Former anti-corruption czar John Githongo has blasted the Jubilee government, labelling it as the most corrupt regime to ever rule Kenya.
In a wide ranging interview on NTV, Mr Githongo, who resigned at the height of the Sh53 billion Anglo Leasing scandal, laid the blame squarely at the feet of president Uhuru Kenyatta, saying he has not provided the much-needed political will to fight corruption.
“So you have a lot of movement on the anti-corruption front whereas in actual fact, in the last four years, we have moved back fairly dramatically, as far as corruption is concerned. This is by far the most corrupt government in our history,” he charged.
He also described the search for the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) chairman as a theatre to keep Kenyans busy after reports that 68 people who had applied for the position were unqualified.
“Theatre in games of people being picked up, investigations ostensibly being carried out. People stepping aside, stepping out, stepping back, and it all becomes a rather confusing game to wananchi,” he added.
The negative tag will worry Jubilee leaders since Kanu administration has hitherto held the most corrupt tag when leaders went on a looting spree with impunity. It is during Kanu era that Kenya lost 10 per cent of its GDP in the infamous Goldenberg scandal.
Indeed, individuals who served in the Kenyatta and Moi’s Kanu regimes are Kenya’s wealthiest.
Kenya also lost Sh53 billion in the scandal that was hatched during the Narc era.
Mr Githongo served as the Ethics permanent secretary and resigned after Cabinent ministers exerted pressure on him to “go easy” on investigations. He went into exile in the United Kingdom.
During the interview that aired Thursday night, he cited procurement, “outright theft in parastatals”, Standard Gauge Railway and Eurobond as evidence of ongoing grand looting.
“And it goes down, if you look at public land. There seems to be a very rapacious attitude towards public goods at a level that we’ve never seen before.”
He blasted President Kenyatta for treating Kenyans to nice speeches, yet “every time he makes a statement, things get worse”. Last year, the head of state declared corruption as a threat to national security.
“So we are moving in reverse, so one gets a feeling it’s as if we are being conned as Kenyans,” said Mr Githongo.
Asked why he did not apply to be the chairman of the EACC, he retorted: “The chairman of the EACC does not have powers to do anything, the chief executive does. That would be a more interesting position for me.”
He went on: “You also need to be confident that people who are head of the executive are serious but I’m not convinced they are. They talk a very good talk but I don’t think they are serious in dealing with the issue. So one has to weigh all those kind of issues before going into that kind of position. There is no political backing to fight corruption.”
Watch the full interview below: