Yesterday during dawn raids in Kenya, investigators arrested the former chief executive of the electoral commission along with two others in the latest twist in the so-called “Chickengate” scandal which has already led to Britain’s first conviction of a company for foreign bribery.
James Oswego, a former election official,was charged in court with receiving bribes from Trevy Oyombra. Oyombra was the agent for British printing company Smith and Ouzman Ltd which had been awarded contracts to print material in previous elections.
Back in 2014, following an investigation by Britain’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO), a court in London convicted the chairman and marketing manager of Smith and Ouzman Ltd of paying nearly 500,000 pounds in bribes, according to the SFO website.
The two men appeared in court alongside Hamida Ali, who covered her face with a golden veil, stamped with the Chanel logo. Ali has been accused of facilitating payments using her bank account and all three have denied any wrongdoing.
The case is known as the ‘chickengate’ scandal as prosecutors claim the three used the word “chicken” to refer to cash, with “have you eaten the chicken?” allegedly being code for receiving money.
Oswago protested his innocence as plainclothed officers ushered him into a vehicle at his Nairobi home, claiming he was being unfairly targeted.
“This is done for the Kenyan public to believe that the anti-corruption commission are doing something about corruption in Kenya.” – James Oswego
In 2014, Oswago and other officials were charged in 2014 in cases, which have not yet been concluded, relating to the procurement of voter identification devices and solar lanterns.