Gabriel Dolan is a regular columnist with The Nation newspaper and his article on Saturday 26 February, ‘Amnesty is synonymous with amnesia’ caught the Forum team’s collective eye, not least because we have written in recent times about the same subjects.
Dolan was arguing that impunity for the ‘Ocampo six’ and amnesty for big time fraudsters has no place in Kenya and no legal basis. For him, ‘amnesty is synonymous with amnesia’, and that ‘rather than forgetting, we need to start remembering the economic crimes committed against the Kenyan public’.
The Forum pretty much agrees with Mr Dolan but we would like to re-visit one part of his article and to illicit his support into the bargain.
Not surprisingly he cited the Goldenberg scandal, Anglo leasing and the ‘non-existent Ken Ren Fertilizer Factory’ as incidences of where great fraud has been perpetrated on Kenya and Kenyans and he is of course quite right. But then he added to the list, as Kenyan columnists often do, the revelations of the ‘Kroll report’ and noted the role of the Mars Group in revealing the figures behind each of the scandals. It is at this point that the Forum seeks the support of Gabriel Dolan and like minded commentators.
As the Forum noted in a posting entitled ‘Is There Life on Mars?’ on 13th January of this year, both Kroll, those that commissioned its report, and the Mars Group, have questions to answer.
Just to recap, the Forum drew attention to the allegation that the ‘Kroll Report’ on corruption in Kenya that was published on Wikileaks prior to the election in 2007 was in fact leaked by the Mars Group to Wikileaks but that the full Kroll Report has never been released. It was clear that several pages from the original document were missing from the ‘report’ published in 2007 and that although it contained detailed allegations against ‘targets’ 1, 2, 3, and 7, no details were published on the findings into ‘targets’ 4, 5 and 6, nor have their identities have ever been revealed.
A more detailed study reveals many errors in the published report. It is also set out in a different format and typeface to other Kroll reports at the time and the language differs markedly as well. The Forum have since been told but stress that we cannot prove the allegation, that the published report was not that which was originally delivered by Kroll back in 2004.
The Mars Group site has been down throughout 2011 (something Gabriel Dolan obviously did not know) but even if it was up and running you can’t just email or call them, nor can you Wikileaks. For transparency groups they are far from transparent about either their operations or how they are funded. And, of course, Kroll have a policy of never commenting on their work.
The Forum notes that Article 35, ‘Access to information’, of the new constitution states that, ‘Every citizen has the right of access to information held by the state… and information held by another person and required for the exercise of protection of any right or fundamental freedom’.
We suspect Gabriel Dolan is in favour of transparency and is a kindred spirit to those on the Forum team and therefore we hope that in the not too distant future he will write a column calling for the release of the full text of the original Kroll report, including the allegations against ‘targets’ 1,2,3, and 7 (there should be no amnesty for them either, Mr Dolan) and of any government files relating to the commissioning and cost of the report, as Kenyans have a right to expect under Article 35 of the new constitution.
And whilst he’s at it, how about calling on the Mars Group to publicly reveal their role and for Kroll to state whether the report released was really the one they submitted.