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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Excited (Kenya Betrayed)



Chapter 24

I was excited - the prospect of going back to Kenya, of stepping on the red Kenyan soil again, lifted my spirits wildly.

Because of the trip, I decided to go down to the galerias and buy some items I would need in Kenya. Before leaving, I called my girl-friend to accompany me.

Sue had been living in Zambia where her parents had a farm. Over the last years, she had become my best friend with whom I could exchange ideas and thoughts about Africa.

Minutes later, I was on the two-lane street that linked my neighbourhood to the main highway leading to Marbella. Here my friend was already waiting.

I told her about the developments of the last days and that I had decided to go to Nairobi.

When I finished, Sue looked at me curiously, "Why are you taking this risk? Are you not afraid that these goons may start accusing you to have had also a love affair with Dr. Ouko? That you are responsible for his death? Just think about all the lies which especially this crook of Nicholas Biwott has been distributed about you all these last years...."

I sighed, I knew Sue was right, still I said, "I will survive also that. I know - and so does Mrs. Ouko - that Bob was my best friend. The only person I could trust in that Government - and nothing else. And if I am responsible, then because I have given him the information and the documents regarding the corruption because I wanted him to beat their schemes...... and this is on my conscious and I will have to live with it forever. But exactly for this reason, I want his killers brought to justice - it's as easy as that."

"But what about all the projects you were involved with? All the money you have lost? All the money you have spent during your time in Kenya? You told me that you have paid all preliminary expenses out of your own pockets..... this must have been quite a big amount. What are you doing about that? Would you be willing to go back and continue your work if you would have a chance?"

"These are many questions at once," I said, sipping my coffee. "But let me reply one by one. - You know, I had been involved in the revival of the Molasses Plant which was a stalled project and Dr. Ouko wanted to revive it since Kenya was loosing a lot of money. The project had been financed in asking private loans by Swiss Banks - with the guarantee given by the Kenyan Government. So it was Kenya which had to take over the repay the loan - and I think the interest rate agreed was reaching more or less 12 % per year........ when I got involved the debts with the Swiss Banks had reached abt. 200 Million $ ........ this was the reason why they asked me to help.....

..... I started to work on this based on an official Mandate issued by the Government with Parliament and Attorney General approval - so by no means just because Dr. Ouko had asked me even calling the Molasses Project his 'pet' project - as certain people now try to say .......... my Mandate authorized me to look for a reputable Company to do this project and to arrange for the financing.......... and I was successful in both......

..... the Group I brought to Kenya was even willing to invest their own money and presented a document to the Kenyan Government in which they not only guaranteed the repayment of the loan but also an annual net profit for Kenya of min. 2 Million $ for its share of 51 % in the plant.......

..... everybody seemed to be happy - even President Moi. At least that's what he told a gathering in Kisumu ......

..... but there was one who hated the idea - and that was Nicholas Biwott. He feared that Dr. Ouko - who had already emerged as the most charismatic leader not only in Kenya, but mainly abroad - could get too much influence. So he started to boycott all our efforts......... I do not want to bother you with all details. But I will certainly disclose them in Nairobi ...... because there is one very important point which still brings tears to my eyes when I think about it:

..... besides the Molasses Plant - by the way my Mandate also included the construction of a new Cement Factory and also here I had already introduced a leading Cement Producer from Italy who was also willing to bring in own capital and form a joint-venture with the Kenyan Government ............

..... there was one project which I had set all my heart on and which was the real reason why I accepted Moi's request brought to me by his private Secretary, Abraham Kiptanui, to come back to Kenya ........

..... and that was the building of low- and medium rent houses to wipe out the slums not only in Nairobi like Kibera but also in other parts of the country .......... I had been able - together with some big international Groups - to secure the incredible amount of more than 300 Million US-$. We were planning to build decent houses for all the poor people living in the slum areas now, arrange for decent sanitation facilities, water supply, electricity etc.......

..... you remember, I left Kenya in April 1981 after Biwott had tried to kill me. I was almost hit by a car and narrowly survived a good poisoning. Biwott had envied my relationship with Moi and feared to loose the grip on him. At that time, Biwott had been used to spend the evenings with Moi where he could resume the day and make sure that at the end his own decisions were the ones ruling the following day .........

..... this had worked up to them very well. Mainly because he had planted all his people in State House - so he was in total control ........ no wonder, they started to call him 'Total Man' ...... he had warned me to stay away from Moi. He also told me about the Ugandan girls which he had selected for Moi (even claiming that he was 'testing' them first before passing them to Moi and that I should not even dream that I could 'compete' with them) ................

..... and just to show you, how dirty and how sick this man is ............

..... when I left, Biwott had told Moi that I had decided to go back to Dr. Mungai....... and it seems, Moi first also believed him - as he usually did - but then much to my surprise Moi has sent Abraham Kiptanui to meet me in Switzerland. Kip - how I called him - made the proposal that I should come back to Kenya and work officially for the Government. This would give me the necessary protection - also from Biwott.....

..... but again Biwott found a way to warn me and for some years I did not got ...........

..... then in 1985, I received this request for the Low Cost Housing Scheme ..... Moi knew my weak point .... and he was successful since I started to work on it. It was not easy because this is not a 'normal' business - this is a social matter not very much in the interest of companies here ........ but I was successful and found a big international Group willing to get involved with the private money of its owners ........... unbelievable ....... to find rich people willing to help Africa ..... Kenya ...... to help the poor people to come out of their misery ....... but sometimes also miracles are possible .....

..... and then I went back to Kenya for the first time together with some leading Company Representatives .....but again I had to face Biwott and his hate for me from the very first moment we arrived in Nairobi.....

..... he was especially furious because Moi had not informed him and he had to find out via his own 'sources' that I was coming. And he made sure that all our meetings were cancelled until I had not settled his 'demands'................

..... so for the first time I was confronted with corruption and asking bribes .........and latest at that moment I realized how much had changed during the last years - or was it just because I never had known about this before? Anyway, I got to know how much influence Biwott had gained .......

..... I tried to get into contact with Moi ..... with Kiptanui ......... but I was always told that none of them was available........

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