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“If you fight corruption, it fights you back.”

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Quoted from a recent article by Celia Dugger on corruption in Africa.

I am currently reading Michela Wrong’s It’s Our Turn to Eat, a thoroughly engaging account of John Githongo’s life and struggle to fight corruption in Kenya. This is by far one of the best books on contemporary African politics. In particular, it provides a very accessible introduction to Kenyan politics.

Githongo is one of the modern-day heros of Africa. Former head of Transparency International-Kenya, he was picked by an incoming President Mwai Kibaki in 2003 to be the anti-corruption head for the Kenyan government. Up against inertial tendencies toward graft and shady deals, Githongo quickly realized that the plague of corruption was deeply seeded in the upper echelons of Kenyan officials. Refusing to play the puppet, Githongo pursued a strategy of collecting evidence against fellow government officials by recording audio tracks of meetings. Carrying these tapes and other evidence with him, Githongo went into self-imposed exile in London.

In Dugger’s article, Githongo (now back in Kenya) is quoted:

“Going after big fish hasn’t worked,” he said. “The fish will not fry themselves.”


Written by Niall

June 21, 2009 at 12:09 pm

Posted in Africa, Kenya

Tagged with , ,