Kenya has been riddled with a myriad of scandals which after all never get to be resolved citing lack of or insufficient evidence when the suspects are arraigned in court, this is even though there is vividly screaming evidence against them. This leaves a heavy burden on us taxpayers.
Corruption scandals date back to 1965, The Ngei Maize scandal which involved an Independence hero Paul Ngei who was the minister for marketing and cooperatives at that time. He was involved in a maize scandal that caused a major national maize shortage. Other scandals like The Goldenberg Scandal went into history books as the longest-running scandals and this scandal in particular cost Kenya an equivalent of 10% of the annual Gross Domestic Product.
Many scandals nowadays involve funny and shady tenders awarded to people who don’t even know they applied for what, to people who walk with millions of the looted money in their handbags and Cabinet secretaries who pretend to not know what is happening in their backyard once they face a commission of inquiry.
The bottom line is that we the taxpayers are the sole losers after all the dust settles down because we lose our money and have to dig even deeper into our pockets to give the government more money and to pay the loans the government has already borrowed, the same loans which are looted by somebody. Fact is, it’s a straight regret to be a Kenyan for many, especially the youth who have felt the blunt side of what corruption scandals have done to our economy.
Here is a look at some of the top 20 corruption scandals in Kenya.
1. Goldenberg Scandal
Maybe one of the biggest scandal of our time and longest-running scandal. This infamous scandal happened when the Kenyan government had subsided exports of gold, paying exporters in Ksh 35% over their foreign currency earnings. Gold was then smuggled from Congo and the government paid Goldengerg International, a company which was owned by Kamlesh Pattni. This scandal cost us more than the equivalent of 10% of our annual GDP which can loosely translate to Ksh 100 billion.
2. The Eurobond Scandal
Brought into the light by Former PM Raila Odinga, this scandal was a loan the government had acquired to help in funding major development projects across the country but could not be accounted for.
This claims by Raila Odinga were later confirmed to be true after the auditor general Edward Ouko made records clear that Ksh 215 billion could not be accounted for.
3. NYS Scandals
NYS scandals started back in 2015 with a lot of finger pointing, many suspects including the then Devolution CS Anne Waiguru but nobody was prosecuted till now. Ksh 791 million went missing from the youth empowerment programme. Josephine Kabura was mentioned in this scandal and despite the heavy evidence tabled in many hearings, she is out here roaming a free Kenyan.
The second one involved the loss of a whooping Ksh 9 billion and the suspects were summoned for the ongoing investigation.
4. Triton Scandal
This scandal involved the unauthorized release of oil by the Kenya Pipeline Company without informing their financiers. In the wake of acute fuel shortage in 2008, financiers and oil marketers raised complaints and an internal audit was launched on the oil stocks in its systems and the audit revealed that more than 126.4 million litres of oil were illegally released to Triton Petroleum Limited for almost a whole year. The total oil illegally released was found to be worth Ksh 7.6 billion
5. The Cemetery Scandal
This scandal put the then Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi under scrutiny after the City Council of Nairobi bought land meant to serve as a cemetery for almost 15 times the land value. They wanted to establish if Mudavadi was party to the fraud. The piece of land valued at Ksh 24 million then was bought at close to Ksh 300 million.
This scandals started when the Moi’s Government wanted to get an alternative to the then passport printing system in 1997 but was later revealed by a government official in 2002. A sophisticated passport printing equipment was to be bought from France together with Forensic laboratories for the police from the same place. The amount originally quoted for all this was 6 million euros but the tender was awarded to another firm, Anglo-Leasing Finance from Britain at 30 million euros and that didn’t need forensic science to see that we had been robbed. This scandal haunted both the KANU and NARC government greatly.
7. Afya House Scandal
The year was coming close to an end on October 2016 when a leaked internal audit report disclosed that more than Ksh5 billion had got lost in the hands of the seniors at the ministry. Cleopa Mailu, the then CS for health vehemently denied that money had been stolen and the investigations which were launched never nabbed anybody.
8. Chickengate Scandal
This scandal involved UK Printing firm Smith & Ouzman and senior IEBC officials after a dossier from the Serious Fraud Office in Britain accused the printing firm in question of bribing their way to win a tender of printing voting materials. James Oswago and other IEBC officials who ha been arrested and charged on the same were later released on bail but we had already lost Ksh 59 million.
9. Fighter Jet Scandal
Kenya military bought 7 fighter jets from Jordan for Ksh 1.5 billion, a fleet which was all found to be defective and was being used as a source of spare parts.
This is after inspecting them and confirming they were operational by the time of the purchase.
10. NCPD Scandal
Latest on the normal money looting spree by the ‘elites’, the National Cereals and Produce Board scandal involves a conspiracy between the NCPD officials and some few shady traders to swindle the taxpayers Ksh 1.9 billion.
Investigations are underway as they always do and some officials have been since sent home on a compulsory leave.
11. Grand Regency Scandal
This scandal involved the sale of The Grand Regency Hotel in Downtown here in Nairobi to unspecified Libyan investors below the appraised market value after a directive by the then finance minister Amos Kimunya. Controversy came in when there was a no-bid nature of sale, nature of secrecy and the people involved. Kamlesh Pattni, central figure in the Goldenberg scandal is said to have used the proceeds from Goldenberg scandal to build the hotel.
12. Turkwell HEP Station Scandal
Turkwell dam was built three times the estimated cost, more than twice the allocated amount and produced very low amounts of energy
13. Navy Ship Deal
The Navy ship deal was a project awarded to Euromarine in a widely criticised tendering process which was to oversee the company being paid Ksh 4.1 billion to supply a vessel which many military analysts and experts said could have cost half the price or even Ksh 1.8 billion.
14. Mahindra Scandal
Kamsons Motors headed by one Chamanlal Kamani tendered to supply Mahindra jeeps to the police in mid 1990’s for around Ksh 1 million each each when showrooms were charging customers around Ksh 170,000 for each. Some of the 1000 units tendered were imported.
15. Maize Scandal
Maize scandals are no new thing in Kenya. Subsidized maize scandal started in 2009 when imported maize was sold after the ban on importation of maize was lifted to allow businessmen to import maize to supplement the local produce. William Ruto was sacked after being accused of illegally selling maize. Another scandal of imported Mexican maize surfaced after an artificial maize shortage was claimed to have been created. The latest being the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) which has seen a total of Sh1.05 billion being lost.
16. Japan Embassy Scandal
In this scandal, it is alleged that Moses Wetangula, the then foreign affairs minister instead of accepting a free property from the government of Japan for the Tokyo embassy, Ksh 1.6 billion was withheld from the sale of Kenyan property in Nigeria and the funds were used to buy property not suitable for the embassy.
17. Kidero Scandal
Then a Governor for Nairobi County, Kidero’s non-governmental organization was under scrutiny after Ksh 2.7 billion was found in their account and Kidero was at pains to explain how his organization got such huge amounts of cash. It was evidently seen that the money had been looted from the Nairobi County Government as there were many scandals of money lost in the county during his tenure.
18. Helicopter Servicing Contract Scandal
This Ksh 360 million helicopter servicing contract in South Africa was argued by many as extravagant as the servicing could have done locally and saved taxpayers millions of money. The Kenya Air Force then spent Ksh 108 million as a downpayment for the servicing.
19. Hustlers Jet Scandal
This Hustlers jet acquired by the Deputy President to cater for his travel costs across the world costed taxpayers $300,000 every three months. That translates to Ksh 25.14 million locally and $1.2 million yearly (Ksh 100.56 million) and it had everyone talking if it was really necessary.
20.Ruaraka Land Scandal
This is one of the most recent scandals where vicious cartels stole around Ksh 3.2 billion through fake land sale. The cartels are said to have swindled the amount from the Kenyan Government in fraudulent claims on the Ruaraka land.
Others are :
- eCitizen Portal payments Scandal
- Kazi Kwa Vijana Scandal
- Fertilizer factory scandal
- Pan Paper Mills Scandal
- Kenya pipeline Scandal- 2018
- KPLC billing scandal
- JKIA Greenfield Terminal Scandal
- Galana Kulalu Scandal
- Imperial Bank scandal
- Safaricom CCTV Scandal
- Likoni Land Saga
- Weston Hotel Scandal