The Kenyan government ‘reacted with fury and shock’ to reports that one of the 1,821 diplomatic cables relating to Kenya about to be published by Wikileaks’s described the country as a “swamp of flourishing corruption”.
‘Practically every line is contemptuous of the government of President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga’, wrote the German daily Der Spiegal.
Kenyan government spokesman Dr Alfred Mutua, was “surprised and shocked” (well, he has to be). The cables were “malicious and a total misrepresentation” of Kenya and its leaders”, he said.
Surprise, shock, horror, fury – Kenya is up to its neck in corruption. Really? You don’t say. It’s not a surprise to The Forum. The surprise would have been if the US embassy in Nairobi had said anything different.
And we don’t think it will come as much of a surprise to our fellow Kenyans.
Kenyans know that you pay Sh1,200 to take your driving test but you have to pay “a little something” like Sh2,000 to the examiner if you want to pass (AA driving school, Hurlingham).
Nairobi taxi drivers know that the police roadblocks at Jomo Kenyatta and Wilson airports are bribery points, not checkpoints.
It cost one Forum contributor Sh10,000 to get his friend’s daughter out of a Nairobi City Council cell. No receipt, of course. “Do you want your daughter, or a receipt?” came the reply when the receipt was requested.
Another contributor counted 12 police road blocks on a Friday night between Naivasha and Nairobi. He was stopped at four of them and asked for the usual fee.
Dr Alfred Mutua has to be “shocked and surprised”, we’re not.
Oh, and Patrick Lumumba, please note the above.