It's Our Turn to Eat: The Story of a Kenyan Whistle-Blowerby Michela Wrong
In January 2003, Kenya was hailed as a model of democracy after the peaceful election of its new president, Mwai Kibaki. By appointing respected longtime reformer John Githongo as anticorruption czar, the new Kikuyu government signaled its determination to end the corrupt practices that had tainted the previous regime. Yet only two years later, Githongo himself was
In January 2003, Kenya was hailed as a model of democracy after the peaceful election of its new president, Mwai Kibaki. By appointing respected longtime reformer John Githongo as anticorruption czar, the new Kikuyu government signaled its determination to end the corrupt practices that had tainted the previous regime. Yet only two years later, Githongo himself was on the run, having secretly compiled evidence of official malfeasance throughout the new administration. Unable to remain silent, Githongo, at great personal risk, made the painful choice to go public. The result was a Kenyan Watergate.
Michela Wrong's account of how a pillar of the establishment turned whistle-blower-becoming simultaneously one of the most hated and admired men in Kenya-grips like a political thriller while probing the very roots of the continent's predicament.
The New York Times
Kenya's dysfunctional state is the subject of this gripping profile of an anti-corruption crusader. Journalist Wrong (In the Footsteps of Mr. Kurtz) tells the story of John Githongo, a journalist and activist (and Wrong's personal friend) who joined newly elected Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki's administration in 2003 as anti-corruption czar. Githongo's reformist hopes were betrayed when his investigation of a contracting scandal earned him the enmity of colleagues, death threats and smear campaigns. He fled to Britain in 2005, taking along secret recordings of conversations in which powerful officials implicated themselves in the scam. Githongo, a charming idealist with an "intransigence bordering on egomania," is a magnetic protagonist for Wrong's exposé of the machinery of corruption. She dissects the deeper problem of Kenya's patronage system, which exploits the state as a source of loot and makes allowances for the tribal parties in power. The resulting graft and discrimination-which Wrong argues fueled the communal slaughter surrounding Kenya's 2007 election-reinforces Kenyans' "view of existence as a merciless contest, in which only ethnic preference offers hope of survival." Githongo's saga highlights this pan-African problem and addresses possibilities for change. (July)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
- HarperCollins Publishers
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Meet the Author
Michela Wrong has worked as a foreign correspondent for Reuters, the BBC, and the Financial Times. She has written about Africa for Slate.com and is a frequent commentator on African affairs in the media. Her first book, In the Footsteps of Mr. Kurtz, won the James Stern Silver Pen Award for Nonfiction. She lives in London.
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