Mwai Kibaki, with a dossier containing details of corruption in the government. However, no one was punished and the case slipped from the public eye.

Kenya's minister in charge of the project, Chris Murungaru, was later on banned by the UK government from travelling to Britain, on the grounds that it would not be in the public good. It was widely reported that the ban was due to corruption by Mr Murungaru involving, among others, the Anglo-Leasing scam. [The Economist: [http://www.economist.com/printedition/displayStory.cfm?Story_ID=4277328 The corruption is sickening] ]

On January 22, 2006, John 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. Public sympathy for Githongo reached its peak when he released audio recordings of an incriminating conversation with David Mwiraria on the internet. One of the tapes is still available [http://www.marsgroupkenya.org/pages/clips/Mwiraria-Githongo.php here] . He also 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. Githongo's report can be read [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/bsp/hi/pdfs/09_02_06_kenya_report.pdf here] . These allegations were denied by Awori and Murunguru and an investigation was promised.

In February, in an interview with the BBC, Githongo told of his meeting with Kiraitu, during which the then Justice minister tried to blackmail him over a loan his (Githongo's) father is said to owe businessman Anura Pereira. "The minister of Justice was telling me that if I eased off my inquiries, then my father's loan matter would be made to go away," Githongo said. He had an audiotape, which was played on the BBC.

Githongo's Exile

In an interview with Fergal Keane for the BBC's Newsnight programme on 8 February 2006, Githongo revealed [ [http://www.africafocus.org/docs06/git0602.php Githongo Dossier] ] 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)] . 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, in part, back-door financing to pay for NARC's election bid in 2007.

Dismissals and Resignations

*On November 23, 2005, President Mwai Kibaki dissolved his cabinet following a humiliating defeat on a referendum on the proposed constitution of Kenya. In the resulting re-shuffle, Chris Murungaru was not re-appointed.
*On February 1 David Mwiraria became the first of those implicated in the report to resign, doing so live on television. He maintained his innocence and claimed that he was resigning in order to clear his name. [BBC News: [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/4670120.stm Kenyan 'graft' minister resigns] ]
*A day later, Moody Awori refused to resign, saying he saw no reason to. [BBC News: [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/4674704.stm Kenyan deputy refuses to resign] ] A day later a group of 80 MPs called for the sacking of Awori, threatening street protests if their requests were not met.BBC News: [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/4711546.stm Travel ban in Kenya scam inquiry] ]
*On 13 February, President Mwai Kibaki announced that Kiraitu Murungi had resigned to allow full investigation into the allegations [cite news|title=Kenyan 'graft' ministers resign|date=February 13, 2006|publisher=BBC News|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/4710138.stm|accessdate=2006-02-13] . Murungi's resignation was announced in a television address by President Kibaki, though he too denies any wrongdoing.

Travel bans have been imposed on key players, , and Kenyan authorities will start freezing the assets of individuals suspected of being involved in corruption in a bid to recover looted state funds [BBC News: [http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1&click_id=68&art_id=qw114003810529B252 Kenya freezes assets of corruption suspects] ]

Response from Kenyans

The response of Kenyans has been critical of the Government, both from those who initially voted for it and those who did not. The president has been accused of adding to the problems he promised to solve and making Kenya an embarrassment in the eyes of the world. Most responses have also praised the role played by John Githongo in bringing the scandal to light though a minority opinion has criticised him for holding a 'neo-colonial' attitude and not remaining in Kenya. [BBC News: [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/4697676.stm Kenyan outrage at graft claims] ]

On 17 February anti-corruption protestors marched through Nairobi despite their demonstration being officially banned. The participants carried banners calling for a conclusion to the Anglo-Leasing scandal and chanted for the resignation of Vice-president Moody Awori. [BBC News: [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/4723480.stm Kenyans demand more graft scalps] ]

Finance

Anglo Leasing Finance is an entity associated to Deepak Kamani. The Controller & Auditor General of Kenya has published a report on single sourced security contracts where widespread fraud through non-delivery and overpricing are suspected. The entities used to carry out this fraud are linked:

ee also

*Corruption in Kenya
*Goldenberg scandal
*John Githongo
*Chris Murungaru
*Moody Awori
*David Mwiraria
*Chamanlal Kamani
*Rashmikant Chamanlal Kamani
*Anglo Leasing Finance

External links

* [http://www.guardian.co.uk/kenya/story/0,12689,1254928,00.html Guardian report on the scam]
* [http://www.nationmedia.com/dailynation/nmgcontententry.asp?category_id=1&newsid=16923 Detective progress on this case]
* [http://www.economist.com/printedition/displayStory.cfm?Story_ID=4277328 Kenyan Minister banned from UK Travel]
* [http://www.nationmedia.com/dailynation/nmgcontententry.asp?category_id=1&newsid=65956 kamani family holdings]
* BBC News: [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/4638728.stm Graft claims rock Kenyan Cabinet]
* BBC News: [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/4670120.stm Kenyan 'graft' minister resigns]
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/4704656.stm Graft evidence stuns Kenyan MPs]
* [http://www.mg.co.za/articlePage.aspx?articleid=263556&area=/insight/insight__africa/ Vehicle saga shows Kenyan govt lacks budgetary teeth]
* [http://www.eastandard.net/archives/cl/hm_news/news.php?articleid=1143951296 Auditor General indicts State over Anglo Leasing]
* [http://www.guardian.co.uk/kenya/story/0,,1734722,00.html The British Connection to Anglo Leasing & Related Projects]
* [http://www.marsgroupkenya.org/Reports/Government/Special_audits_of_Security_Projects.pdf Report of the Controller and Auditor General on Anglo Leasing and related Security Contracts (April 2006)]
* [http://www.marsgroupkenya.org/Reports/Government/PAC_Report_March_2006.pdf Public Accounts Committee Report on Anglo Leasing Contracts (March 2006)]

References


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