Thursday, February 09, 2006

The beauty in Githongo's soap opera

The plot thickens with each day's revelations from the Githongo dossier. Everything from his dossier to the exclusive BBC interview, both of which are now in the public domain, betray a high psychological capacity on Githongo's part to decipher trends in public opinion and react appropriately. For a former scribe (with the NMG stable's The East African), he has done exceptionally well in his progressive releases. The PAC meeting he'll have in London this weekend should cap it all. What, however, should stand out is the overlooked bit by most in the fact that he quite literally "spied" on his corruption subjects. That he tape-recorded his conversations has given us a nearly photographic recollection of stuff that many in power would wish never was. That, for keen observers, contrasts sharply with the likes of Collins Owayo in the Goldenberg saga who would often say clever Moi issued telephone instructions to him and others. Probably Moi made the calls, but again probably he never did. Fact is no Githongo at the time tape-recorded anything (though the paper trail and rumour mongering would hint at culpability as much as anything else) and nothing close to phone transcripts were availed at the Bosire hearings. What do we learn from this episode? First is that civil servants should still blow whistles when they still can and while they are at it, be smart! You might not have the techno-know-how / why, but at least be wise (as Githongo and the CBK folks that leaked the Goldenberg thing were). The Watergate scandal as well as the Monica Lewinsky affair also both taught us the benefits of such. Second and last is that we need some legislative framework to help us retrieve e-mail and telephone records for government officials in the public interest over such cases as Anglo Leasing and Goldenberg. The European Union recently set the pace by setting in motion policies towards such in its fight against international terrorism. Privacy issues may be an obvious concern in the process, but we ought to find some way to balance that with greater public good. In the meanwhile, it would be interesting to see how State House and the Office of Public Communications handle the latest damage from London. Yes, from London, with love :-)



Anonymous Mwangi said...

Githongo should be the script writer of a thriller movie, The scandal that never was"
Starring Martha Karua marshalling parliament to delete Mwiraria's name from the anglo leasing scandal, Murungaru as her support cast saying mwiraria cannot even hurt Nzi.

2/09/2006 07:05:00 pm  

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