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Jubilee’s corruption bursts into global scene with blunt NYT story

The issue of runaway corruption in government has attracted global attention after the respected New York Times published a hard-hitting piece on the matter on Wednesday.

Under the headline An Anticorruption Plea in Kenya: ‘Please, Just Steal a Little’, the piece by Jeffrey Gettleman delves into the blatant looting from public coffers by senior government officials, the ensuing public outcry –an inaction by State anti-corruption agencies.

The phrase “Just Steal a Little” was trending on Twitter on Thursday.

‘DEEPER INTO DEBT’

“Prices of staples are going up. The currency is tanking. Kenya, historically considered one of the most stable and strategically important nations in Africa, is going deeper and deeper into debt,” the story reads in part.

The piece further quotes a security guard Boniface Wanyama Wekesa as saying: “Can you imagine? We pay taxes, I can barely afford flour, and now this? If you’re going to steal, please, just steal a little.”

Kenya’s anti-corruption czar John Githongo is also quoted saying: “This is literally the rape of the country, everything from the poaching of our wildlife to the accumulation of debt at an extraordinary level.”

The New York Times has the ear of US President Barack Obama and other world leaders including British Prime Minister David Cameron, among others.

The New York Times is just the latest influential international media house to carry the story which has also appeared on BBC and African Independent of South Africa.

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SEX TOYS

On Wednesday, the BBC was virtually the first media house globally (Kenya included) to publish the embarrassing details of how the ministry of Devolution spent money on sex toys.

Details of the purchase of sex toys are indicated in documents submitted to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Tuesday by Devolution Principal Secretary.

The documents show that staff at the ministry bought “male penile vibrations” at a cost of Sh2,400 and “female venial vibrations” at a cost of Sh3, 800.

In South Africa, the African Independent carried two front page stories one headlined: Is Kenya Africa’s Greece? and another Kenya Robbed Blind.