It Is Not Corruption. It is a Crime Against Humanity. Dr. Ndii on Jubillee Mass Theft.

DAVID NDII ON THE JUBILEE MONSTER OF CORRUPTION.

The Dam Has Broken. Time to Call Jubilee Plunder What It Is.

To budget anything from a quarter to a third of the country’s annual GDP for stealing — to then borrow it, steal it, feign outrage, compromise parliament, and diffuse public anger with ineffectual corruption investigations, again and again and again – defies
corruption. It is a crime against humanity.

Published 1 day ago on March 18,
2019 By Dr. Ndii.

The debut of this column in the E Review grappled with the Jubilee administration’s profligate spending.

As it happens, dams were one of the big red flags that popped up. Records show that during its first term, the Jubilee administration spent upwards of KSh 160 billion on water and irrigation projects.

These Arror and Kimwarer dams are costed at KSh 51 billion — let us say KSh 26 billion on average. The KSh 160 billion spent works out to at least six of these dams completed, or alternatively at least double that number under construction.

And KSh 26 billion is a huge amount of money for a dam. Thika Dam, commonly known as Ndaka-ini, our biggest reservoir for drinking water to date, cost US$80 million in the early `90s, equivalent of US$140m (i.e. adjusted for dollar inflation) or KSh 14 billion today.

These dam budgets are telling us that the cost of building dams has doubled in dollar terms, or that we are building infinitely grander dams. Neither is the case. We now know for sure that there were no dams built. This mindless plunder is replicated in virtually every sector.

The budget records show KSh 280 billion on power transmission lines, enough for 6,000 kilometres of 400 Kv lines (based on the cost of Marsabit-Suswa line), but information posted by KETRACO, the agency responsible for building them, shows only 2800 km of lines under construction, whose total cost is at most KSh 100 billion.

We are talking KSh 180 billion missing, an amount, I should add, of the same order of magnitude as the Eurobond money that the Auditor General could not find.

Overall, records show that KSh 2.5 trillion went through the development budget during Jubilee’s first term.

The biggest ticket item here is the SGR railway which cost KSh 350 billion. The remaining KSh 2.15 trillion works out to KSh 45 billion worth of development projects per county.

The money available to county governments over the same period would have enabled expenditure on average of KSh 6 billion on development projects. In effect, we should be seeing six times more national government development projects in each county as county government ones.

We now know for sure that there were no dams built. This mindless plunder is replicated in virtually every sector.

The budget records show KSh 280 billion on power transmission lines, enough for 6,000 kilometres of 400 Kv lines …but information posted by KETRACO, the agency responsible for building them, shows only 2800 km of lines under construction, whose total cost is KSh 100 billion.

We are talking KSh 180 billion missing, an amount, of the same order of magnitude as the Eurobond money that the Auditor General could not find.

Makueni county built a 200-bed Mother and Child hospital for a princely sum of Ksh. 135m.

Kibra MP Ken Okoth built and equipped a girl’s secondary school that’s been all the rage for Ksh. 48m.

A hospital like Makueni’s in every county is KSh 6.4 billion; a girls school like Kibra’s in every
constituency, KSh 14 billion.

Both combined add up to just over KSh 20 billion — about the money that has already been spent on the ghost dam projects.

If a national government has spent KSh 45 billion per county on development projects these two projects would not be the talk of the country.

There would be the equivalent of 300 Mother and Child hospitals in every county or alternately, 150 Kibra girls schools in every constituency.

Galana-Kulalu Irrigation project is on its death-bed. It is not yet known how much money has gone down that drain.

One senior Jubilee official said to me that it is their Goldenberg, to which I quipped that the competition for that dubious appellation would be strong.

The last mile connectivity project was one of Jubilees flagship projects: over 800,000 connections are dormant.

The connected households have never switched on the power. This should not surprise.

Most of these households cannot afford electrical appliances other than a few lightbulbs that they would use only for three or four hours a day.

It would have been infinitely more sensible and cost effective to mandate the Rural Electrification Authority to serve these rural hamlets with micro-grids and stand-alone domestic solar installations.

The Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) is now weighed down with the costs of maintaining these loss-making connections. These costs have to be passed on to consumers.

And this is over and above the costs of carrying the excess generation capacity courtesy of the equally hare-brained if-we-build-it-they will come 5000 MW drive that has now been abandoned.

It has been a long climb for KPLC to recover from the plunder of the Moi regime.

Makueni County built a 200-bed Mother and Child hospital for the princely sum of KSh 135 million. Kibra MP Ken Okoth built and equipped a girl’s secondary school that’s been all the rage for KSh 48 million.

A hospital like Makueni’s in every county is KSh 6.4 billion; a girls school like Kibra’s in every constituency, KSh 14 billion. Both combined add up to just over KSh 20 billion — about the money that has already been spent on the ghost dam projects.

This week, we have been entertained by the mysterious disappearance of 51 million litres of aviation fuel worth KSh 5 billion from the tanks of the Kenya Pipeline Company. This follows from a report that KPC lost 23 million litres worth Ksh 2.3 billion in 15 months.

Even for the KPC, historically one of the most profitable and cash-rich public enterprises, a KSh 7 billion hole is a crippling loss. When Jubilee took over, the project on the table was to upgrade the 14-
inch pipeline with a 16-inch one at a cost of KSh 16 billion. Jubilee scaled this up to a 20-inch one at a cost of KSh 48 billion, three times the mooted cost.

The pipeline was to be completed in 18 months — by 2016 that is. Costs have escalated, and it is still not complete. It has been reported that the corruption investigation in KPC covers 27 projects worth
KSh 95 billion. Most of this money is expensive foreign commercial loans.

It’s hard to see how KPC can remain solvent. We are looking at another black hole here of the same order of magnitude as Kenya Airways, if not bigger.

The mother of all Jubilee financial blackholes is indisputably the SGR. According to Compass International, an engineering and construction consultancy, the benchmark cost for a new single-track high speed rail at between US$997,000 and US$ 1.13m per km, plus cost of signaling infrastructure at between US$154,700 and US$189,000 for a total of US$1.15 million to US$1.3 million.

The SGR is not an electrified high-speed rail, but we paid $6.7m per km, five times the high end of the benchmarking cost.

Galana-Kulalu Irrigation project is on its death-bed. It is not yet known how much money has gone down that drain.

One senior Jubilee official said to me that it is their Goldenberg, to which I quipped that the competition for that dubious appellation would be strong. After years of denial, a government task force has
established that the SGR is not viable.

The SGR was sold on bringing down the cost, and improving the efficiency, of freight. According to the said task force, the SGR has increased the cost of transporting a 20-foot container by 118 percent, from $650 (Ksh. 65,000) by road, to US$1,420 (Ksh.142,000) and by 149 percent for a 40-foot container from $850 (Ksh. 85,000) to US $2,120 (Ksh. 212,000).

There are two components in this cost escalation. First, the SGR tariff is set to try and repay the loans. Even then, the SGR is yet to cover operating costs, let alone generate an operating surplus that
can service debt.

Secondly, the SGR has introduced additional costs notably “last mile” cost of transporting containers from the railway terminal to the owners premises, as opposed to trucking which is port-to-door, as well as additional container handling logistics.

These challenges of integrating rail and seaport are universal, and are part of the reason why the rail share of freight in the EU has declined from over 40 percent in the 70s to less than 20 percenttoday.

Even for the Kenya Pipeline Company, one of the most profitable and cash-rich public enterprises, a KSh 7 billion hole is a crippling loss.

When Jubilee took over, the project…to upgrade the 14-inch pipeline with a 16-inch one at a cost of KSh 16 billion. Jubilee scaled this up to a 20-inch one at a cost of KSh 48 billion, three times the mooted
cost. The pipeline was to be completed in 18 months – by 2016 that is.

Costs have escalated, and it is still not complete. The long and short of it is that SGR is increasingly demonstrating what this columnist and others have maintained from the outset— that it is a white elephant. Without being forced, people would not use it.

And if it were to charge a competitive tariff, it is doubtful that it would keep the trains running, let alone service its debt. I have opined before that the least costly option may be to mothball it, seeing as the debt will be paid by the taxpayer, we should not be made to pay four times namely, the debt, operational subsidy, higher freight cost and trucking industry jobs and incomes.

The next best thing is to take over the debt, cancel the Chinese management contract and leave it to swim or sink in the market place under the management of Kenya Railways.
The only beneficiary of this project is China. It is doubtful that the Jubilee administration can muster the resolve to bite the bullet on this one.
So we will continue to bleed. After years of denial, a government task force has established that the SGR is not viable. The SGR was old on bringing down the cost, and improving the efficiency, of
freight.

According to the said task force, the SGR has increased the cost of transporting a 20-foot container by 118 percent, from $650 (Ksh.65,000) by road, to US$1,420 (Ksh. 142,000) and by 149 percent for a 40-foot container from $850 (Ksh. 85,000) to US $2,120 (Ksh. 212,000).

This is Uhuru Kenyatta’s legacy as it now stands. Mindless plunder and worthless vanity projects—a US$ 25 billion (Sh. 2.5 trillion) hole in the economy and counting, and contingent liabilities, financial booby traps if you like, Kenya Airways, Kenya Pipeline,

Kenya Power and others we don’t know of yet, that could go off at any minute.

This is Uhuru Kenyatta’s legacy as it now stands. Mindless plunder and worthless vanity projects—a US$ 25 billion (Sh. 2.5 trillion) hole in the economy and counting.

The penny is beginning to drop, and sections of the regime are now beginning to talk about a turn-around strategy that can salvage the President something of an economic legacy.

They have their work cut out. Economic crises of this nature are not solved by the same people who created them. Ethiopia’s EPDRF government came to this realization about a year ago.

Ethiopia was headed for a revolution such as unfolding next door inSudan. Former Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn has recently intimated that he resigned to make it easier for the regime to
reform.

So far, the bet on a leadership change is paying off, even though the new Prime Minister’s magic touch is yet to be tested on the inevitable painful economic reforms.

The political honeymoon also appears to be ending. The penny is beginning to drop, and sections of the regime are now beginning to talk about a turn-around strategy that can salvage the President
something of an economic legacy. They have their work cut out.

Economic crises of this nature are not solved by the same people who created them. The rapprochement between Kenyatta and Raila Odinga a year ago, popularly known as the “handshake” offered an opportunity to engineer something similar. But as soon as they pledged to build bridges, Kenyatta set off to burn them.

A year later, no-one seems to know where it is headed, other than hazy talk of a referendum, and holding the political ground as Kenyatta prosecutes yet another hypocritical and inept anti-corruption war, as opportunistic as it is ineffectual.

With toxic succession politics in full throttle, it is difficult to see how resolve and focus on radical economic reform can be mustered.

Amidst the entire dam hullabaloo, there was a small event last week that did not attract much attention.

The cornered Treasury CS took time out from his daily commute to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations to launch a private external audit of the Eurobond funds commissioned by the
Treasury.

No prizes for guessing that the audit sees no evil. External audit is an exclusive constitutional mandate of the Auditor General. We all witnessed the President staring down the Auditor General on his special audit ordered by parliament. It has yet to see the light of day.

The national government’s audit for the year remains qualified. There is no country where questions can be raised about two billion dollars of public money, and the president of the country acts about
it as nonchalantly as Kenyatta has, unless there is direct complicity with the thieves.

Malaysia’s 1MDB and Mozambique’s Tuna sovereign bond frauds have unravelled.

This one will too, in the fullness of time. Kenyatta has plenty of reason to want to extend his influence beyond his term of office.

To plunder the way the Jubilee administration has, it has had to raze the public financial management system to the ground.

Without public financial accountability, there is no government, no economy, no country.

To budget anything from a quarter to a third of the country’s annual GDP for stealing — to then borrow it, steal it, feign outrage, compromise parliament, and diffuse public anger with ineffectual
corruption investigations, again and again and again – defies corruption. It is a crime against humanity.

Yes, the economy is crumbling, but its turnaround is not the priority.

Getting rid of this monster called Jubilee is.

 

And here is Dr. Ndii in a KTN interview.

Interesting but I decided to put an end to the story because the article above is one of the most powerful pieces I have tried to digest in the fight for the economic and political health of our Jamhuri. That fight will never stop.

But here is the interview.

 

 

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By adongoogony Posted in kenya

12 comments on “It Is Not Corruption. It is a Crime Against Humanity. Dr. Ndii on Jubillee Mass Theft.

  1. Bwana Adongo
    Its turns out the Italian firm was paid even without having a dam design. One wonders how they priced the project without a design. Italy is known for it corruption, so Im not suprised that it became a country of choice for Ruto and co. Here is the story of the phony dam

    https://www.nation.co.ke/news/Dams-Italian-firm-officials-deny-graft-allegations/1056-5048324-7t1s6y/index.html

    The same company that Ruto and company are defending has the same kind of scandal in Nepal. Check this out

    https://www.nation.co.ke/news/Dams-scandal-firm-abandons-project-in-Nepal-/1056-5009340-thchpyz/index.html

  2. May be this guy is for real. The DCI is bringing up some very key pieces of information in trying to unravel what could be one of the biggest scams of robbing Kenyans in our history as a nation.

    Kinoti has insisted in the Triangle Con-Dam Plan theory, if you allow me to say so. Which I have just done.

    Money was released from the Kenyan Treasury to CMC Di Ravenna Company for a ton of things (including zero work at the dams, towels and pillows delivered in huge quantities), the money was then wired to England and finally back to Kenya to accounts that the DCI have got a hold of.

    Over 50 high end vehicles and tractors were bought with the same dam(n) money. DCI has taken possession of all those items or at least the ones they know of now at this time.

    The DCI angle on this matter seems to be very focused on where the evidence leads them.

    It smells bad for the thieves. Real bad.

    Here is the story.

    https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/article/2001317642/dci-now-trains-guns-on-graft-big-fish

    • https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/article/2001317780/uhuru-ruto-clash-in-fight-against-graft

      President Uhuru Kenyatta inspects a guard of at State House, Windhoek, Namibia. [PSCU]
      A presidential salvo fired in a far away land, and State House’s pulling down of his social media accounts over claims of infiltration yesterday exposed the muted fallout within President Uhuru Kenyatta’s government over the fight against corruption.

      Barely a day after Deputy President William Ruto expressly described the ongoing purge as selective, lacking integrity, fought on convenient half-truths and with political outcomes in mind, the President endorsed the purge, saying nobody — not even his “closest political ally” — would stand in the way of the anti-graft fight.

      In a no-holds barred offensive delivered in Windhoek Country Club to Kenyans living in Namibia after he attended that country’s Independence Day celebrations, the President said every corrupt person regardless of their rank or stature will face his big stick.

      “Whether they like it or not, whether friend or foe, brother or sister, if you are hellbent on corrupt ways, we will fight you,” the President said before adding, for emphasis: “You can be my brother, you can be my sister, you can be my closest political ally, you can be… whatever you are, but you are an enemy of the Republic of Kenya and we will fight you.”

      SEE ALSO :Uhuru moves to stem clash of egos in anti-graft agencies
      “I won’t be clouded by ethnicity or status in my quest to leave behind a united nation and I will continue championing Kenya’s unity,” Uhuru said in one of the messages pulled down.

      The President’s tough talk was captured both on print, online and audio. However, in a confounding move that caught everyone’s attention, the President’s social media pages containing the message were abruptly pulled down in what State House Chief of Staff Nzioka Waita described as a result of a breach of access.

      He, nevertheless, maintained that the President’s pronouncements on corruption as reflected in the pulled down statements still stood.

      “On account of unauthorised access to the official social media handles of H.E. the President of the Republic of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta, all official social media handles for the President have been temporarily suspended to allow for the necessary remedial measures to be undertaken,” reads Nzioka’s statement, which was also posted on Twitter.

      “The President has not distanced himself from the comments on corruption and his comments still stand,” Nzioka added.

      SEE ALSO :Uhuru urges border communities to embrace unity and shun politicking
      A team divided

      The ping pong on the social media pages, coming only months after a similar suspension and reorganisation of the pages, exposed the underlying fights among the men and women handling the President’s communication.

      It is an open secret that there has been a fight between two factions within the State House communications team, with one pledging allegiance to the Office of the Deputy President and the other to the President.

      As Kenyans absorbed the turn of events, Amani National Congress leader Musalia Mudavadi was in Mombasa delivering his strongest jab yet against top government officials for paying lip service to the fight against corruption. He accused the government of shielding “pirates and sundry masters of corruption”.

      “It is instructive that when you say the country is being looted, someone whose name nobody has even mentioned is the first person to say, ‘I am not a thief.’ He says, ‘The amount you are saying has been stolen is not right, what has been lost is less than that.’ He tells you the stolen money has been insured,” Mudavadi said.

      SEE ALSO :Uhuru furious with Cabinet members fingered over graft
      Ruto has in the immediate past dismissed the probe into the multi-billion-shilling Arror and Kimwarer dam projects, saying the country did not lose any money as it was insured. He also claimed that what was in question was about Sh7 billion and not the Sh21 billion claimed.

      The DP has also said that those investigating the loss — the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) — were being used in a long drawn political witch-hunt, as his allies claimed that the Directorate of Criminal Investigations did not have the legal mandate to fight graft. “There has also been an attempt to hijack the war on corruption and turn it into a war against specific individuals. In the attempt to wage this convoluted version of the war on corruption, many government programmes and projects, as well as many innocent public servants, have become casualties,” Ruto said on Wednesday while opening the same workshop Mudavadi was closingyesterday.

      But Ruto also rooted for the fight against corruption, asking professionals to lend a hand to the fight and pleading with them to re-xamine their place in the corruption chain.

      While closing the workshop, Mudavadi criticised the government for botching the war from within, in the process watering down investor confidence and impoverishing Kenyans. He put on notice civil servants colluding with political leaders to perpetrate large-scale graft.

      “Let me warn you that senior figures lurking in the shadows to force you to sign a form to release money will be questioned when the DCI starts to ask questions”.

      • Mzee

        Things are getting very hot. In fact as Kenyans we need to engage in serious discussions about what is next. This forum is a gift for such discussion and I am going to invite our fellow Kenyans to join us here.

        Now here is Ruto’s response to Uhuru. Plus Wamalwa. It is a Three Stooges Show. With all hands up and down or may be sideways.

        He did it in Mandera. Hopefully he is heading to Turkana where as he says there are fake deaths even though bodies are being buried. Live live.

        The President and the Deputy President cannot fight in public for long. That much we know. This is sort of a crazy cloud. The real one.

        But here is Ruto and Duale.

        https://www.the-star.co.ke/news/2019-03-23-raila-is-a-serial-party-breaker-duale/

        But here is one more thing. Ruto has done his ultimate 101 Political Play Book with Uhuru. “When in trouble attack Raila”

        It worked with ICC. Forced Marriage? May be. And May be not. Moi married these guys way back

        Now Ruto is attacking Raila and nobody even bothers to notice it.

        It is not supposed to work that way.

        And to be continued……

        https://www.the-star.co.ke/siasa/2019-03-23-anyang-nyongo-presidential-system-will-always-be-prone-to-cries-and-instability/

      • Adongo,
        It seems that there is no place to hide. The two sides of the Jubilee divide have declared war on each other. The Tanga Tanga led by “don” Ruto and Kieleweke side led by Uhuru`s mobsters are on a full fledged battle of supremacy. How it will end only christ knows.

        But one thing is certain. Ruto has become too jittery and the mention of the word corruption drives him nuts. The man is completely paranoid. He believes that everyone id reffering to him when it comes to corruption. But then again the guilty are afraid. I think his troubles started with this interview which he did with BBC´s Stephen Suckar.

        In this interview he admitted what he has denied all along (1) that the Weston hotel is his (2) that the hotel sits on stolen land. No sooner had he made the above admission than the social media became awash with some of his most brazen lies, for example this one about building 9 new stadia

        There was a time I was convinced that WIlliam Ruto was politically very smart person. But with all the blunders he has made and the open theft , I now believe that he is nothing but a smart wheeler dealer, the Nicholas Biwott type.

        Martin Shikuku once said that Daniel arap Moi thought that he could buy love, thats why he was ever in a spending spree in harambee. It seems that Ruto has taken the exact same trend, the only thing is that he is a very dangerous fellow who can easily bring the country to its knees.

        Uhuru seems to have realized that he has to focus on corruption in order to achieve even one of the four agendas. It might be late but he must be encouraged to continue the trend. As Maina Kamanda said a few days ago, Uhuru just a needed support from a person like Raila to do his job.

        Game one

        These are interesting times

      • Adongo,
        Even Achesa is now insulting Uhuru Kenyatta.
        My take is that Kenyatta has never had any friends in the government.
        When Kibaki fired Mwiraria or Murungaru, you never had a word from the two. They never talked ill of Kibaki. But here we have people that the president fired being instructed by his deputy to abuse him at every funeral. I dont know what Kenyatta is feeling but If I were him I would show the door to all CSs who have been mentioned in corrupt activity.

        https://www.the-star.co.ke/news/2019-03-31-echesa-attacks-uhuru-blames-him-for-sugar-woes/

        Former Sports CS Rashid Echesa has accused President Uhuru Kenyatta of plotting to ‘kill’ the sugar sector.

        Echesa also said the President wants to gain monopoly of the dairy industry after the recent round of bilateral talks with Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni.

        He said that the bilateral agreement between Uhuru and Museveni, allowing Uganda to export milk and eggs to Kenya and increasing the annual sugar import quota from Uganda was bound to hurt the agricultural sector in Western.

        Brookside is associated with the Kenyatta family.

        Echesa was sacked by Uhuru on March 1 as Sports CS and was replaced by Amina Mohammed in a mini-reshuffle.

        He has been demanding for reasons of his sacking from the President.

        The President is lying to Kenyans that Uganda will export milk to Kenya yet the milk that is entering the country from Uganda such as Fresh Dairies is part of Brookside Dairies

        Rashid Echesa

        Echesa also accused elected leaders from Western of failure to protect the interest of the community in the region.

        The ex-CS speaking on Sunday said that the planned privatisation of the state-owned sugar companies was a ploy by the government to destroy the sugar sector.

        “They want to sell the companies just like they did with Pan-Paper which was sold to Rai who has since converted it into go-downs to store his sugar. Uhuru lied to Museveni when he asked him about the Pan-Paper mill, that it was being revived when he knows very well that he sold it to his friend,” he said.

        Privatisation chairman Dr Paul Otuoma has opposed sale of land hosting the millers earmarked for privatisation, saying the land belongs to the community.

        He said that the troubled sugar industry may not be revived following the increase of the sugar import quota from Uganda.

        Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya and Agriculture CS Mwangi Kiunjuri co-chair a sugar task force appointed by Uhuru to recommend the best ways of reviving the sugar industry.

        A week ago, Oparanya said that the team will present its final report to the President this week.

        MPs from the sugar belt met in Kisumu on Saturday to validate the recommendations.

  3. And here comes the Ruto lunatics defending corruption and theft of our money by them and their agents.

    Now they want the EACC to be the only body to investigate mass theft of Kenyan’s money by the politicians and their sidekicks. They are raging mad against the DCI (appointed by Uhuru as the President of The Republic of Kenya)

    They are right. They know the EACC is toothless and nonsense.

    There is something Kinoti has gathered that scares Ruto and his friends to death. That is OK.

    But do they have to make complete fools of themselves like this everyday. These Ruto people are saying:

    “Let Kinoti and the DCI investigate petty theft and bank robberies with more energy on pick-pockets. That’s it. Leave the big thieves alone. We are too big for you”

    Astonishing stuff. I fear for these people. Really do. They are completely unhinged and have lost every sense of control of what they are trying to handle. It is kind of sad quite frankly. Good thing is they are doing it live live.

    You can’t make this up.

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