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Saturday, September 01, 2007

Moi's Grand Theft Ignored, For Now

The Daily Nation, today nervously carried a headline detailing the revelations of the leaked Kroll Associates report about the billions that former President Moi is said to have accumulated illegally. The story was carried on the front page although jittery (with good reason) editors watered it down somewhat by implying in the headline that the "looting" had been carried out by only by Moi henchmen and not Moi himself.

Moi has has often rushed to lawyers for refuge through threats to sue and there is no doubt that he must have taken legal advice on the recent developments. However it will be a bit difficult this time because the report has been widely quoted in dozens of newspapers around the world. The image of the retired president is taking a dramatic nosedive from what he has long wanted it to be—that of an elderly statesman. Now it is emerging that the former president can be placed on the same level and given the same image as other major looters in Africa from the past like Sani Abacha of Nigeria and former President of Congo, Mobutu Sese Seko (and remember that Kenya is nowhere near being as mineral-rich as either of those countries and especially that troubled Central African country formerly called Zaire, where Mobutu pocketed billions from public coffers banking most of it in secret Swiss accounts).

In the excitement of the ODM presidential race, Moi can be grateful that this big news that portrays him in very poor light, has been shoved to the periphery—at least for now.

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