, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 19 – Former Cabinet Minister Christopher Murungaru has told the High Court that his political career was killed and his reputation tarnished after being linked to the multibillion-shilling Anglo Leasing scam.
Murungaru said on Tuesday that he had been unable to successfully get votes as a result of the report that was brought to light in November 2005 by former Governance and Ethics Permanent Secretary John Githongo.
He is now suing Githongo for the damage arguing that voters rejected him in 2007 and again in 2013 because they believe he masterminded the scandal.
“The Anglo-leasing dossier by John Githongo linking me to the mega scam had a devastating effect on my political career and reputation,” said Murungaru.
He added that his traveling abilities had been greatly affected as a result of the damning report.
At the time, both the United States of America and Britain publicly revoked Murungaru’s travel visas saying he was not welcome to their countries because of the accusations his name carried.
“When I demanded to know the reasons that had informed the decision, the evidence that was adduced was newspaper cuttings reporting Githongo’s dossier alleging that I was involved in Anglo-leasing,” he explained.
“I was ridiculed in the media in political forums and in some religious functions,” he said.
Through his suit papers, Murungaru maintains his innocence saying that Githongo’s report was not only defamatory but ‘the product of his fertile, creative and artistic imagination’.
Murungaru added that Parliament even investigated the scam and the role that he could have played but did not make any adverse recommendations against him.
He wants Githongo and his associates stopped from linking him to the scandal and he also wants him punished for libel.
“The Plaintiff claims and prays for judgment against the Defendant for an injunction to restrain the Defendant, his servants and/or agents from further publishing defamatory words or articles relating to the Plaintiff and in particular linking the Plaintiff to corruption, corrupt dealings and Anglo Leasing affair,” read the suit.
In January this year, Attorney General Githu Muigai told Capital FM that Kenyan authorities were burning th
e midnight oil in a bid to identify, freeze and seize properties that were obtained through the infamous scam.
He at the time said that Kenya hoped to have identified these properties by the beginning of 2014 with the help of two other countries apart from Switzerland.
Muigai revealed that the government hoped to recover at least Sh3.8 billion out of impounding such assets, held domestically, regionally and globally.
Kenya lost billions of Shillings in the scandal which is thought to have started in 1997 spanning several years.
Towards the end of the year 2005, Githongo released a dossier containing detailed information of the fraudulent scheme, which begun with efforts to replace Kenya’s passport printing system.
The original tender for the passport equipment, to be sourced from a French firm, was six million euros (Sh700.6 million) but a British firm was contracted for 30 million euros (Sh3.5 billion).
Reports claim that the British company would have sub-contracted the same French firm to do the work.
According to Githongo’s report a non-existent company- Anglo Leasing and Finance- was awarded the contract.
He also adversely mentioned, in his report, Energy Minister Kiraitu Murungi, former Vice President Moody Awori and former Finance Minister David Mwiraria as the other brains behind the fraud.
Githongo, who has several times in the past claimed that his life was in danger, also submitted his report to President Mwai Kibaki and the then Anti Corruption Commission.