The UKIP is most often defined as the better-educated arm of the BNP, the fascistic British National Party. Profoundly racist and advocating an obdurate nationalism and the expulsion of foreigners, the UKIP advocates the closing of the UK's borders to immigrants and for the UK's withdrawal from the EU. Tame enough you might say, but linked here are some of the choicer statement's made by the party's officials while Dick Morris advised them in a zero-to-hero performance at the 2004 elections.Does this sound a bit familiar to anyone? Promise everything to every group and then, when things get a least bit on the 'not enough votes' side, you then protest it?
Raila's supporters in NAMLEF may want to ask what their chosen candidate is doing with a man who advised a party that won an election by having its most prominent candidate Robert Kilroy-Silk write in the Daily Express,"They [Muslims] are backward and evil and if it is racist to say so... then racist I must be - and happy and proud, to be so". He has written on the pages of the same paper claiming "Muslims everywhere behave with equal savagery."Nigel Farrage, the leader of the party's contingent to the European Parliament is quoted in the Mail on Sunday referring to black people as ‘niggers' ,adding"We will never win the nigger vote. The nig-nogs will never vote for us."It is impossible to say whether Morris is merely guilty by association or holds these views, it being clear that he will work for almost anyone. His work in Romania and the Ukraine was for parties that were pro-Europe and in the UK he worked for an anti-European party. What is startling about the trip to Kenya is the fact that it has been announced as pro-bono work even though Norris has left a previous engagement to take this one up. Is it reasonable to believe that he left paid employment in the USA to rush to Kenya to help in an electoral race? What is in this election for Dick Morris, or for whoever sent him?
There has been a disturbingly high level of involvement by the American government and allied concerns in this election. It is not clear what is going on yet, but the involvement of foreign powers in internal Kenyan politics does not bode well for our future. To illustrate, Ukraine's much famed revolution, which Morris was intimately involved with begun to unravel after less than a year. Its leaders were never revolutionary. They were instead a cabal of determined oligarchs who had picked the USA and Europe as their international backers against the Russian-backed government. The clouds indicate a similar forecast; Kibaki's policy of non-alignment seems to have rubbed some governments up the wrong way even as it has long been clear that exclusive ties with the West are harmful to Kenya. It is our sovereign right that we can look East or West when we feel that need without being tied in to a particular power, and no amount of chicanery will dissuade us from this path.
Joining the dots, it seems that Dick Morris really does matter. Now the people must demand of Raila Odinga and the ODM an explanation for his involvement in the campaign for the bride's hand. His presence in the party as an advisor shows either a desire to inaugurate a campaign of dirty tricks or that we are being taken over from the outside by unknown forces.
This is the politics of group based 'identity': where which group you belong to by race, ethnicity, gender, religion, etc. is more important than who you are. This is a poisonous political brew spilled out from the American Left in which one group will be purported to be 'oppressed' and then given free rein to do just about anything they want as they are not responsible for their actions because of 'social repression'. This is a guiding credo of Transnational Progressivism - the group over the individual, and what you are born into is more important than what you are or what you can become. It is this idea that gives us 'power politics' of the sort where individuals are given 'empowering experiences' which are just the normal and everyday rights of the individual. In no time at all one group is worn out and some new group is found that can replace it for political needs.
Strangely enough when the concept of looking for Muslim votes comes up we actually *do* get someone to stand up for separation of church and state in Kenya and adhering to this thing known as The Peace of Westphalia! While not stated as such and amidst a longer tract on how human rights issues should be addressed by democratic means, Amir Ibrahim from this 10 OCT 2007 article at Kenya Imagine gives us "Let's do away with the Muslim vote":
There has been a trend in Kenyan politics and this most prevalent among the media and political classes to speak of the Muslim vote, a collective that needs to be courted and won over by the parties and their candidates.Yes, not only the Muslim vote but *all* voting on the basis of religion so that faith may be kept by individuals without the State interfering. This is a *Western* ideal and should be supported by all those seeking to keep Westphalia and the rights of man upheld. Religion to guide but not decide alone. Also note in this that Senator Obama's family are seen as Muslims - from Muslim extraction and experience which is Kenyan and localized. That makes the presence of the MoU even more worrying as does support from Arab regimes. Do note that Muslims are about 10% of the population of Kenya, but appear to be groomed as the next 'underclass' needing 'empowering experiences' at the price of the public good.
As a secular Muslim, even an agnostic one living in these times, I cannot think of any stunt more dangerous for the well-being of the Kenyan Muslim than this. No other scheme could be less likely to deter efforts to foster a sense of joint community and common values. Whereas it is true that organized religion can be a useful means by which politicians can reach the voting public, it is most offensive to view Kenyan Muslims as a monolithic group that pays homage to the ideas of some fuzzy unelected council some dark place in Mombasa. With the international climate already so virulently poisoned against Islam and its adherents, it is necessary that all such talk is kept as far away from the public domain as possible.
And finally we must return to the votes and campaigning. First off, in the separation of religion from the state as contrived in our laws, there should be no scope for political bargaining on the basis of faith. Faith must remain in the domain of the personal, bringing that out simply violates the rights and freedoms of other Kenyans as it imposes on them burdens others have voluntarily chosen to take up. But even if this was the case, there is a need to be rational.
I have traveled in Western Kenya, and visited a mosque in places as diverse as Mumias and Kapsabet. The family of US Senator Obama are Muslims in Siaya. Najib Balala is a Muslim of one Coastal extraction and experience, Suleiman Shakombo is one from another experience. There is no any politician or cleric can claim to speak for Kenyan Muslims. The sugarcane farming Muslim in Matungu and the maize farming one in Aldai have exactly the same worries and concerns as their fellow constituents.
These are already poisoned times, and given the views of many Kenyans I have spoken to, they will get even more poisoned. There is no reason to aid in the construction of a fifth column out of Muslims. There is every need that all Kenyans come together in the defence of truth and justice, not just those issues that affect their society peculiarly. More than anything however, Kenyans must accept the rights of others to a public sphere disinfected of all religion. Keep your faith private.
From the troubles in the government of President Kibaki, we can see how ethnic strife has been stoked prior to the latest bloodlettings in Kenya. This from The Nation (Kenya) distributed by AllAfrica Global Media at TMC.net on 30 DEC 2007:
The death of his first vice-president in August 2003 and quarrels in his coalition put paid to a credible process to give Kenyans a new constitution.Here the faction of the Narc that would become ODM sees the death of a Vice-President to help put stop to a proposed constitution. While the constitution did not meet up to the particulars that allowed the Narc to form, the way in which this was protested was not through democratic means, but those of street violence and mayhem, starting in 2005. That that went with Raila Odinga to form the ODM are referred to by the name of their meeting place: Pentagon House in Lavington. Or simply - Pentagon members.
It therefore came as no surprise in 2005 when the LDP wing of the Cabinet, led by Mr Odinga, rebelled and ran a high profile campaign together with the opposition Kanu and defeated the proposed constitution in November of the same year.
In the wake of the fall-out, the President cracked the whip and fired the rebellious ministers who included Mr Odinga, Mr Kalonzo Musyoka, Mr Najib Balala, Prof Anyang Nyong'o and Mrs Linah Jebii Kilimo. The "rebels" chose to stick together and transformed the Orange movement into a political party named the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM).
Meanwhile, security around the country continued to deteriorate. Organised gangs, including the outlawed Mungiki sect, wrecked havoc in Nairobi and parts of Central province, killing tens of civilians and police officers.
In the wake of criticism on the Government's inability to crack down on Mungiki, the police formed a special squad known as Kwekwe to deal with the deteriorating situation.
Providing security, which was one of the key pledges President Kibaki made to Kenyans as he campaigned in 2002, was tested with the clashes in Mt Elgon and Kuresoi.
Thousands of families remain displaced in these two areas while farming and schooling has been disrupted by the violence.
Now a sidelight into how scandal begets political power, this starting with Kamlesh Pattni as seen via The Standard Online 23 DEC 2007:
Kamlesh Pattni introduced himself to Kenyans in a notorious way. In the early 1990s, Pattni, then an obscure character, emerged as one of those behind what is to date the biggest financial scam to ever hit the country.The reason this is interesting is that Raila Odinga's father was part of the Goldenberg scandal. This seen from an Africa Wired article from 23 SEP 2001 by Matunda Nyanchama:
When in 2003, the Government formed the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the Goldenberg Affair, it emerged that the company, Goldenberg International, which was later to rip the country of billions of shillings, was first registered on July 11, 1990 with a nominal capital of Sh100,000, divided into 1,000 shares of Sh100 each.
It was all hot air. Findings of the commission concluded that Pattni had become wealthy by defrauding the public through the Goldenberg scam.
Further, the Commission described him as a "perjurer, forger, fraudster and a thief".
Kamlesh Mansukhlal Pattni and James Kanyottu, with one share each, signed the Memorandum and Articles of Association. The two signed as the only directors and shareholders. The objects for which the company was incorporated as shown in the Memorandum and Articles of Association are wide ranging, and covered every conceivable economic activity.
It was to, among other things, engage in the import and export of any or all types of minerals, gold, silver, diamonds, precious and semiprecious stones between Kenya and all Preferential Trade Area countries, Europe, India and other parts of the world.
The company was also to prospect, explore, open and work claims or mines and raise dig and quarry for gold, silver, mineral ores diamonds, precious and semi-precious stones in Kenya and in other parts of East Africa.
After months of gruelling questioning and digging through data, the inquiry concluded that it got no evidence that the company ever engaged in any mining activity of gold and diamonds. Likewise, apart from the two subscriber shares, there was no evidence that any other shares were allotted or paid for. The records of the Companies Registry showed no return of allotments.
In the end, the Inquiry indicted Pattni as "the instigator of everything with which this commission has been concerned."
He was the promoter of Goldenberg International Ltd and its shareholder and director at all times. While his relatives and associates played some role in the company, he alone was fully responsible.
"It was, in fact, his alter ego and he treated it as such. By section 23 of the Penal Code, he was responsible criminally for everything done by that company," the inquiry established.
What was to follow was no small matter and caused unsurpassed inflation due to excess money supply. Revenue collection from the public coffers was used to pay the 35 per cent Export Compensation at the expense of other projects which the Government would ordinarily undertake with such monies. In 1990 alone, the 15 per cent ex gratia payments increased expenditures to over Sh100 million.
"The negative economic impact of the Goldenberg Affair to the country was so massive that its effects continue to be felt to date," read the inquiry’s report.
Firstly, because of the ad hoc and arbitrary manner in which the additional 15 per cent ex gratia payments had been imposed upon an already strained economy, it meant that this extra expenditure had not been included in the June 1990 Budget therefore causing what Prof Terry Ryan has described as "further unanticipated pressure on the fiscal structures", the inquiry found.
When party nominations ended mid last month, Pattni delivered another shocker. His Kenya National Democratic Alliance emerged with the second highest number of candidates after ODM. With 170 hopefuls on its ticket, Kenda is second on the list behind ODM’s 190. Even the President’s party, PNU, with 135, could not match Pattni.
In the race for civic seats, Pattni and Kenda also spread themselves well. Out of the 15,332 nominees, Mr Pattni’s party is fifth on the roll with 927 candidates, behind ODM which has 1,888, PNU’s 1,284, Kanu’s 1,103 and ODM-Kenya’s 968.
Among the converts to Kenda are former Immigration minister Linah Jebii Kilimo, who hosted Pattni several times in her Marakwet East constituency before making her move. Other than Kilimo, other names in the Kenda line-up are a number of former MPs. They are Mr Davis Nakitare (Saboti), Mr Samuel Moroto (Kapenguria), Mr Raphael Kitur (Konoin), Mr Joseph Kimkung (Mt Elgon), Mr Stephen Ndichu (Juja) and Mr Joseph Malebe (Igembe South). There is also former Kenyan ambassador to South Africa Tabitha Seii.
Even as Pattni pulls another move on Kenyans, the Goldenberg scam, his first test on Kenyans, has produced no convictions 13 years later.
To date, Pattni insists that Goldenberg was designed to bring badly needed foreign exchange to Kenya by using the country’s strategic position near mineral-rich but conflict-ridden countries like Congo and Sudan.
In March last year, Attorney-General, Mr Amos Wako, ordered that eight top Goldenberg suspects, including Pattni and former spy chief, Kanyotu, be charged. As part of the implementation of the recommendations of the Commission led by Justice Samuel Bosire, Wako directed that suspects indicted by the report face charges ranging from stealing, conspiracy to defraud to abuse of office.
As a result, several people, among them the Goldenberg scandals’ chief architect, Pattni, are now in court facing criminal charges. According to the Commissions’ findings, Pattni, had become wealthy by defrauding the public through the Goldenberg scam. The judicial commission found that Pattni’s alleged rip-off had caused the public a loss of Sh27 billion. Another Sh10 billion was stashed away in foreign accounts and was never recovered.
With its findings, Pattni was hauled before court alongside five others accused of conspiring to steal Sh5.8 billion from the Government.
When the Goldenberg Commission of Inquiry presented its report to President Kibaki in October 2005, Kenyans hoped the multi-billion shilling scandal had finally been settled.
Two years down the line, the scandal that caused the taxpayer billions of shillings remains unresolved. And Pattni is still trying Kenyans.
The case he filed will be heard in March 2008. By that time, Pattni could be a Honourable Member of Parliament.
The largest corruption scandal in Kenya was the brainchild of Kamlesh Pattni, a young man in his early 30s. This scandal, whose end we have yet to see, has the most widespread tentacles, some reaching into the highest echelons of government. And it touches more people than many Kenyans have cared to understand, including others that were "saints" in Kenyans' eyes. Kenyans recall too well the late Oginga Odinga Jaramogi's admission to accepting two million shillings from Pattni. He would later claim he did not know of Pattni's involvement in Goldenberg!Now if Raila Odinga had prosecuted his *father* when joining government, that would have been noteworthy on the anti-corruption credentials list... in fact by *not* doing that he is then seen as continuing on the corruption of the previous generation. And in politics that appearance is just as bad as doing the actual work itself. And that continued on to 2006 as seen by African Press International in an article of 19 NOV 2006:
Jaramogi's son Raila Odinga, now Minister for Energy, with Otieno Kajwang' as his lawyer, would later institute a private prosecution case against Vice-President George Saitoti for involvement in Goldenberg. It is only that politics knows no irony that both Odinga and Saitoti find themselves in the same cabinet. And Goldenberg still remains unresolved to citizens' satisfaction.
If the elections of 1992 have any lesson to offer it is that younger generation leaders are equally culpable in the problems we face as a country. At the time, there was open clamour for change with Kenyans looking forward to a new era, one free of the obfuscation, persecution and torture of the one-party state. We know what happened. Kenyans' wishes for change were frustrated by, among others, young people in the name of Youth for Kanu 1992. This movement of power-hungry interests, awash with money siphoned from national coffers, locked in Kanu victory, which ensured continuing exploitation of Kenyans by a small corrupt clique.
Raila Odinga, when he was the Minister for Roads in Mwai Kibaki’s government, pulled down many expensive houses in Kenya telling Kenyans that he was doing so, “in the name of roads expansion.”By not addressing the previous scandal and then taking actions in a way that is not only politically partisan but ethnically partisan as those losing houses were Kikuyus, Raila Odinga is then seen as continuing on with his father's work in the exact, same manner as his father, save with a nicer political face.
Many of the houses pulled down belonged to the Kikuyus and non-Luo communities who, on loosing their properties, were denied compensation by the Roads ministry then headed by Raila.
Those who lost their properties had nowhere to go. When the president discovered the infliction Raila was causing to the Kikuyu and other communities, he sacked him from the position of the minister in-charge of roads.
When reports were released on the houses Raila ordered pulled down, there was none on the list downed in Nyanza Province, Raila’s home province.
Now, Raila has continued his campaign to take over power in Kenya and many question what will happen to the landlords should Raila become the President.
According to the present constitution, the president is above the law. He can order the pulling down of houses without compensation, without risking to be prosecuted.
Kenya should not forget that when Jomo Kenyatta was president, Raila’s father, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga was vice-president. A man who wanted so much to become president. His political ambition saw him leave KANU, the ruling party at the time, to form his own party, the KPU, and got the help from Russia in order to distabilise Kenyatta’s government.
When Oginga did not manage to take power from Kenyatta, he waited eyeing for the post from the side-lines. Daniel Arap Moi took over from Kenyatta and Oginga’s frustrations could no longer be hidden.
He became very desperate and decided to engineer the attempted coup in 1982, a coup against Moi which almost succeeded. Oginga was at the time in house arrest in Kisumu, but still managed to communicate with the coup plotters.
Raila is now trying to take over the Nyanza torch eyeing for presidency, hoping to dislodge Kibaki by all means possible.
Part of that ability was built on the lack of limits to political donors. Yes, those lovely laws in the US are *not* present in Kenya, so when when corrupt money comes to the door you can invite it in and as much of it as can be handled. The Money and Politics site has a copy of an article from The Nation (Nairobi) by David Mugonyi from 24 APR 2006 (pdf file here) looking at the consequences of this. This section looks at the procedure:
The expectation is that once in power, the party that forms the Government retains contracts entered into by the previous administration.Ok, not up to Norman Hsu levels, but Kenya is a much smaller Nation than the US. What is interesting is the utilization of 'affiliate groups', like the Youth for Kanu organization, to help wash the source of funds out of the accountability procedure.
It works is as follows:
During the General Election and major by-elections like the forthcoming ones in Marsabit, Moyale and Nakuru districts, major interest groups identify candidates and political parties most likely to win.
Parties that show the most promise get the highest contribution.
Businesses, or their scouts then identify the party whose members are most likely to be the vocal in Parliament and contribute money to them.
Kenya has no law regulating political party contributions, a situation that has opened the system to abuse and corruption.
Before the reintroduction of multiparty politics in 1992, the law barred parliamentary candidates from using more than Sh40,000 in campaigns, at the time a respectable figure.
This law was removed when competitive politics entered the scene.
There have been protests that Kanu's and former President Daniel arap Moi's well-oiled election campaign in the last General Election was largely funded by money raised through the Goldenberg schemes and from the collapsed Postbank Credit, and channelled through the Youth for Kanu '92 group.
Goldenberg architect Kamlesh Pattni also gave money to Mzee Jaramogi Oginga Odinga for a by-election when he was Ford Kenya leader.
Kenya's attempts to regulate political donations came a cropper when a draft law proposed by former Justice and Constitutional Affairs minister Kiraitu Murungi failed to make it to the floor of the House.
It had proposed the creation of a scheme financed by taxpayers to fund political party operations.
Individuals would have been barred from giving more than Sh1 million in cash and services to any political party.
This, of course, leads to how the great reformer, Raila Odinga, can 'clean up the process' by centralizing the funds to the State:
Mr Odinga, who was among the leading campaigners of President Kibaki in 2002, said they were funded by Narc supporters to mount the successful campaign that led to Kanu's defeat.Apparently he does not understand that the US government only has a 'matching funds' for those that accept restrictions and the number of those candidates at the Presidential level dried up the last few years. And if Mexico is a haven for 'clean elections' and 'lack of corruption' I have yet to see any evidence of it, thus no matter how the funding is worked corrupt money just seems to find its way into politics.
"There were a number of business people whom we appealed to, besides ourselves who put in personal funds," he said.
But he feels that party funding should be done by the State, and if business people put in money, they should be made by law to disclose it for the purpose of taxation, as is done in Mexico and the US.
Mr Odinga said that during the 1997 elections when he ran for presidency on the National Development Party, 21 MPs allied to him contributed Sh5,000 each for six months. This amounted to at least Sh630,000. Other sources were friends, business people and professionals.
And to let you know how *bad* democracy is on the pocketbook, lets see some of the rationale handed out by those running for office:
Mr Kombo, Mr Kamanda, Mr Odinga and Mr Kilonzo backed proposals that political parties be funded by the State, but a ceiling be put on how much funds could be raised from other sources.There are some 'good ideas' for a parliamentary system, but do notice that the UK keeps the cost of election campaigns down by limiting them to 60 days before the election. The US sees much higher costs as localized democracy is no longer a part of the make-up of the Nation at the federal level, thus creating huge districts and, likewise, large opportunities for graft, corruption, nepotism and the such. Putting the State in charge of finances has skewed politics in many Nations as the parties then see the lifeblood of their organizations no longer coming primarily from the People, but from the State. And once a party or consortium of parties takes office and it wants to restrict other parties, then changing the funding structure is very simple. Actually requiring limits on incoming funds and accountability works generally well without State funding, however, a point missed by those pushing for State funding.
Mr Muturi said Kanu also got funds from key businessmen, but he did not know how they recovered their money.
The Kanu Chief Whip said: "It's correct to say there have been businessmen or benefactors contributing to political party funding. However, how they benefited after that, I've no idea."
Mr Muturi said the symbiotic relationship of Mr Moi being the party chairman and Head of State made it difficult to know where money came from.
But all Kanu candidates, he added, would be invited to State House and given financial assistance. This happened in 1992, 1997 and 2002.
The Local Government minister said: "Absolutely... the only way democracy can be nurtured is to fund parties. Democracy is expensive, and if Kenyans want multiparty democracy, they should be prepared to pay for it."
Mr Kombo said companies should contribute funds in a pool, which should be shared among parties equitably.
All the MPs agreed that sources of such funds should not be kept secret, and that political parties account for how the money is spent.
In many developed countries, political parties are allowed to source funds from corporations and individuals. However, a ceiling is put on how much should be collected.
Mr Kilonzo said Kenya should introduce funding of political parties, but prohibit foreigners from contributing to the kitty.
Proceeds from terrorists and drug and prostitution rings could find its way into party activities if funding of parties was not from the State.
Still that is just a general criticism, the larger one is the idea of concentrating authority under the State and putting someone who is familially 'owed' high office in charge of things. That someone being Raila Odinga who's party and family have profited by this arrangement since his father's days. It is this combination that plays together in Kenya, as seen by Africa News on 25 SEP 2007 when looking at the funding for campaigns in Kenya, and I will pull out the part on Raila Odinga:
RAILAYes, Raila Odinga's son is named after Fidel Castro. Beyond that are the direct links to Russia, Libya, Nigeria and a plethora of individuals across the globe. While all parties in Kenya look towards this or financing by wealthy donors, one is left wondering if the main problem on campaign finance *is* this foreign funding. And once office is taken, is it any wonder that these Nation contributors expect some preference afterwards? These are not things that make for clean elections or allow for corruption to be rooted out of government. One of the problematical parts of foreign interest seeking control is the need to get control in the first place, and that can often go through indirect routes.
ODM is expected to draw funding from the Russian government, who has already provided two technical campaign assistants at Orange House.
The Nigerian government that has traditionally provided political and social support to the Raila Odinga family is also involved in the funding of the party campaigns.
In fact, in the 1997 presidential campaigns former Nigerian President Olesugun Obasanjo individually participated in the funding of Raila’s campaign.
Obasanjo, was also the chief mediator in the dowry negotiations of Raila’s son, Fidel recently.
The Libyan government according to an insider in the Raila team is also involved in talks with an aim of bankrolling the party.
Only two weeks ago the Libyan ambassador and three members of the pentagon met in a Nairobi hotel where the issue of funding was discussed to the detail.
Individuals within the German government where Raila went to school and the United States of America are also participating in the funding of the Raila campaign team.
US senators Henry Dawkins, John Edwards (who is vying for the Presidency on a Democratic Party ticket), Obama and Joe Biden all of whom have Kenyan connections – having been born in the pre-colonial period in Kenya are also said to favour Raila.
Two other legislators in Britain’s Labour and Conservative party whose names we could not immediately establish form the framework of funding for the Raila ODM team.
The Kenyan diaspora that has already saturated the internet with over 150 blogs in favour of Raila will be the other key team for the funding process –instructively that is the team in charge of advertisement and was the same one that funded the acquiring of the famous Hammer vehicle.
Locally he has the might of Cyrus Jirongo, who has offered to support a Raila campaign and that of Musalia Mudavadi to rely on.
Part of that is seen in the dealings with two men claiming to be from Armenia, but who apparently were interested in other things, like narcotics smuggling. That case would expand to point at corrupt individuals in the Foreign Ministry, Criminal Investigation Department, Airport Authority all the way down to local police in Nairobi. As part of that would also be a special adviser to the Water Ministry and President Kibaki (close enough to be a rumored second wife), Mary Wambui via her daughter Winnie who was engaged to one of the two 'Armenians', Artur Margaryan. As this mess would unfold after the seizure of a drug shipment at the Nairobi airport, more and more individuals would get swept up into and that would include Raila Odinga. As reported by The Nation (Kenya) on 15 AUG 2006 by Bernard Namunane (copy cached at armeniandiaspora.com forum) we will see how Raila Odinga would be able to be 'worried' about 'assassins' entering the country:
MP Raila Odinga, political activist Mary Wambui and her daughter Winnie Wangui plus businessman Kamlesh Pattni are on a list of high profile witnesses who are to be interviewed afresh over the security scandal involving the Armenian Artur brothers.In my previous piece I looked at the African Press International article 'How rich is Raila' which places him in the Arap Moi government Energy Ministry by 2001 and being able to readily set up deals with the Al Bakri Group, which, itself, is cited as a supporter of al Qaeda. This dovetails through a local drug boss, Ibrahim Akasha, but for reasons that only become a bit less murky as time goes on. East Africa Press has a good round-up of the basic timeline in their NOV 2007 article The Truth About The Mercenaries We Loved:
Also listed for questioning are the entire top brass of the country's security system, including intelligence chief Michael Gichangi, Chief of General Staff Jeremiah Kianga and Police Commissioner Hussein Ali.
They are to be quizzed by a Parliamentary committee over the activities of the so-called brothers - condemned as major international criminals - and in particular the way they breached security at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport which led to them being deported.
And the committee is hoping to ensure all the witnesses give their evidence in public - unlike previous witnesses who were heard in private after Parliament's Business Committee blocked the committee's pleas for public hearings.
Mr Odinga and Mr Musyoka were the first to blow the whistle on the presence of the Artur brothers in the country when they claimed the two were mercenaries hired to carry out political assassinations.
But Mr Margaryan countered the claim with allegations that they had lent Sh108 million to Mr Odinga and had hosted Mr Musyoka in Dubai.
The Arturs, whose true nationality is believed to be Russian, reliably first visited Kenya in 1999, months after a consignment of hashish was impounded in Mombasa.Here we have the Arturs coming to Kenya and getting relatively high level access in 1999-2000 during the Moi government. Their main target is Ibrahim Akasha who hadn't paid up for a heroin shipment and the Red Mafia wanted to ensure that the message got across that one doesn't do that to them... The Red Mafia?
Then, as in late 2005, they came to intercede with authorities and Kenyan links in the bungled operation that saw the drug cartel lose drugs worth millions of shillings. Their message to the local link, the late Ibrahim Akasha, whose connection with the hashish haul had become a matter of public knowledge, was to either compensate his Russian partners financially or face an all-out war.
On the run after being indicted in Kenya for drug trafficking, Ibrahim Akasha had sought refuge in Netherlands, regarded as Europe’s drug haven. There, he was trailed and assassinated in October 2000 by a suspected Russian hitman riding on a bicyle.
In the ensuing gangland war, some Russian members of the cartel and
Akasha’s son, Kamaldin, were also eliminated.
According to impeccable confidential sources, it was during that first visit that the Arturs reportedly made contact with key individuals now in the Narc administration. And, probably because of this, while they had only come to deliver what would pass as a threat in 1999, they stuck around up to 2000 during which they found good company in the family of Russian nationals doing underground businesses, including operating brothels, illicit liquor and drugs and peddling forged immigration documents in a building in Muthaiga.
But the situation became a little complicated in 2000. First, they realised that the mysterious murder in July 1999 of one of their Russian colleagues, Victor Gontcharenko, had been discovered and police were pursuing his killers. Secondly, Ibahim Akasha, their primary mission, had been forced to flee the country after the courts found him guilty of drug trafficking.
In an interview with a Kenyan daily newspaper in 2003, one of the Russian nationals had pointed at the fact that the Russian cartel not only had strong links with the Kanu administration but had also helped Narc take power in the 2002 General Election, information that explains what sustained the association between the Arturs and key Government officials.
For those of you unfamiliar with the Red Mafia, I looked at them awhile ago to see how multiple smaller organizations can combine under a single umbrella group and yet retain high autonomy amongst their sub-groups. In this case the drug running, Dubai and such looks to be the work of 'The Red Don' Semion Mogilevich, although it could be a smaller competing outfit, but those smaller gangs don't have the wherewithal to follow someone around from continent to continent to kill a minor drug distributor who flees from Kenya to Europe. The 'Arturs' are Russian Mafia and have been involved, as the East African Press article recounts, with PKK, LTTE and working government contracts to make contacts and expand their operations. This is a tentative association, however, as other organized crime groups could be involved or be the drivers of this, but the sophistication exhibited by the individuals and the ability to work across multiple regions and terrorist organizations points to something a bit unusual for the older European Mafia groups. That and some of the later straightforwardness of the 'Arturs' points to the Red Mafia.
In the 'How Rich is Raila' article we also get a listing of some of his assets which include: Runda House Kshs 15 million. Now I am aware that there is most likely more than *one* 'Runda House'... in fact there are lots of them! Thus it is pure coincidence that the 'Armenians' stayed at a house in the same area, as seen from the East Africa Press article, above:
The Arturs returned to the hotel on 13 December and stayed until 19 December before they moved out to a house on Lenana Road in Nairobi’s Hurlingham area, before finally settling in the mansion in Runda.There you have the daughter of a high ranking woman in the Kibaki government, Winnie Wambui daughter of Mary Wambui, and the daughter of the druglord killed in Europe, Ms. Shifana. In organized crime realms, that really is a great way to go for immunity and dealing inside a Nation: get romantically involved with the daughter of a high ranking advisor (perhaps get engaged!) and also get involved with the daughter of a late druglord that you may or may not have helped to get deceased.
The Runda house (Plot number 7785/977 on Glory Road) owned by Mr Sammy Mutinda Musyoki was leased to Brotherlink Ltd. Whose directors are listed as Artur Margarian, Artur Sargasian and Mohammed Zakir Oomer. It is also the same company to which the name of Winnie Wambui was linked.
The Arturs were always in the company of Winnie Wambui and a Ms Shifana, a light tanned woman who drove them around. It has since been established that Ms Shifana, who along with the Arturs had security passes to all airports, is the daughter of a Mombasa based businessman and a long time friend of slain druglord Ibrahim Akasha.
Indeed Artur Margarian claimed one of the cars they drove around had been purchased from the Akashas. Unconfirmed reports also show that that one of Artur’s business managers in Dubai is married to the late Akasha’s daughter.
Luckily the Artur brothers had been working their way up in Kenya and scoping it out over the years, getting communications contracts for the most part, and using those to establish themselves in the Kenya market. Plus they had good backing, as seen from a 29 MAR 2006 article at Kenyanmarketplace.com:
On Friday, Baktash was among the personalities interviewed by the police investigating the mercenary allegations.The Baktash is Baktash Akasha, son of the slain druglord and Raju Sanghani would turn out to be a local operations boss for the drug running outfit that the Artur brothers represented. Tracking down their lawyer, however, has proven to be a bit of a problem, as the only one to come up in Zoominfo is Noor Lily Zuriati Bt Abdullah of the petroleum outfit Petronas Dagangan Berhad of Malaysia which is an arm of the Malaysian State owned company Petroliam Nasional. Luckily there is one good connection in all of this, a joint venture partner of Petronas of Malaysia: Bakri Trading Asia subsidiary of the Al Bakri & Sons Group mentioned previously. The folks connected to Raila Odinga. Now it is very possible that there is *another* Abdullah Noor, lawyer in Dubai, but there are Petronas offices in Dubai, so it is not out of the realm of possibility that this is the very same Abdullah Noor as mentioned backing the brothers Artur.
Also questioned was Mr Margaryan and another of his local associates, prominent Nairobi businessman and real estate dealer Raju Sanghani.
Mr Margaryan's elder brother, Artur Sargasyan, is believed to be still in Dubai despite earlier indications that he would return to Kenya before the weekend.
The Sunday Nation has established that Baktash Akasha and Raju Sanghani were two of the initial contacts who introduced the Armenian brothers to key players in local political, business and security circles.
They were able to satisfy many people that they were genuine investors, and were even given firearms certificates by the police.
They were supposedly planning to put up a Sh210 million housing development on Mombasa Road near Nairobi, and a multi-million shillings casino.
Mr Sargasyan declared at the press conference a week ago that they were related to the Armenian Prime Minister and that he was also running for President.
But sources within the Armenia Government said the two did not have permanent residence in their country and thus did not qualify to run.
The office of the Armenian Prime Minister, Andranik Markaryan, denied that the duo is related to him. The Armenian Prime Minister's Press secretary, Mery Haroutyan, said the Prime Minister did not have any relatives by the names Artur Margaryan and Artur Sargasyan.
The Foreign Ministry also denied that the brothers are related to President Robert Kocharian who is running for another term.
While the business operations of the two men remained hazy, their lawyer in Dubai, Mr Abdullah Al Noor described his clients as "renowned businessmen who are genuine".
Mr Noor told Sunday Nation yesterday that mercenary allegations against Mr Margaryan and Mr Sargasyan were "utter nonsense", saying the two were well known businessmen in Dubai with investments in real estate, import and export of electronics and cars, among other businesses. "I have represented the two businessmen for the last seven years and all I know is that they are very genuine businessmen," he added.
Of course the brothers were just interested in 'charity' work! From the Kenyamarket article a bit further on:
Raju Sanghani, who introduced the Armenians to senior ODM figure Mr Kalonzo Musyoka, yesterday admitted getting involved with them as an estate agent.Yes, their lawyer tells us its all just about 'charity'. That note of charity, however, should also include the knowledge that not just Raila Odinga having ties to the underworld. Kalonzo Musyoka has similar ties via a man in his district that he help run for President back in the 1990's: John Harun Mwau. At Jaluo dot Kom comes an article by Sam R. O. Kotiende (blog here) about this relationship, dated 16 MAR 2007. Apparently there are more than enough skeletons to go around in this, and those have kept two governments (Moi and Kibaki) from doing much about the criminal enterprises of Mwau. Yes, there is 'charity' and then there is just 'looking the other way'.
But Mr Sanghani said he was cutting links with the brothers until the controversy surrounding them was resolved. "I am writing to Brotherlink Limited today on this matter because it is really affecting my work."
Mr Sanghani provided a copy of the design of the proposed 5,000-unit low-cost housing project he says the brothers wanted to develop at Athi River.
Mr Sanghani said: "As an estate agent, I did for them the work they wanted for a commission."
He said although the Armenians wanted to buy some houses he had built in Karen, the negotiations were halted because of the price they offered."
Police formerly recorded Mr Margaryan's statement on Friday afternoon at the Nairobi Area Provincial Police office.
Mr Margaryan first met the Nairobi Provincial Police Officer King'ori Mwangi before being interrogated by the deputy Provincial Criminal Investigations Officer, Isaiah Osugo for over two hours.
From Dubai, their lawyer insisted the two men were involved in charity, claiming they were planning to build schools and churches to help the poor.
"They want to construct schools, boxing clubs, football pitches all free of charge," he added.
Asked whether Mr Sargasyan would be returning to Kenya, the lawyer said: "Yes he will be coming but I don't know when."
On Friday, Mr Sargasyan could not confirm or deny that he hosted some prominent Kenyans in Dubai last December. He referred Sunday Nation to his brother, who he said was currently speaking on behalf of the family in Kenya.
Asked to comment on the reports of the alleged Dubai meeting with powerful Kenyans, Mr Margaryan said: "It's not your business who I meet."
The 'Arturs' would also do this exact, same, thing, as seen in The Standard, Kenya article of 02 DEC 2006 and would avail themselves of high level protection from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID equivalent of the US FBI), which would include police bodyguards. Additionally the brothers would visit State House and make contacts in the Foreign Ministry for meeting with an official from Uganda. It is not often the criminal element can arrange for police bodyguards and not be on the receiving end of jail time while doing so. It is in that article that the chauffeur of the Arturs' partner in crime, Raju Sanghani, would tell everything he had seen going on.
Of less fun and frivolity is that the Artur brothers apparently helped police raid The Standard newspaper when it was going to start publishing details between government officials and al Qaeda. Yes, you read that correctly - they were not *raided* by the police but helping to lead the police *raid* on a news organization. This seen with an article from The Standard, Kenya from 17 MAR 2006 "Michuki questioned as 'Armenian' plot thickens"
By Andrew Teyie (copy cache at armeniandiaspora). The raid was on The Standard of East Africa's offices in 2006 and it is noteworthy for an interesting event or two:
Internal Security Minister John Michuki yesterday appeared before the Parliamentary Departmental Committee on Administration of Justice and Legal Affairs to explain why the Government raided the Standard Group.Following this so far? A police raid on a news organization because the organization was about to publish links between corrupt politicians and al Qaeda. The police would not only dismantle the printing press, terrorize and rob the folks at the offices, but also take the printed copies of the paper and burn them. The article also takes a look at the immediate cause of the raid:
He is said to have claimed the Government raided the Group two weeks ago because the media group runs a propaganda unit.
Michuki further claimed that the Group intended to publish a series of stories linking key government officials to the Al-Qaeda terrorist group, sources close to the Committee said.
"It was a government action. The Standard Group has a propaganda unit which wanted to run stories that key government officials have Al-Qaeda links," a source close to the committee said of Michuki.
According to sources, Michuki claimed that the Group had also lined up stories on the Akiwumi Tribal Clashes report. The stories, Michuki reportedly told the Committee, were to portray key government officials as organisers of the clashes.Do notice how it was *only* Kenyans involved? Strange that this should be worth mentioning in a police raid, isn't it? The reason why that is strange comes out in the East Africa Press article, above:
The source said the Committee was told: "They (Standard Group) wanted to publish stories on the Akiwumi report claiming that the current government was involved in the clashes."
Michuki is said to have told the Committee that the raid was carried out by Kenyans and was sanctioned by the Government. It is unclear why they had to be hooded and why they had to carry out the raid in contravention of the law.
Michuki reportedly insisted that those who raided the Standard were not mercenaries. He is said to have assured the Committee that the Government is investigating the mercenaries claims and any links such people may have to a certain Narc activist.
Late yesterday evening, Michuki sent a statement to newsrooms confirming that the mercenaries claims were under "active" government investigations.
Knowledgeable confidential sources say that the main problems that had been identified, and which needed immediate solution, were the critical media, which included The Standard and KTN, and some of the leaders who were then campaigning against the draft constitution. ODM leaders Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka, who claimed that the Artur brothers were in the country specifically to assassinate them, seemed to have had more than an inkling.This is, apparently, a bit out of the usual even in Kenya: utilizing underworld figures to lead a police raid on a news organization so as to stop the publication of the connections of political figures to terrorists. And Raila Odinga gets to be the apparent chicken little warning about 'assassins' that, most likely, were in the country on his need to ensure that the connections between him, Al Bakri and al Qaeda were not made public easily from an organization that would be hard to discredit.
But Police Spokesman Gideon Kibunja, interviewed by local journalists, dismissed any possibility that the Artur brothers could have been hitmen hired to knock off some key opposition leaders.
“I don’t think any serious person would hire such people as hitmen. They are so tactless and very visible,” he told one reporter.
But confidential police sources aver that the Arturs were on a mission. In the raid against The Standard Group, for example, it is said that the Artur brothers, who were initially supposed to accompany the assualt team only as telecommunications experts to help disable KTN, ended up leading the raid after senior Government officials failed to agree on a compromise.
While a former senior police officer wanted his personal assistant attached to the Criminal Investigations Department to lead the raid, a cabinet minister wanted a former Nairobi Provincial Criminal Investigations Officer to lead it. When they failed to agree, they settled on Artur Margarian as a compromise.
Beyond the drive for personal power, money, and such there appears to be one other thing that helped to drive Raila Odinga in this direction, and to find that we need just a bit of background on one of the main smuggling points of the Akasha smuggling group. Nation Audio has a report from The East African of the Nation Group that looks at this from 06 MAR 2000, just as all of this was starting up with missed payment for a heroin shipment and such, this time looking at a hashish shipment gone wrong:
Last month, police in Mombasa seized more than three tonnes of hashish with an estimated street value of Ksh940 million.For once I'm not looking at the people involved! No this is something a bit on the different side that caught my eye as I was going through scads of articles.
The government has since issued arrest warrants for a Mombasa tycoon, Mr Ibrahim Abdalla Akasha and one of his sons, Mr Baktash Akasha, both of whom are allegedly linked to the hashish haul.
The poorly-policed Kenyan coastline, dotted with thousands of small islands, is the perfect theatre for smugglers.
The Lamu archipelago near the Somali border is one of the most notorious entry points for drugs dumped by ships on the high seas. They picked up and taken ashore by dhows and later transported to Mombasa and Nairobi before finding their way onto the international market.
Really, I was a bit dumbstruck when I found it:
Kenya's search for oil enters a crucial new phase when a Norwegian vessel arrives in Mombasa to begin eagerly awaited exploration activities off the coast of Lamu. It will mark the resumption of the search for oil after 10 years of little or no prospecting.That from Alexander's Gas & Oil Connections article of 13 JUL 2003. Now, for a bit of idle speculation, lets say that you are Raila Odinga and are in charge of the Energy Ministry and just found out from your new found friends, the Al Bakri Group, that there are potential oil and gas reserves in an area of your Nation. Not far fetched as these things go, considering previous work done in the area. You stand to make a good profit out of your investments in the National oil company. Just one problem sitting on top of it: an organized crime druglord who will want a slice of the action.
Local and international experts said that prospects of an oil find here were "very high". In fact, numerous representatives of leading international oil companies have been flocking Nairobi over the last four months to bid for exploration concessions. Officials from the National Oil Corporation of Kenya (NOCK) -- the government agency that licenses and markets exploration -- said production sharing agreements had been signed with two major companies for prospecting in the Lamu basin where interest has been highest.
Can't have that, now, can we?
Mind you there will still *be* problems, but the powerful figure at the head of the family will be gone and the State will be able to flex muscle a bit more easily and not pay out so much to payoffs and such.
So there you have a bit more on Raila Odinga, good friend of Sen. Barack Obama... remember that when you hear a political campaign based on 'change', make sure it is for the better, not the worse.