Cultural Revolutions

Rotten Democracy

For decades, Kenya has been an oasis of peace, compared with her neighbors Rwanda, Uganda, Sudan, and Somalia.  That changed on December 30, 2007.

After 24 years of the corrupt presidency of Daniel arap Moi, Kenyans had high hopes when, in December 2002, they elected Mwai Kibaki as their president for the next five years.  President Kibaki appointed as Kenya’s first “Corruption Czar” (“Permanent Secretary for Ethics and Governance”) John Githongo, a man of impeccable integrity.

Githongo performed his duties well—so well, in fact, that he unearthed massive corruption within the Kibaki government itself.  He learned, among other things, that a huge government contract had been handed to a nonexistent company, a scheme to transfer money from the pockets of the Kenyan taxpayers to those of some of President Kibaki’s associates.  When Githongo reported his discoveries to Kibaki, the president refused to support him.  Then, after his life was threatened, Githongo decided it was prudent to live to fight another day.  On January 24, 2005, he flew to England, tendered his resignation, and told the world what he had uncovered.  He was called a traitor for criticizing Kenya from a foreign country.

Although we have been told that Kenya’s economy has grown at an annual rate of five percent during Kibaki’s presidency, ordinary Kenyans...

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