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History has taught us that nothing can deter John Githongo

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Anti-graft czar John Githongo suffered a blow on Thursday after the High Court sitting in Nairobi ordered him to pay former Internal Security minister Chris Murangaru Ksh27 million in damages after linking him to the infamous Anglo Leasing scandal that rocked the country during former President Mwai Kibaki’s regime.

The ruling appears not to have deflated the resolve of the former whistle blower who says he is undeterred by what he alleged to be the actions of the very same people he has exposed.

In a statement posted on his official Twitter page, Githongo vowed to challenge the decision as ‘vigorously as possible’.

“I am disappointed though unsurprised by the decision that has come from the High Court with regard to the Anglo Leasing defamation matter brought against me by the former Minister for Internal Security and Provincial Affairs Chris Murungaru,” said Githongo.

“The matter has drudged down through the courts for 13 years and heard by different judges. Unfortunately the court disallowed witness evidence in my regard we have filed my intention to appeal in this regard as well,” he added.

But history has taught us that even Githongo does not even flinch while facing the biggest battles of his life.

While he was Permanent Secretary for Ethics and Governance in the Kibaki regime, Githongo blew the whistle on the scandal where fictitious companies were awarded big money contracts for phantom projects.

The government lost billions of shillings for services not rendered. The establishment claimed that the companies provided, among others, military, forensic laboratory and passport printing equipment but Githongo exposed senior government officials he said were deeply involved in the theft of public funds.

Other individuals that the anti-graft crusader linked to the multi-billion scam included former Vice President Moody Awori, Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi, former finance minister the late David Mwiraria and shadowy businessman Deepak Kamani.

{Read: Tanzanian billionaire Reginald Mengi dies at 75}

Githongo resigned while an official business trip in Europe and went into hiding in London. He had used the trip as a way of fleeing the country in fear for his life.

While in London, Githongo in a letter to Kibaki detailed his account of every suspicious deal that he had been investigating.

Githongo feared that the rot went all the way up.

As Kibaki had campaigned on an anti-graft platform, Githongo’s expose was damning for his administration.

The former president had no option but to force his key men to resign amid immense public pressure.

During an interview with the BBC in London, Githongo said that Kiraitu had attempted to blackmail him to stop his investigations as they touched on “our people” and even played a secretly recorded tape of their conversation during the interview.

{See also: Sankara Nairobi joins Mariott’s luxury hotel chain}

In the same twitter post where he said he would appeal the High Court’s ruling, Githongo lamented that corruption has spiraled out of control during President Uhuru Kenyatta’s regime.

The Anglo Leasing scandal made Githongo a hero in Kenya but a villain within government. Since then, he has never shies away from speaking against corruption in the government and recently leaked an interim auditor general’s report which showed that the Jubilee administration had used the Mombasa Port as collateral to acquire the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) loan from China. The government furiously denied the deal.

It is unlikely that the latest High Court ruling will stop him from what he does best.

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