Kroll Report Exposes Extra Debt Burden for (unborn) Kenyan Tax Payer
Kroll Report Analysis Part IV
Even unborn Kenyans will bear the heavy burden of repaying the debt burden made costlier by an estimated US$ 2Billion stolen from state coffers if the Kroll Report is to be believed. Kenya’s huge debt burden– with over 29% of all the export revenue going towards debt servicing – is certainly a huge stumbling block to achieving MDGs and we are worse off with this kind of corruption being allowed to proceed unabated.
Between 1950 and 1995, Western countries gave away aid amounting to $1 trillion as aid to poorer countries, among them Kenya.
The Kroll Report clearly tells us how these positive efforts have yielded pitiful results, and created overnight billionaires, because the Kenya lacks the political, legal and financial institutions necessary for the money to be utilised productively.
Indeed, much of the money that has poured into poor countries since the 1950s has simply leaked out – often to bank accounts in Switzerland and elsewhere. One recent study of 30 sub-Saharan countries calculated that total capital export for 1970-1996 was – not some – but a staggering $187 billion, which, when accrued interest is added, implies that Africa’s ruling elites had private overseas assets equivalent to 145 per cent of the public debts their countries owed. It is Kenyan tax payers who continue to wallow in poverty while paying this debt.
With this fact recorded, the Government of Kenya has termed the Kroll Report ‘hearsay’ and seemingly closed its file on the issue. Meanwhile one of the individuals adversely mentioned in the report, Gideon Moi, has promised to seek legal redress terming “the allegations untrue and highly libellious.” He is quoted telling the Nairobi Star newspaper that “to accuse someone of corruption, which the report purports to do, at this time of year, is very damaging. I intend to take action.” He is obviously making reference to Kenya’s general election due by the end of this year.
It seems obvious that the fundamental problem in Kenyan politics is corruption, emanating from one’s proximity to the executive. The Kroll Report has illustrated just what is wrong with the way Kenya has come to be governed since independence. The report has exposed a web of shell companies, hidden trusts and frontmen used by Moi’s family and associates used to funnel vast sums abroad. Law enforcement agencies seem to be aware of their existence but appear helpless to do anything!
The Kroll Report indicates that private banking services and offshore financial centres are the major conduits and repositories for bribes and corrupt gains. Private banking is increasingly used the world over for confidential services to international elites – and is believed to be worth a staggering US$17 trillion worldwide. The so called ‘Targets 1 to 7 in the Kroll Report seem have made full use of private banking services in Kenya and overseas to convert and secure their ill gotten monies and it now dawns the Kenyan tax payer has little hope, if at all, of ever recovering this money, going by Government handling and reaction to the leak of the report.
What makes this report a grim reading for any Kenyan is the fact that the culprits are well known. The report gives credible possibilities which the Government can follow-up on using its own feared intelligence services to make some recovery for tax payers. Instead, the government seems to be a conspirator when it appears in a hurry to close the Kroll chapter even before citizens have digested the scope of the rip-off and the very individuals mentioned are flying in and out of Kenya with impunity using private jets and first class while on Kenyan Diplomatic passports. The same individuals are allowed to freely transact their businesses even as we refuse to accept that the theft could actually be much much more than the estimated US$2 billion dollars. It looks like banks have been incorporated locally so as to purposely cover the tracks of mega thieves rather than trade as commercial banks. The stolen funds have since been “invested” to sustain royal lifestyle and multi-million dollar properties in Europe, North America, Middle East and Southern Africa while “hundreds of millions” that were siphoned are “sitting pretty” in off-shore bank accounts.
Although the off-shore private banking boom is a global phenomenon the biggest beneficiaries have been foreign banks where these funds are deposited. For instance, a 1999 US Senate inquiry revealed that 350 of Citibank’s 40,000 clients were senior foreign government officials or their relatives, including: President Omar Bongo of Gabon, Asif Ali Zardari, the husband of former Pakistan prime minister, Benazir Bhutto, the three sons of Nigeria’s General Sani Abacha, Raul Salinas, the brother of former Mexican President Carlos Salinas, Mali’s Moussa Traore, Zaire’s Mobutu Sese Seko. The private-banking department at UBS, meanwhile, are said to handle private accounts for the family of Kenyan President Daniel Arap Moi.
Word reaching this blog indicates the individuals mentioned in this report, as faithful servants of the so called Moi Empire, are anxiously waiting for the patriarch to handle this in the usual manner he has handled many other crisis’s in the past. As the extent of the implication of the report is assessed by them, they expect the patriarch to produce corresponding damage control. Most of these individuals hold substantial interests in the Kenyan economy and the government is expected to listen and act according to their whims. In any case, when the worst comes to the worst, they will not be heading to jail but use their dual citizenship to move to other world capitals and enjoy their already hidden wealth.