The Anglo Leasing Scandal

The Anglo Leasing Scandal, also known as Anglo-fleecing, is the popular name for a corruption scandal in Kenya.

Origins
The scandal is alleged to have started when the Kenyan government wanted to replace its passport printing system, in the year 2002. Sophisticated passport equipment system was sourced from France and forensic science laboratories for the police were sourced from Britain. The transaction was originally quoted at 6 million euros from a French firm, but was awarded to a British firm, Anglo Leasing Finance, at 30 million euros, who would have sub-contracted the same French firm to do the work. The tender was not publicly advertised, and its details were leaked to the media by a junior civil servant. The Anglo-Leasing sales agent was Sudha Ruparell, a 48 year old woman who is the daughter of Chamanlal Kamani and sister of Rashmikant Chamanlal Kamani & Deepak Kamani. The Kamani family has been involved in various security supplies scandals in the past. In January 2006, the Anglo Leasing Scandal was given fresh impetus through the publication of John Githongo's report. The new revelations indicate that Anglo Leasing Finance was just one of a plethora of phantom entities, including some UK companies, used to perpetrate fraud on the Kenyan taxpayer through non-delivery of goods and services and massive overpricing.

Impact
The then-British envoy to Kenya, Sir Edward Clay, publicly raised the issue of Anglo-Leasing at a dinner in Nairobi (see the Guardian Newspaper article). He subsequently came under pressure from Kenyan politicians to make public his evidence, and was reported to have provided the President, Mwai Kibaki, with a dossier containing details of corruption in the government. However, no one was punished and the case slipped from the public eye.

Kenya's minister in charge of the project, Chris Murungaru, was later on banned by the UK government from travelling to Britain, on the grounds that it would not be in the public good. It was widely reported that the ban was due to corruption by Mr Murungaru involving, among others, the Anglo-Leasing scam.

On January 22, 2006, John Githongo named Vice-President Moody Awori as one of four top politicians (with Kiraitu Murungi, former justice minister and later energy minister; finance minister David Mwiraria and former transport minister Chris Murungaru) as being involved. Public sympathy for Githongo reached its peak when he released audio recordings of an incriminating conversation with David Mwiraria on the internet. One of the tapes is still available here. He also claimed that President Mwai Kibaki was complicit in the affair. Githongo claimed that the money raised would have funded the then government's forthcoming 2005 Constitutional Referendum and 2007 Election campaign.

Githongo's report can be read here. These allegations were denied by Awori and Murunguru and an investigation was promised.

In February, in an interview with the BBC, Githongo told of his meeting with Kiraitu, during which the then Justice minister tried to blackmail him over a loan his (Githongo's) father is said to owe businessman Anura Pereira. "The minister of Justice was telling me that if I eased off my inquiries, then my father's loan matter would be made to go away," Githongo said. He had an audiotape, which was played on the BBC.

Githongo's Exile
In an interview with Fergal Keane for the BBC's Newsnight programme on 8 February 2006, Githongo revealed [2]what he claims is taped evidence proving that Kiraitu Murungi attempted to impede his inquiries. Murungi suggested that a 30M Shilling loan to his father by a lawyer A.H. Malik had been bought by Anura Pereira, and might be forgiven in exchange for 'going slow' on the Anglo Leasing investigation. He reveals that at the end of his investigations, he came to the inescapeable conclusion that the Anglo Leasing scandal went all the way to the top, and as a consequence his life was in danger. Anglo Leasing, and many other similar deals, were, in part, back-door financing to pay for NARC's election bid in 2007.

Dismissals and Resignations

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