From all accounts our Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Amina Mohammed, is an intelligent, articulate official, which normally tends to be an outlier in the typical African government.
And then I read this
crock of shit obtuse diatribe of questionable substance cloaked in smoke and mirrors ostensibly penned by that lady where she denies corruption had any role to play in the Westgate fiasco.
Personally I refuse to believe this and find it more likely some acne spotted intern in the foreign ministry is the author of the piece.
Let us dissect the piece, shall we?
It was difficult to read Giles Foden’s article squarely blaming the attack on the Westgate mall in Nairobi on alleged inadequacies of the Kenyan government and, as he puts it "rampant corruption" (Behind terror is corruption, 24 September).
The Kenyan military led the operation to free hostages and kill or capture those who had trapped them, and we are proud of the professionalism and determination of our forces.
True, but irrelevant. (Looting suspicious aside)
Foden says: "In Kenya crime and terrorism are deeply linked, not least by the failure of successive Kenyan governments to control either." And he continues: "These attacks are part of a spectrum of banditry, with corruption at one end, terrorism at the other, and regular robbery in the middle."
I can hear the muddy boots of the straw man argument coming up.
Make a brief comparison with other terrorist attacks. The disasters of 9/11 or the more recent Boston marathon in the US and 7/7 in the UK – both highly developed countries – could hardly be blamed on corruption, so why Kenya?
We do not recall Foden blaming corruption within the security agencies involved.
And there we go! Straw man argument!
Let me answer why Kenya, Ambassador.
Kenya has a distinguished reputation of corruption. Let me remind that good Lady that among the projects for Anglo Leasing where the funds where repatriated (ha ha) included
- Forensic laboratory
- Police communications
- Second generation passport scheme
It takes a particularly determined mind to fail to see the connection between appropriating the funds for those project’s, corruption, and the endemic failure that led to terrorists swaggering into Kenya with impunity.
For avoidance of all doubt, OF COURSE they are linked!
"A lot of money has gone into commercial property, and particularly the building of supermarkets. But without governance it all looks very shaky," says Foden.
I dunno why Foden said this either. Makes no sense in this context.
The country’s first truly free and fair multiparty election only took place in 2002, and since then the country has been transformed by a new constitution that gives power to all communities. Less than 10 years ago we introduced free primary education, now over a million children a year go to school.
The free and fair bit – perhaps.
Transformed by a new constitution? Nay. Chiefly because we follow only the bits that work for the affluent.
Free primary education may be true, revolutionary but is IRRELEVANT for this discussion.
Judicial reform, in some cases supported by international experts and donors – including the US and UK – has put the courts out of the political influence that once was common.
There can be only one response that our courts are not influenced politically, unlike before.
Anti-corruption campaigns by government and civil society, the requirement for open tenders for government contracts, and the development of a lively media, have transformed the country.
Accepting kudos for anti-corruption campaigns is like accepting kudos for the birth of quadruplets with the only evidence of your contribution being a well thumbed copy of The Joy Of Sex.
Campaigns are meaningless if corrupt people are not arrested, prosecuted and jailed. Quick, Ambassador, how many were arrested, prosecuted and jailed for Anglo Leasing? Education ministry funds misappropriation? TARDA?
Open tenders, eh? As they say on social media, LQTM.
This is not to say Kenya is perfect – far from it.
This is the first relevant and true admission made so far.
A multinational forensic investigation currently under way – including with British agents – will examine the tragedy and assess the government’s response to it. It shows the extent of our openness that we allow foreign security forces to share in an investigation we could probably manage ourselves.
Very mature to concede this, so soon after “we don’t need the West”
At the same time, we will strive to be as open as possible in our actions against al-Qaida and its regional ally al-Shabaab in the coming months, without compromising the security of our country and the safety of our military personnel.
Presumably she is referring to the multiplicity of social media accounts, some of which have been verified by Twitter, contributing a steady stream of feel good quotes and contradictions, my favorite being with the announcement of every terrorist killed, the count of dead terrorists dropped.
What I’d like to know is
- How many terrorists were there?
- Where are they now?
- Who lit the fire?
- How do mattresses bring down a 4 story building?
- How did the KDF get deployed?
It is important that there is responsible international reporting.
In this age of budget cuts in the international media there are too few foreign journalists with expert experience of Africa living in and reporting from the continent.
True, but irrelevant.
Kenya suffered a terrible tragedy at Westgate. As information is released in the coming days and weeks, it is crucial – for the sake of the victims and the survivors – that reporting reflects the Kenya of today, and that we are judged by today’s reality, not memories of a Kenya past.
This sounds a lot like the Ruto-esque refrain, “Accept and move on”.
All I can do is bemoan the unfortunate truth that yet again the borg has struck.
Something seems to happen to good people the instant they are sworn in.