George Saitoti! Lessons from the Past – When will Kenyans learn.Editor's Choice 08:39
Hard and painful thoughts cross our minds today. In one sense we mourn all the Kenyans who perished in the Chopper crash.
1. Captain Nancy Gituanja
2. Captain Luke Oyugi
3. Inspector Joshua Tonkei
4. Sergeant Thomas Murimi
5. Orwa Ojode
6. George Saitoti
Today, it is with great difficulty that we mourn George Saitoti as a hero (according to Kenyan mass media); because a hero, he was not.
The truth in Kenya is that we forget, and we forget quickly. It was Prof. George Saitoti of the University of Nairobi Mathematics Department, who drove his VW Beetle (a well documented fact) into the Treasury Building parking lot when Daniel Arap Moi first appointed him Minister for Finance. Prof. Saitoti never looked back abandoning his VW Beetle motorcar for a Mercedes Benz and when he became Vice-President took on his motorcade as his chosen mode of travel. The VW Beetle motorcar was to rust in the car park— abandoned and disowned – and forgotten completely.
But what irks us is that George Saitoti was the Minister of Finance in the Moi regime in the 1990s when his Ministry and Kamlesh Pattni perpetrated the Goldenberg fraud. Goldenberg cost the country over Ksh 158 billion according to a Judicial Commission of Inquiry appointed by President Kibaki in 2003.
The Inquiry identified and named over a dozen individuals as perpetrators – and George Saitoti was on that list of shame.
Following the Inquiry publishing its final report the Attorney General handed over the report and evidence to the Criminal Investigation Department of the Kenya Police; directing them to complete further investigations and report to him for the purposes of criminal prosecution of the perpetrators. George Saitoti went to court and controversially obtained orders expunging his name from the Inquiry Report and barring his prosecution by the Attorney General. The Attorney General immediately appealed this decision, which he declared to be unconstitutional in a strongly worded statement. The Appeal was quietly dismissed for technical reasons in 2011.
Meanwhile George Saitoti’s political career proceeded smoothly and in 2008 he was promoted from the Ministry of Education to take over as Minister for Internal Security. Fortune had conspired it seems to make George Saitoti the political head of the Criminal Investigation department which the Attorney General directed to investigate him.
He was now in charge of the evidence against him and the so-called Goldenberg International Limited. Were Kenyans expected to believe that Prof. Saitoti was to investigate himself or that indeed the evidence was still intact? Apparently yes! Or maybe not!
Saitoti is now gone – as is Kanyotu and Riungu – but Goldenberg must not be allowed to go unpunished. Goldenberg cost Kenya 10% of its GDP. The inquiry cost Kenyan tax payers over Ksh15 million per month and ran over 2 years. Most of the culprits identified by the Bosire Commission are now dead and over Khs 158 Billion traced is now at threat of non – recovery.
The 2 principals of the Grand Coalition, Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga, know that George Saitoti was not cleared over Goldenberg. Indeed the Prime Minister once sought to bring a private criminal prosecution against Saitoti – a charge that was quashed by Amos Wako.
Political expediency being what it is, Kibaki and Odinga decided to turn a blind eye to the biggest corruption log in the eye of the Government – Goldenberg. Which begs the question why was George Saitoti such a sacred cow? And who will pay Kenyans now as both Principals lead by example in this hero worship message of impunity? Meanwhile Daniel Toroitich Arap Moi sits pretty in so-called presidential retirement.
We mourn, not for George Muthengi Kinuthia Saitoti, but for his wife and Children, and all the other wonderful Kenyans who God took too soon.
We still want answers and recovery of the hundreds of Billions looted from the Goldenberg Scandal. Who is the beneficiary of the stolen loot; we must not relent. And we must not glorify those who steal Kenyan funds.
This is the truth, and this is a bitter pill we must chew and swallow – to get better, because as Kenyans, we suffer from a disease called Impunity. Sadly, some think the cure for this very contagious disease – is death by servant. It is not! Someone has the stolen loot. The only question is who, and, where! Let’s collect, the loot belongs to the People of Kenya.
Mars Group Kenya