Sleaze. Graft. Corruption. Whatever name you choose to call it. That, is irrefutably Africa’s, and
more, specifically Kenya’s biting cancer.
How is it that five decades after independence we are still mired by the same conundrum?
Is it that all four administrations lack the resources to operate on this cancer? Is it that they all lack the expertise? Is it that the problem doesn’t exist? Or is it that there’s no will?
Michela Wrong, who served as The Financial Times’ African correspondent, wades into those murky waters. She tells the story of the man on whom the onus to extricate the country of this menace lay – John Githongo.
Appointed by Kenya’s third Head of State as the Permanent Secretary in Charge of Governance and Ethics. He was handpicked by the President himself and assured of his full support and backing of the government.
He had what seemed to be, the perfect opportunity to slay this monster. For the most part, he had unfettered access to the Head of State, was in good books with the country’s development partners and enjoyed the rare gift of an optimistic citizenry. He had an impeccable track-record as a journalist and as the head of Transparency International. He had the familial pedigree and the Western
education to boot.
Yet he’d end up in self-imposed exile in Britain after just two years. He went from being the hunter to being the hunted by the very powers he had pledged loyalty to. He went from a sprawling villa in Kenya’s Lavington to one-bedroom hostel in Oxford. He went from having a security detail to having to look over his shoulders. He went from being the man to being a man on the run.
What happened? What went wrong? Is there anything that can be done to salvage the situation or are we eternally doomed to ineptitude and misappropriation of funds?
Michela Wrong answers these and many more questions in this mind-blowing, eye-opening, picture-
painting book. Dig in!
REVIEW BY AURA BILLY OSOGO