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Wikileaks Breaks $3 Billion Corruption Story 206

James Hardine writes Wikileaks, the website for whistleblowers, has broken one of the world's biggest corruption stories in the international press (Guardian, BBC, Forbes, Sydney Morning Herald). The site has leaked a secret report on looting by ex-president Moi of Kenya — and possibly altered the outcome of an impending national election. Moi has become a key player in political life in Kenya, and is now an essential pillar in President Kibaki's campaign for re-election in December 2007. From the Wikileaks page: 'The suppressed auditor's report reveals that currency worth billions of US dollars was looted from Kenya by President Moi and his associates. The money was laundered across the world and includes properties and shell companies in London, New York and South Africa and even a 10,000 hectare ranch in Australia.'"
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Wikileaks Breaks $3 Billion Corruption Story

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  • Phew! (Score:5, Funny)

    by evil agent ( 918566 ) on Saturday September 01, 2007 @04:00PM (#20435373)

    See, this is why I stay away from Kenya and only deal with my legitimate business partners from Nigeria.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      What are you talking about?? This Kenyan guy actually did have money he needed to transfer out of kenya! I guess none of his henchmen were long last relatives twice removed of mine. :(
  • Socialism which centralizes all p;power in the government, causes this. When the same government that is responsible for policing, is repsonsible for economic activity such as providing electricity and even news to the public .. seriously fucked up shit like this can happen. It irreverasbly fucks a country hard.

    Show me where socialism and government control over business activity has brought about prosperity and lifted a country out of poverty? I can show examples for capitalism: China, Singapore, South Kor
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Crazy Taco ( 1083423 )
      Agreed. And just take a look at the countries of Eastern Europe as long as we are citing examples. They are doing FAR better than they ever were under the socialist/communist policies they followed throughout the cold war. Japan is another example of an Asian country that is no longer in poverty either. They got their buts kicked in WWII and didn't have anything, but now are one of the wealthiest countries in the world.

      Now lets look at countries that are following socialism. I'm betting heavilly that we are
      • by GreyWolf3000 ( 468618 ) on Saturday September 01, 2007 @04:39PM (#20435599) Journal
        I gotta say, when I read reports like this, it's not 'capitalism' or 'socialism' that I end up blaming...
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by gowen ( 141411 )

        I'm betting heavilly that we aren't going to see Venezuela becoming an economic powerhouse under Hugo Chavez. They might stay afloat economically, but that will be almost entirely thanks to oil and nothing else. It certainly won't propel them into having any sort of real, diversified economy in which the vast majority of the population gets out of poverty.

        And how is this different from beacon-of-capitalism and friend-of-America, Saudi Arabia? Except that Chavez is elected and the House of Saud isn't?

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by PPH ( 736903 )

          And how is this different from beacon-of-capitalism and friend-of-America, Saudi Arabia? Except that Chavez is elected and the House of Saud isn't?

          Same problems, different labels. The neocons still suffer from knee-jerk reactions against anything labeled 'Socialist' due to our experiences during the Cold War.

          One other factor to consider is whether US interests are given a cut of the profits. The Saudis throw some business to American contractors, so they must be benign.

      • by roman_mir ( 125474 ) on Saturday September 01, 2007 @04:56PM (#20435679) Homepage Journal
        I live in Toronto, Canada. Yesterday night I was walking by the Mel Lastman's Square [wikipedia.org] and a kid, probably not older than 16 was standing there distributing a socialist newspaper. Another young girl was distributing some kind of a Che Guevara pamphlet. I wish the public education put more emphasis on history and philosophy education (as well as hard sciences,) and would provide these kids with enough information and thinking abilities to understand what exactly such people as Che have done in their lives and why exactly socialist propaganda ends up going the bloody road every time it attempts to change the human nature. Then again, I was born in the former USSR and this is sort of like second nature to understand these things.
        • by Watson Ladd ( 955755 ) on Saturday September 01, 2007 @05:27PM (#20435871)
          In 1917 Russia was an agricultural nation that lost against Germany which was fighting a two front war. Russia had previously been defeated by Japan overnight in the Russo-Japanese war. In 1850 Japan was also an agricultural nation with no industry to speak of. Japan took 100 years to become a superpower, Russia took 20. Is that enough of a historical comparison? Just remember that Communism won the second world war without help. D-Day was major, but it didn't turn the war around like Staligrad and Kursk did. Oh, and who put the first satellite in space? The first heart-lung machine? The big bang? Explained superfluidity? All that from the USSR. Now, let's look at Israel. The kibbutzim produced most of Israel's elite despite having no more then 7% of the population. So it looks like socialism does work. Now remember the 1930's? The only nations not affected by the Great Depression were the USSR and Nazi Germany. This is the historical record, and what it shows is not what you think it does.
          • by roman_mir ( 125474 ) on Saturday September 01, 2007 @05:57PM (#20436005) Homepage Journal
            Before 1917 Russia was a state based on slavery, it is true. Many believe that some form of a revolt was almost inevitable due to the top government not being able to do its job effectively and due to the general population's dissatisfaction with the status quo. Obviously the Russian-Japanese war did not help the matters much at all, why the Russian army was sent against Japanese machine guns with nothing more than some religious icons and crosses in their hands.

            The USSR of-course has defeated the Fascist Germany, the first man in space was Yuri Gagarin and Lev Landau was at least as smart as Einstein. However you are contributing these obvious achievements to the socialist/communist regime set in place, which is a logical fallacy.

            You see, after the October Revolution took place there were people (Stolypin) in the country who proposed reforms that could have turned the country around and brought it into a soft form of capitalism (small size landownership actually.) After all, the country itself was mostly agrarian.

            What has actually happened was very different. My great-grandfather's 7 out of 12 children have died in Ukraine in the beginning of 1930th from hunger along with 30 million other people. So my great-grandfather was moved off his land, because he had to hire help to work in the field, this was against the communist law of the time. His remaining family and himself together with millions others were put on trains and moved to Siberia, away from their lands. His wife and one more kid died in the train during the move from diphteria. Now to some this may not mean much, but they may not understand what Ukraine actually was at the time (and still is today.) It was called the Bread Basket of the Soviet Union. For 30 million farmers to die from hunger is not something that can be explained easily, but the basics of it are these: the new communist government needed money, which it did not have, to jump start a non-existing industrial complex. The only way to do this was to take away what could be taken away from the farmers of the land and to sell it abroad, namely food. Food was taken away completely for at least 3 years in a row, which resulted in approximately 30 million deaths.

            That is just one small bookmark in the novel written by the new communist regime.

            Many probably do not realize this, but when Hitler attacked USSR, he hit Ukraine first. The initial reaction of the people was mixed, most were fed up with the Soviet form of government and they would have stayed away from the war completely and let the Nazi forces through, however Hitler made one of his many many blunders, he killed the civilians and he killed them in numbers and with ferocity that somehow outmatched the late doings of the Communist Party in the republic. At the end of it all Ukrainians had little choice, they had to fight the immediate danger of being exterminated.

            You have cited some examples of ingenuity shown by the people of the former Soviet Union, what you have not seen though outmatches everything that you have heard off. The fate of the people of that land between 1912 and up to about the end of 1960th was terrible. From about 1970th and to the imminent collapse of the Soviet Union the life became much easier, but it was never free.

            You see, the socialists do not want to free people from anything really, they want to tell the people how to live their lives too. If you weren't with 'it' in the former USSR, you were against the law, and the Communist Party set the law. There was no other party.

            Personally I would rather live in a capitalist country during depression, then in a communist country in the best of times though.
            • What has actually happened was very different. My great-grandfather's 7 out of 12 children have died in Ukraine in the beginning of 1930th from hunger along with 30 million other people.

              Why do you have to make up stuff like this? The population of Ukraine was in 1927 32 million, so it is completely unimaginable that 30 million of them died. Historians place the death toll to anywhere between 2 to 7 million, not 30. Also note that while Stalin's collectivization program undoubtedly catalyzed the famine, f
              • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

                by cbraescu1 ( 180267 )
                What's the difference between you and those Holocaust deniers who say "But the Jews are lying, they haven't been N million of Jews killed by Hitler, they were only Z millions!"
                • by tsm_sf ( 545316 )
                  He's saying, in effect, "no all of the Jews were not killed in the holocaust." It should be pretty easy to demonstrate that a country of 32 million people all but vanished, so feel free to throw up a few links.
            • by clang_jangle ( 975789 ) on Saturday September 01, 2007 @08:04PM (#20436655) Journal
              Thanks for posting that, it's a fascinating account. If you write a history book I will buy it.
              However I must take exception to attributing the horrors and abuses of the Soviet government to socialism or communism. The USSR was about as true an example of "socialism" as the US is of "democracy".
              Socialism didn't cause the problems, just as democracy didn't cause the oil war. The bastards who succeed at politics always promote an ideology, but they do not follow it. Whether it's socialism or capitalism, it's always the same kind of crooks doing the exact same things.
              Some of the Scandinavian countries are doing very well blending socialism and capitalism, BTW. Something we are sadly still too brainwashed to do here in the US. :(
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              the first man in space was Yuri Gagarin
              Corerction: The first man in space that survived the landing in good enough shape to be paraded in public afterwards was Yuri Gagarin.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by evilviper ( 135110 )

            Just remember that Communism won the second world war without help.

            Gee, by far the largest country in the world managed to defeat the tiny nation of Germany, and merely by throwing wave after wave of it's own men to be slaughtered in the millions.

            And even with that, I still seriously doubt the USSR would have won the war on it's own. You're completely dismissing the aid the USSR received, and amount of effort the Axis put into fighting the other Allies. England and the US weren't on the ground in Europe a

            • The aid never arrived until after Staligrad. As for size note that Russia is mostly empty space. The fact that the Germans were massacring the Slavs might have something to do with the insane casualty counts. The scale of the Great Patriotic War is many orders of magnitude bigger then any other front in World War II.
          • by esme ( 17526 )

            The only nations not affected by the Great Depression were the USSR and Nazi Germany. This is the historical record, and what it shows is not what you think it does.

            right, the nazis gaining power in germany had nothing to do with the great depression. it must have been their fashion sense and good manners...

            -esme

          • by Agripa ( 139780 )

            Just remember that Communism won the second world war without help. D-Day was major, but it didn't turn the war around like Staligrad and Kursk did.

            I am not convinced. In 1943 the US armament production was almost half of the world total and about 3 times higher then that of the USSR without shifting as far as other nations toward a war economy. The aid going to the Soviets both directly and indirectly was significant.

            I would actually assign more significance to Hitler's poor management of the war turning

          • Just remember that Communism won the second world war without help.
            Without help? I must have been imagining the arctic convoys. Then there's the help [wikipedia.org] they got from the nazis themselves...
        • Yesterday night I was walking by the Mel Lastman's Square and a kid, probably not older than 16 was standing there distributing a socialist newspaper. Another young girl was distributing some kind of a Che Guevara pamphlet. I wish the public education put more emphasis on history and philosophy education (as well as hard sciences,) and would provide these kids with enough information and thinking abilities to understand what exactly such people as Che have done in their lives and why exactly socialist propa

      • No. Not sure the parent should really be modded insightful. This is a simplistic and naive statement. And actually for the most part incorrect. It's little more than an I-drank-the-koolaid observation.

        I'm a westerner that spent many years in the former communist countries. Much of what you read in the west of the hardships in these countries was western propaganda. It really wasn't as bad as you were told it was in many cases, there were some very good things about the systems they had. Sure, yes, there
      • Yea it'll be like America and gold! Or Cotten or whatever, they're taking education seriously and unless patents become even more restrictive they'll be a functional economy in 30-40 years. Unless Bush kills Chavez... but meh, it could happen.

        Before spitting anti-socialist propoganda, check out "The Revolution Will not be Televised" for the kinds of problems South American countries (and close U.S. trade partners actually face). Russia's economy totally collapsed overnight and it got worse when they switc
    • You're right. The "free" press of the USA is far from complacent. Ha.
    • Hang on did socialism cause this, or did corrupt people cause this? Cause it seems to me that corrupt people caused this. Granted socialism stands to be abused far more by corrupt people, but it in itself is not corrupt.

      In any case there are *many* examples of successful socialism, almost every major European nation exhibits varying degrees of socialism.
      • The question is then raised, "Does extreme socialism lend itself more easily to government corruption then extreme capitalism?"

        Another question would be, "Does socialism tend towards a totalitarian state more then capitalism, if so, why?"

        My take on it is that the more power is concentrated in a smaller group of people the more corruption, and the faster the move to totalitarianism. This may be because the smaller the group holding power, the more power each member of that group has, and to quote an old

    • no, it's not. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Scrameustache ( 459504 ) on Saturday September 01, 2007 @04:36PM (#20435569) Homepage Journal
      Socialism causes corruption? Why don't you show me an example of a corruption-free capitalist country?

      Socialism which centralizes all p;power in the government, causes this. When the same government that is responsible for policing, is repsonsible for economic activity such as providing electricity and even news to the public .. seriously fucked up shit like this can happen. It irreverasbly fucks a country hard.

      Show me where socialism and government control over business activity has brought about prosperity and lifted a country out of poverty?
      My socialist prosperity, let me show you it: http://www.hydroquebec.com/profile/index.html [hydroquebec.com]
      Interestingly enough, when deregulation in Ohio led to the great blackout of 2003, the Quebec grid was mostly unaffected because Hydro-Quebec keeps its grid out of sync with its neighbors because they expected something like that to happen, since the states around it are dangerously under-regulated.

      And the CBC is a much more reliable source of news than any of the conglomerate-operated sources in the USA, FOX news they ain't.

      prosperity and lifted a country out of poverty? I can show examples for capitalism: China
      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/3641 475.stm [bbc.co.uk]
        It was not clear of the counterfeit powder included any toxic ingredients, but some children were reported to have died within three days of being fed the fake milk.
      Others were hospitalised when their parents realised they were ill. Fuyang's People's Hospital alone received more than 60 babies who had been fed fake milk formula, according to the Beijing News.
      • http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/3641 [bbc.co.uk] 475.stm
        It was not clear of the counterfeit powder included any toxic ingredients, but some children were reported to have died within three days of being fed the fake milk.
        Others were hospitalised when their parents realised they were ill. Fuyang's People's Hospital alone received more than 60 babies who had been fed fake milk formula, according to the Beijing News.

        Makes me REALLY wonder about the quality of the stuff we eat, use and abuse; since when I was young the news has been telling many things that products need to be troughoutly tested before they can be used as medicine or healthcare products.

        Feeding a baby who has just been put on the world is considered health care. These kids cannot care of themselves or tell us they are missing something; the language is just not there yet for that to happen. The responsibility does not only lie in the hands of its pare

        • I never really saw the use of using artificial products over the real thing and why giving them to babies while they should get most of the real nature to grow up?

          Simply put, it's the result of for-profit corporate disinformation and propaganda [wikipedia.org]:

          Advocacy groups and charities have accused Nestlé of unethical methods of promoting infant formula over breast-milk to poor mothers in third world countries.[15][16] For example, IBFAN claim that Nestlé supports the distribution of free powdered formula samples to hospitals and maternity wards; after leaving the hospital, the formula is no longer free, but because the supplementation has interfered with lactation th

    • Actually, Kerala in India is one of the richer states of India and is *gasp* socialist.
    • Wrong. _Power_ is what allows people to do this. Being in the government gives people power, whether the government is socialist or otherwise. Corruption happens in decidedly un-socialist governments as well, and it happens in companies, ... I could go on, but I've already made my point: it's power that facilitates corruption.

      So thanks for wrongly knocking socialism, and thanks to the moderators who modded you up. It reminds me just how much bollocks is flying around when it comes to politics.
      • by jandrese ( 485 )
        Power alone isn't good enough though, it needs to be unchecked to really be abused. That is why even though the US and Europe have plenty of abuses, a lot of them are caught and the effect on the economy is kept in check somewhat. This can break down in the US for example when the same party grabs all three branches of Congress, but the situation cannot last for long because the people eventually vote them in and the entire government is kept in check by the media.

        This is why whenever you see a governme
        • Exactly. 100% right.

          Except that, perhaps, western media aren't really doing enough to get the important issues exposed, and people are to complacent. That's my view, anyway.
    • by isaac ( 2852 )

      Show me where socialism and government control over business activity has brought about prosperity and lifted a country out of poverty?

      The US after the Great Depression? You know, the one that came about because of ineffective government regulation of the financial sector?

      I don't buy the argument that services for which the delivery infrastructure is a classic natural monopoly and the demand is inelastic - like electricity - should be put in the hands of a private entity with a profit motive.

      Nice troll, tho

      • The US after the Great Depression? You know, the one that came about because of ineffective government regulation of the financial sector?

        The causes of the Great Depression are still being debated:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Causes_of_the_Great_D epression [wikipedia.org]

        The opening paragraph:

        Causes of the Great Depression are still a matter of active debate among economists. The specific economic events that took place during the Great Depression have been agreed upon since it was first studied: a deflationary s

    • by localman ( 111171 ) on Saturday September 01, 2007 @04:45PM (#20435625) Homepage
      Agreed: pure socialism doesn't work well. But neither does pure capitalism. What is interesting to me is trying to find the balance. I tend far towards the capitalist side myself, even sympathizing with Libertarian ideas. But then I realize that all ideals are subject to their limitations when implemented in reality.

      For example: welfare. In a perfect world there would be no such thing and everyone would make their own way or pay the price. So we abolish welfare. Problem is, there will always be a percentage of people who don't make it and who cause those who do to pay the price through theft and violence and being a general nuisance. So it is better for the people who make it to set aside some amount of their income to keep these people living at least at a level where crime upon others is minimized but so is freeloading. Make living at the bottom of the barrel nice enough to prevent crime yet uncomfortable enough that only the most serious hard cases would put up with it. There's no perfect solution, but there is an optimal balance point.

      Call it extortion by the poor, but in a pragmatic sense your money that goes towards welfare stabilizes things in a way that benefits you more than just holding on to that money would. There are countries that go too far in that direction, redistributing wealth, and have serious problems. There are countries that don't do any wealth redistribution, and they have different serious problems. Finding that balance... which few talk about... is really the puzzle. But we just get caught up in arguing about which extreme is correct, holding on to impractical ideals.

      The same balancing act applies to many areas; health care, government mitigating the tragedy of the commons, copyright. How much should the governement get involved in things? For a healthy society the answer is close to "none", but it's not "none".

      Cheers.
      • That's interesting. thanks.
      • Interesting to see poverty and welfare put in that context. I feel enlightened for having read it. Thanks.
    • Socialism which centralizes all p;power in the government, causes this. When the same government that is responsible for policing, is repsonsible for economic activity such as providing electricity and even news to the public .. seriously fucked up shit like this can happen. It irreverasbly fucks a country hard.

      Oxdung. Poverty and ignorance (citizens who don't know the law, their rights and who can then be bullied by local bullies) are what cause corruption.

      In Canada and France, for example, the governm

      • "Less corrupt than *even* the USA"...? America has just institutionalized and legitimized corruption in the forms of lobbying, massively expensive and well funded election campaigns, and promises of cushy corporate board positions after political retirement. They're incredibly corrupt.
    • Yup, because politicians in capitalist countries are never corrupt, right? ;-)
    • We can compare the Russian revolution to the Meij restoration in Japan. Both Imperial Russia and the Shogunate were agricultural, with no heavy industry to speak of. Soviet Russia was a superpower by 1945, only 28 years later. Japan only caught up around the same time, and then got bombed back to the beginning. Another fun comparison is Yugoslavia. From Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] we have that Yugoslavia had 6% annual GDP growth during the 1960's and 1970's. The collapse of the economy was brought about by following the advi
    • by StarTux ( 230379 )
      Erm, this has nothing to do with socialism (and I know Kenya way better than you having actually lived there). Its been pretty much known that this sort of thing has been going on for years under Moi, but its not something anyone in Kenya could safely talk about.

      Is Kenya unique? in a word no...
    • Just couldn't resist to mount your favourite hobby horse, could you? Kenya is not a socialist country. It was as single party state before and is still corrupt, but has had a capitalist system with free private enterprise for decades.
    • by mykdavies ( 1369 )
      Given that he banned teaching of Marxism and suppressed left-wing opposition to his creation of the "one-party" system in Kenya (by merging his KADU party with the KANU party), I'd be interested in understanding why you think that Daniel arap Moi was socialist.

      Do you know more about him and his policies than your comment indicated? From the lack of specific mention of Kenya in your post, I wonder if you were basing your comments on some prejudices about generic "African" politics?
    • Socialism which centralizes all p;power in the government, causes this. When the same government that is responsible for policing, is repsonsible for economic activity such as providing electricity and even news to the public .. seriously fucked up shit like this can happen. It irreverasbly fucks a country hard.

      Show me where socialism and government control over business activity has brought about prosperity and lifted a country out of poverty? I can show examples for capitalism: China, Singapore, South Kor
    • Socialism which centralizes all p;power in the government, causes this. When the same government that is responsible for policing, is repsonsible for economic activity such as providing electricity and even news to the public .. seriously fucked up shit like this can happen. It irreverasbly fucks a country hard.

      Show me where socialism and government control over business activity has brought about prosperity and lifted a country out of poverty? I can show examples for capitalism: China, Singapore, South Kor
  • I knew they had lions in Kenya [youtube.com], but I'd never suspect they'd have any bi-lions, let alone three of them!
  • from the all-for-moi dept.
    I loled.
  • by Bob Cat - NYMPHS ( 313647 ) on Saturday September 01, 2007 @05:18PM (#20435821) Homepage
    That's the LAST thing I ever expected to hear.

    Fortunately, China is raping that continent now instead of Europe, and we know how the Chinese deal with corruption. When it's really obvious. And someone notices. And someone dares to write about it.
  • by Goaway ( 82658 ) on Saturday September 01, 2007 @06:46PM (#20436261) Homepage
    Funny how there's no link in "related stories" to the original Slashdot post about Wikileaks [slashdot.org]. You know, the one that was all about how Wikileaks was a scam and would never get off the ground.
  • by RAMMS+EIN ( 578166 ) on Saturday September 01, 2007 @07:06PM (#20436355) Homepage Journal
    I can't believe it has been over 80 posts without anyone actually congratulating Wikileaks on this great feat.

    So let me be the first to welcome our new, leaking overlords!

    Congratulations, Wikileaks!! Keep up the good work!
  • by wytcld ( 179112 ) on Saturday September 01, 2007 @08:56PM (#20437021) Homepage
    All this discussion about "capitalism" versus "socialism" - as if worshiping the correct ideology could ward off the corrupt, who will take anything and everything, given the chance. It isn't the ism. There's no magic ism that make all your children beautiful and virtuous, and all of some competing ism's children ugly thieves. That mistake is the one Cheney's people made: that if we just give corrupt foreign lands democracy-ism they'll become virtuous paradises of freedom.

    Not that the isms make no difference. But the difference is of style, not virtue. It's like the difference between rock-n-roll-ism and jazz-ism. Most rock-n-roll, and most jazz, is a faint and corrupted echo of the truly great exemplars. Virtue in a musician isn't a matter of which ism they've pursued, but of how they've pursued it. There are great jazz bands, and lousy ones; great rock bands, and lousy ones; great socialist countries (e.g. Sweden), and lousy ones (e.g. Burma); great capitalist countries (e.g. Taiwan), and lousy oness (e.g. Nigeria). Your taste in examples my differ; the point remains that its not what you do (socialist, capitalist, whatever), it's how you do it.
  • by Anonymous Coward
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  • They've got Lions & Tigers too http://www.weebls-stuff.com/toons/kenya/
  • Stone the flamin' crows, there aint no flamin' ranches in Australia ya flamin' drongos. Struth!
  • by Neuticle ( 255200 ) on Sunday September 02, 2007 @04:23AM (#20438931) Homepage
    In a lot of places in Africa, the presence of corruption at lower levels is just tacitly accepted. It's not hard to understand why when sometimes people need bribe money just to put food on their table.

    The problem it's that in many cases when you deal with "donor" money, they don't consider it necessarily stealing from their people, but just getting "free" money from the donors.

    I've seen it first hand on the national scale:
    In Tanzania, during the midst of a severe power crisis I sat down in a cafe in Dar and had chai with the president of the Richmond Development Corperation "based" in Houston TX. They were under contract to import and install emergency power generators to the country. This was a deal worth 10s of millions of USD (This money was of course aid money, Tanzania doesn't have 10 Million in hard currency to toss about). We talked about the power situation and how nice it would be to have it fixed, about foreign aid, and about the USA and Tanzania in general. He was a very pleasant man overall, he gave me his business card and even paid my tab.

    Several weeks later it came to light that RDC was basically a shell company with no real corporate presence anywhere, or capability to buy and ship generators (Google it if you want). It was purely an attempt to swindle millions of dollars (the attitude being that since it was donor money, it wasn't really taking money from Tanzania) How the heck did they win the contract in the first place? I'm sure they greased a few palms along the way.

    Even on the village level, if you write a grant for a building and budget X TSH money for concrete, you can damn well be sure that someone will try their hardest to short a bag or two and pocket the money (concrete is very expensive FWIW). Receipt tracking for grants would be hell if you were not solely in charge of buying and paying for things.

    Considering the harshness of life there, I can't be to angry at people for trying for a few bucks, but with that in mind, the people stealing millions are even more reprehensible.

    RPCV Tanzania 2005-2007
    Still have the business card and newspaper clippings

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