USD 5.6 MILLION: Of Jimi Wanjigi and the Anglo Leasing scandal

In one of the cables leaked by whistle-blower website Wikileaks, of 2nd March 2006, then US Ambassador to Kenya, William Bellamy, sought the suspension of entry into the US of one Jimmy Wanjigi for his role in the billion shilling Anglo- Leasing and similar scandals in which he is accused of facilitating and channelling contracts, communication, and money between theĀ private businessmen like Anura Perera and Depak Kamani on the one hand, and GOK agencies and officials responsible for procurement on the other.

The ambassador described Wanjigi as a relative newcomer to high-level graft, having come on the scene following the 2002 electoral victory of Kibaki’s coalition.

Early in the Kibaki administration, he traded on his contacts with members of Kibaki’s family (probably without Kibaki’s knowledge) to break into Kamani and Perera’s networks, and to insist on getting a cut from the security-related procurement scams

One of his first such deals was an extension of a Kamani-origin contract begun under the previous administration to supply vehicles to the Office of the President.

The overpriced contract reportedly netted Wanjigi and then Internal Security Minister Chris Murungaru $5.6 million.

Wanjigi also turns up later as participant in Perera’s massively overpriced naval frigate deal, working behind the scenes with Perera, Alfred Getonga and others to work out a way to move the deal forward, despite the risk of public exposure.

After the February 2005 resignation of John Githongo, he is also widely believed to have worked closely with Getonga to put out a number of false rumors to discredit Githongo by, for example, circulating rumors and planting stories in the media alleging that Githongo was a British spy and a child molester.

Githongo himself believes Wanjigi and Getonga were behind the death threats that forced him to resign and go into self-imposed exile.

According to Githongo’s written account, the very day Githongo succeeded in having President Kibaki sack some officials since indicted for their involvement in Anglo- Leasing, Finance Minister David Mwiraria came to Githongo’s office “and warned that Mr. Jimmy Wanjigi had sworn to kill me.”