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Githongo to return next Wednesday

NAIROBI, August 14 – Self-exiled former Governance and Ethics Permanent Secretary John Githongo is to return to the country next Wednesday.

Githongo, who left the country three years ago after exposing the fraudulent Anglo-Leasing financial contracts, said he had accepted an invitation by Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka.

"Upon arrival, the governance reformist is scheduled to address a meeting organised by the Kenya Human Rights Commission in Nairobi on August 20," a statement from his publicist said.

"Now I believe that it is time to return home and make any contribution I can to the future of my country," he said.

Githongo is currently Senior Associate Member of St Antony’s College, Oxford, and Vice-President, Policy and Advocacy, of the relief, development and advocacy agency World Vision.

"I intend to speak my mind on what I feel needs to be done. I have no political affiliations. My obligations are solely to the people of Kenya – particularly the poor, the dispossessed and those in need," he said.

In July, Odinga publicly invited the former anti-corruption chief to return to the country and assist in the war against graft.

He extended the invitation during the opening of the 3rd National Integrity Review Conference at Bomas of Kenya in Nairobi.

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Githongo resigned from his position on February 7, 2005 reportedly citing lack of government commitment to ending corruption.

He named Vice-President Moody Awori as one of the top ministers involved in scams worth billions of shillings – known as the Anglo Leasing scandal.

Other ministers named were the then Justice Minister Kiraitu Murungi, and his Finance counterpart David Mwiraria.

The scandal centred on the award of a huge contract given to Anglo-Leasing – a company whose existence is still in doubt.

These allegations were denied by Awori, Mwiraria and Murungi.

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