Michela Wrong

Michela Wrong tells the story of Kenya’s dysfunctional state and an anti-corruption crusader- John Githongo. Githongo was a Kenyan journalist and activist who joined newly elected Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki’s administration in 2003 as anti-corruption czar. He secretly recorded conversations in which powerful officials implicated themselves in corruption- despite the fact that this meant taking on his own tribe, the Kikuyu. This went against the patronage system embodied in the mentality of “it is our turn to eat”- where elites enriched and protected their families and tribe when they had ruling power by appropriating (“eating”) the assets of the state. These recordings caused shockwaves in Kenya but those who were involved escaped serious punishment, and John Githongo had to flee to Britain. Michela Wrong examines the problems of aid going to African countries where corruption is so rife and argues that eradicating corruption is not being adequately prioritised by international powers. However, the story of John Githongo offers the hope that a new generation of Africans will change the culture of “it’s out turn to eat”.