|The goldenberg scandal|
Tuesday, 20 July 2010 08:07
The Goldenberg scandal was a political scandal where the Kenyan government was found to have subsidised exports of gold far beyond standard arrangements during the 1990s, by paying the company Goldenberg International 35% more (in Kenyan shillings) than their foreign currency earnings. Although it notionally appears that the scheme was intended to earn hard currency for the country, it is estimated to have cost Kenya the equivalent of more than 10% of the country's annual Gross Domestic Product , and it is possible that no or minimal amounts of gold were actually exported. The scandal appears to have involved political corruption at the highest levels of the government of Daniel Arap Moi. Officials in the current government of Mwai Kibaki have also been implicated.
The scheme began in 1991, almost immediately after the Kenya government, following directions from the IMF, introduced measures to reform the economy and increase international trade and investment, and seems to have stopped in 1993 when it was exposed by a whistleblower, David Munyakei. As a result of this, Munyakei was fired from his position at the Central Bank of Kenya, and spent the next decade of his life poor and largely unemployed. He died in August 2006, leaving three daughters and his wife. There have been two investigations on the scam, one under the Moi government and the other under the current government. The gold was likely imported from Democratic Republic of the Congo, and therefore probably helped finance the war that raged (1997-2002) in that country.
The report said that records presented at the inquiry showed that Lima Ltd, which is associated with Mr Gideon Moi, Mr Nicholas Biwott, and two other people received Sh6.3 million from Goldenberg. However, the Commission concluded that in respect of Nicholas Biwott, who had not been in government at the time,
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