State capture leaves many affected and powerless when basic necessities are unavailable, says Kenyan journalist Johan-Allan Namu.

By Khomotso Makgabutlane

State capture doesn’t only happen at a massive scale such as the Guptas in South Africa or the corruption that Africa Uncensored co-founder, Johan-Allan Namu and his colleagues uncovered.

Namu, a Kenyan investigative journalist, was speaking at the first session of the second day of the African Investigative Journalism Conference (#AIJC19) at Wits University, where he also presented the work he has done on state capture.

Earlier this year Namu and fellow data journalist Purity Mukami published investigations into the tenders of dams allocated for the production of hydroelectric power in Kenya. His team showed how the funds for this project passed through many different accounts. Over $40 billion were misappropriated between 2014 and 2018, they found.

He said corruption and state capture, “also happens at different levels, especially at those levels that are not being policed properly.

“Unfortunately, with this kind of theft, we never get our value for money in some of the projects the government engages in.”

Another investigation he and his team worked on is of a woman who died of cervical cancer on July 15, 2019, which represents the negative impact state capture has on ordinary citizens. The woman did not have enough money to pay the $12 fee for treatment after she received her diagnosis. A crowdfunding effort followed the publication of a video detailing her plight, but the government did not purchase the necessary equipment in time to help the woman.

“The procurement of equipment that was done by the government was done without looking at the medical needs of the public,” explained Namu, adding that the equipment the government purchased did not work after arriving late.

FEATURED IMAGE: John-Allan Namu, co-founder of Africa Uncensored, discusses how state capture in Kenya has led citizens to crowdfunding in order to afford basic services. Photo: Ortal Hadad