Wednesday, February 18, 2009

John Githongo - Hero Or Traitor?

John Githongo has finally started serializing his book on his life as an anti corruption czar in the Daily Nation.

There’s an interesting mix of comments on the Nation Media site. To sample but a few, Ngocho says: All Githongo’s releases seem aimed to prove that he is clean and others are corrupt. He seems to have forgotten that his appointment was not about him but about Kenya. In spite of holding a position of unrestricted access, he was unable to gather evidence to convict Anglo-leasing architects or stop scams in future. Give us a break John, you have failed.

Jini42 says: Kenyans are quick to criticize and judge Githongo for his actions. Regardless of his ethnic background, I think highlighting corruption is the right thing to do (even from a cowering position behind the British). Although I would like to see him come up with solutions to the problem after he finishes tell us who the culprits are.

If the total comments on the daily nation site were to be a gauge, then it seems majority of Kenyans fail to see Githongo as a hero, with some going as far as branding him a traitor. Well, he may not have anything new to say. We have a pretty good idea of the scandals and the culprits. But it will be good to have his story on the record even though the scoundrels he exposes will not be going to cool their heels in Kamiti Prison any time soon. All in all the serialization is an easy read.

It’s not fair to judge him before the whole story is out but so far he’s coming across as a person who feels he failed somewhere and therefore needs to redeem himself. However things will probably get more detailed as the plot unfolds. I’m also hoping that this time he will spill all.

It was interesting to learn that Dr. Gikonyo was sent along with Kimunya as an emissary to travel to London to see Githongo. Who sends a cardiologist on a corruption cover-up mission?


kainvestor said...

Githongo is only the whistle-blower and i think he did good to expose the rot. He could have sat back and joined the bandwagon of thieves we have in this country, but he didn't. He doesn't have to be a hero or villain, he's only the messenger. why aren't these so called 'comment guys' attacking the real culprits that are stripping this country naked?

Kenyans are dying and we know who's causing it...not Gothongo!

Anonymous said...

A hero he is. The fact that the guy refused to share the loot with the corrupt is enough to make him a hero. FYI he had all the oppotunity to be corrupt if he wished to be one.

Anonymous said...

employees are paid to do jobs and this githongo is no different. You don’t become a hero for doing the job you’re paid to do. infact he did a half job.we know the thieves well akina mwiraria, murungaru and kiraitu so what is he saying? If he has no solutions he should just keep away and stop whining.

Did he not expect any resistance? It is like a soldier. if you become a soldier you expect to meet enemies and fight them not to run away. thats why you're a soldier in the first place. i don’t think anyone will kill him if he come back home.

Rubby said...

The whistle was blown by by Maoka Maore. not Githongo.

bankelele said...

Githongo is a hero.

Eunuch said...

We are a country drifting in the doldrums at the mercy of wild winds. We cling to anything smelling hero. JG did his part and let him tell his story. History will judge him acording whether he is a pretender or the man with real balls of steel. You can bet the lunch box I sms(ed) you that the comments will take the slanted and predictable bogitic slant. Welcome to Kenya my dear.

odegle said...

He is my hero. In fact he is unbelievably good!

Cee said...

Let me start first that I love Kenya and Kenyans are unique people, but sometimes I think we are a bit tooo unique. We do not judge issues on merit. Others will say Githongo is a traitor or hero because of his ethnic group and not what he has done. We as kenyans keep complaining about corruption but when someone like Githongo stands to speak against it, we say it's a deal gone sour. We become excited when he blows the whistle then after a few days we say he wants money or he is whinning. I don't know what is worse, Githongo being named a traitor or that soon we will forget the wrongs he has brought to light and allow the same old wrongdoers continue doing what they do best.
I think it's high time as Kenyans we stand for what is right and stop settling for wrongs and being treated as second class citizens in our own country

Darius Stone said...

"Who sends a cardiologist on
a corruption cover-up mission?"

Clearly Emilio mwana wa Obaks mistook Gikonyo for his lawyer....but I digress.

Githongo is a patriot who was ready to stick his neck above the parapet, which is a lot more than many of us are ever prepared to do. We're experts at moaning and b!&^%$*g about what's wrong with Kenya and fail at the first hurdle to actively contribute to a viable solution. - hoping that someone will come along soon and take us away from this mess.

Those who say he's a traitor have their opinion and that's where it ends - its an opinion. Matter of fact, Githongo is the sort of person who would be first class material for recruitment as an MI6 or CIA asset - but forget the fact that he's got a moral compass, I'd actually argue that there's loads more foreign intelligence assets sitting in political office in Kenya in the first place for pots to start calling kettles black.

Tribe has got absolutely zilch to do with this issue.

As for whether he did his job effectively - I'd hire him again every day of the week and twice on Sunday until we found a better alternative.

Anonymous said...

We should ask not what Githongo did not do but what all of us are doing to fight the evil of corruption.
JG did his best to expose the rot in the top echlons of the government but we did him and ourselves!!! a disfavour by reelecting the same crooks, I wish we had more Kenyans like him

Anonymous said...

We should ask not what Githongo did not do but what all of us are doing to fight the evil of corruption.
JG did his best to expose the rot in the top echlons of the government but we did him and ourselves!!! a disfavour by reelecting the same crooks, I wish we had more Kenyans like him

Kirima said...

Shiko logging into blogger can be a pain hence the anon comment up here

Mama said...

Githongo is not a traitor, he was doing his job he is not a hero either. Its as simple as that.

Anonymous said...

Kirima you are not anon!

I dont see what the fuss is about.. the guy is selling a book pure and simple... He is neither hero nor villain he is really nothing in the whole scheme of things. what has he changed? NOTHING... while the citizens are talking about him the big people have moved on to bigger scandals and corruptions. So for me all that githongo has achieved is he has managed to generate interest for his book.
Half n half

Mama Shujaa said...

To the corrupt he is a traitor.
To those who seek the truth, he is a hero. Wa-Africa, we don't want to be honest; we all want to lie and find ways to rationalise things away. Wa-Africa, we fail to understand that progress comes with sacrifice. How many sacrifices have we as Kenyans made individually? This individual has endangered his life and his family's life.

Anonymous said...

Aha!! Mama shujaa that is the verdict. Sacrifice is what makes a man ahero and that is what we're lacking here in kenyan..Githongo is A HERO.

Empower Kenya said...

Githongo did his job and did it well despite the threats he received.
Whether he is a hero or is not as important as what will be done with the information that he provides.

Since we have had to motions in parliament to censure Mp's, maybe Bonny can take this matter and table it infront of parliament.

Shiko-Msa said...

I hear you people.

Kirima tell me about google!

Nusumbili password bado?

Empower Kenya I don't think Daktari will be sponsoring any motions any time soon. Let's wait and see.

Rafiki said...

Please remind me who this John Githongo is?

Eunuch said...

Kenya is a country populated by highly opinionated people who will deny anythning they see. JG would have turned a blind eye and would be stinking rish the Kenya way and even joined siasa. He denies himself that luxury and we all yap he was doing his job. Well, how many people with that power do their jobs then? We live in collective denial and only shout because we have no opportunity to replace the present theives. Ole wetu.

And speaking of which Dr. Bonny allowed his infant fame after Kinunya to go into his head and the result was a calamity. The shoddy prosecution has allowed Ruto to escape with mass murder in engineered hunger. When it comes to when it matters most none of our leaders can hold any candle to anything. Poor Kenyans, we are stuck neck deep in a rut.

Anonymous said...

Ok I got my PW LOL you made me feel shame on me! If I start blogging again its all your fault

UrXlnc said...

hey shiku and other bloggers, eunuch ni aje.

as always good question, but then why do you limits our choices to just the two, is hero the opposite of traitor (have you been too exposed to the 10th parliament hehehehe)

but seriously we as kenyans continue not to allow true freedom of thought by this i mean we continue to cage ourselves into very narrow confines and sometimes miss out on the core issues or values. for instance JG could very well be both a traitor and a hero just as easily as he could be neither. but in discussing that aspect we lose focus on the message he was driving i.e guys this corruption am telling you as an insider that this guy and this guy and this other guy whom you didnt even think about are in it etc.

so here we are discussing the merits of his method of delivery.

but that aside, how about this other book here

the message is the same except the guy at the helm was different.

actually if you read some of the chapters you'll see the script that was enacted during 2007 elections fiasco, and the similarities between all three regimes.

would this author also be considered a traitor or hero?

Shiko-Msa said...


urXlnc welcome back. Thanks for the Koigi link. Have bookmarked and will read it.

Nusumbili welcome back to blogs. I'll gladly take the blame.