NPR logo Kenya's Rampant Corruption Takes A Hit In New Cases


Kenya's Rampant Corruption Takes A Hit In New Cases

Kenya’s foreign minister has been forced to step down over a questionable land deal — the second sign this week that investigators are taking aim at Kenya’s notorious corruption problem.

Investigators say Kenyan taxpayers lost millions of dollars when their government ignored appraisals and grossly overpaid for land for a new embassy in Japan.

Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetang'ula insisted he’s innocent. But he said he would step down during the investigation, which he called "a report and motion founded on malice, rumors and innuendo."

This week, Transparency International ranked Kenya among the most corrupt countries on the planet.  But some Kenyans say they’re encouraged by a string of new cases.

Kenya’s higher education minister was suspended last week, pending trial on corruption charges.

And Nairobi Mayor Geoffrey Majiwa was arrested Monday, in connection with an episode in which the capital city paid far more than the asking price for land to create a public cemetery. By some estimates, the land is valued at only 10 percent of the $3.6 million paid.