Having chosen to swallow the red pill...

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Good Government?

As part of its concerted effort to bring relief to the estimated 4 million people suffering from food shortages caused by, amongst other things, poor rainfall, the Kenyan government has wisely decided to invest in yet more luxury Mercedes cars for its ministers and judiciaries. Reports show that since 2002, the Kenyan government has spent over 12 million on luxury cars, a sum which could have sent over 25,000 children to school for over 8 years.

Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk (2006-01-30)


  • Terrible as it is; it's a bit "yea who is without sin cast the first stone"...

    ...rich industrialised world inhabitants are educated, emancipated, healthy, wealthy & wise (living in a free democratic societies - free to consume, save, volunteer, expoit currency differentials for cheap third world holidays - such as kenya)...

    ...what would even more enlightened souls (e.g. little green men) say of our global/ethical governance...

    The old question:
    "what did you do in the war grandad"

    I'm not proud of my current reply...


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:00 pm  

  • Luckily Kenya's government doesn't fully get away with it, it's under scrutiny. I just participated in a rating exercise, which influences the allocation of aid money. Corruption does have a negative impact.

    The question that remains is: Who suffers?


    World Bank Delaying $265 Million Aid To Kenya Over Graft

    The World Bank said on Monday it is concerned about corruption in Kenya and it will not clear delayed loans of $265 million until it is convinced the government was serious in tackling the problem, reports Reuters.

    The World Bank came under criticism after its board approved $145 million to Kenya at a time when President Mwai Kibaki's government faced fresh corruption charges involving senior ministers. Critics said the Bank had sent a wrong signal by approving the funding. But World Bank Country Director Colin Bruce defended the loan, and added that since last year concerns over corruption in Kenya resulted in credits worth $265 million being delayed.

    The Mail & Guardian (South Africa) further notes that the money, approved in October 2004 and earmarked for education, banking reform, budget support and HIV/AIDS programs, will not be disbursed until the institution is convinced that President Mwai Kibaki's government is meeting commitments to fight corruption.

    Agence France Presse writes that Bruce said through a spokeswoman that “the money will be released once the Bank is satisfied that the government is making successful efforts in fighting corruption.” She said a team from the Bank was already in the country investigating the situation and was preparing an "Integrity Report" on Kenya that "will be the basis for
    releasing the money."

    The East African Standard (Kenya) meanwhile notes that Colin Bruce
    supported former Kenya’s Ethics Permanent Secretary, John Githongo, for shedding light on the unresolved Anglo Leasing scam and asked government officials not to vilify Githongo. "We believe the government has an investigative process in place and we should allow the government to
    respond," Bruce told journalists in his office on Monday. Bruce said
    Githongo's revelations were bold and encouraging and had generated healthy debate that only Kenyans can conclude. The government, he said, had a duty to respond to the claims and act decisively for the interest of the people who had high expectations of the Narc government.

    The Times (UK) and The Australian add the charges in the Githongo report have split the cabinet, with several ministers refusing calls to present a united face. Opposition leaders have demanded the resignation of implicated ministers. Kibaki elected on an anti-corruption ticket in 2002,
    has also faced calls to step down.

    Reuters (UK) further reports that Kenya's government, already criticized over allegations of high-level corruption, faced another blow to its credibility Monday after a report accused it of spending state funds on
    expensive cars for its ministers. The report, compiled by Transparency International and the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, said the Kibaki government spent $12.2 million on new vehicles -- enough to see
    25,000 children through eight years of school -- since sweeping to power in 2002 on promises to tackle poverty and fight graft.

    Meanwhile, writing in an editorial, The Financial Times argues that the dilemma for donors is how to cut back on assistance without harming the poor people whom the aid was meant to help. Donors have realized too late that removing policy conditions from aid programs was based on wishful thinking. Britain and other European governments have moved towards direct budget support, with the aim of providing more reliable and effective funding for recipient governments. But this depends on a high level of trust, in countries where national institutions are usually weak and corrupt practices are often embedded. The financial daily writes that donors should consider limiting the proportion of guaranteed aid, to ensure they retain some purchase on recipient governments' actions. In cases such as Kenya's, they need to act together to control access to funding until firm action is taken to stem official abuses, concludes the daily.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:00 pm  

  • Absolutely right and Gold Stars to you both, Annabella for correctly posing the rhetorical question 'who suffers'... and for James to point out the wider issues relating to global and ethical governance; one which almost gives me sleepless nights.

    I read a quote recently from Noreena Hertz that gave me a glimmer of hope: "Nobody can do everything, but everybody can do something. Together we can change the world." - the question is 'what can we do?'

    By Blogger Paul, at 9:30 pm  

  • No comment from the corruption free states of the "west" of course

    I go back to "casting" and "stones". Who introduced the standard of behaviour? Who sold the cars and which shareholders benefit? What does Europe care about starvation in practical terms? Lest this seems sanctimonious - I ate all them pies!

    By Anonymous NicandKate, at 12:57 am  

  • I am a little bit anxious about global governance issues. I am, in cases such as gross human rights abuses like torture, or fully flechted corruption, it's quite clear that this is WRONG. However, intervening get easily be intrusive, an imposition of one's opinion, even if it was pure altruism. The line is very, very thin.

    The best way is to empower the people so that they can speak up for themselves. And this is where it get really tricky. I mean how do you do this without imposing your thinking?


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:49 pm  

  • I guess that is the challenge of where you work, constantly having to draw and re-draw that line and ask the question: 'Is what we are doing genuinely the best for this country or is it a thinly veiled attempt to use monetary means to implement 'our' definition of democracy and to ensure that they are ready to buy 'our' goods and services?'

    Not an easy call.

    By Blogger Paul, at 9:36 am  

  • Kenyan idiots buying Mercedes.

    Everone knows that Ferrari is the brand for fat corrupt politicians today.


    By Blogger Bear, at 4:12 pm  

  • P.S.
    Sorry Paul....but Bear will never again return to the mats.
    My kickassdays are over.


    By Blogger Bear, at 5:01 pm  

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