The Curious case of the Kenya Kroll Report

The manner of the Kroll Report’s commissioning, its publication and the timing of it, and its multiple failings as a work of professional research give rise to serious questions regarding the activities of the Government of Kenya at the time, the intended purpose and use of the Kroll report, the professional competence of Kroll and the manner of that company’s operations in Kenya. These questions have still to find adequate answers.

The Souce


It was pounced on by Kenyan politicians, Kenyan ‘civil society’, the media in Kenya and around the world, the ‘international community’ and academics. It brought Wikileaks international recognition and led the whistle-blowing site’s founder Julian Assange to declare after Kenya’s 2007 elections that it, “swung the election”. (The Guardian ) (The GateWayPundit) Its publication probably did change the course of Kenyan history.

The ‘Kroll Report’ into high level corruption in Kenya is still held up as the definitive study into corruption in Kenya. But was the Kroll Report accurate? Why were some parts of the report not published? Why were there pages missing? Why were the investigations into some ‘targets’ not published? Who were these ‘targets’? Was the report as published the same report the Kroll delivered to the Kenyan government? Was it even a Kroll report at all? Who was really behind it? Who really ‘leaked’ it and why?

The Project KTM site investigates the truth behind Kenya’s ‘Kroll report’.


It was back in December 2003 that the international ‘risk consulting company’ Kroll delivered a ‘Preliminary Report’ into alleged high level corruption in Kenya to the Government of Kenya that had commissioned the report. Kroll’s assignment was managed by John Githongo, then Kenya’s Permanent Secretary for Governance and Ethics in the Office of the President. (The Guardian)

A further ‘Consolidated Report’ was delivered to the Kenyan government in April 2004 but was not published at the time, although details of the alleged report appeared in the UK newspaper, theObserver, in March 2005 (MarsGroupKenya), suggesting that Ksh78 billion ($1 billion) assets were held in London for leaders of Moi’s regime. (See also, ‘Kenya – A History Since Independence’ by Charles Hornsby, published by I.B. Tauris & Co Ltd, London, 2012, page 706).

For the next three-and-a-half years the delivery and content of the Kroll Report remained a secret from those named in it and from the Kenyan public, only a handful of people even knew of its existence.


The ‘Preliminary Report’ has never been released but what was said to be the ‘Consolidated Report’ was made public when parts of it were published over three years later via an anonymous ‘Wikileak’ on the Internet on 30 August, 2007. The Report was scanned and posted and the basis of the allegations contained in it were subsequently published in The Nation, Kenya’s leading newspaper. The Nationhowever, promptly removed the link to Wikileaks following complaints that the ‘report’ was based on factual errors and unsubstantiated allegations.


The Kroll report made specific and serious allegations of fraud against several individuals from two families – those of former President Daniel arap Moi including his sons Gideon and Philip, Joshua Kulei, a private secretary and aide to arap Moi, and Nicholas Biwott a former minister in the Government of Kenya, a leading businessman in Kenya, and at that time still a Member of the Kenyan Parliament.

It appeared to detail multiple instances of fraud involving and the ‘looting’ of Kenya’s economy to a figure of nearly $2 billion.


According to reports published in the UK Newspaper, The Guardian, on 31 August 2007

‘The document is believed to have been leaked by a senior government official upset about Mr Kibaki’s [Kenya’s President] failure to tackle corruption and by his alliance with Mr. Moi, Kenya’s former President, before the presidential election in December 2007.
The Kenyan government confirmed that it received the Kroll report in April 2004. But Alfred Mutua, the official spokesman for the government, said that the report was incomplete and inaccurate, and that Kroll had not been engaged to do any further work. Mutua said, “We did not find that the report was credible. It was based on a lot of hearsay.” Mutua confirmed that the leaking of the report was politically motivated.’

(The Guardian) (MarsGroup Kenya) (The Independent) (The Financial Times)

Alfred Mutua’s statement pretty much pointed the finger at John Githongo, by then Kenya’s former self-exiled Permanent Secretary for Governance and Ethics in the Office of the President, for being the original source of the leak.

Perhaps Githongo was the original source for the document but he wasn’t the man who ultimately leaked it, nor was Wikileaks the only organisation involved.


In 2007 the ‘whistle blowing’ web-based Wikileaks, ‘publishers’ of private, secret and classified material from anonymous sources, was not widely known. It had been set up in 2006 by Australian ‘internet activist’ Julian Assange.
In October 2006 was registered in Nairobi under the name ‘John Shipton’. This, it transpired, was the name of Julian Assange’s father, the father he never met. (SpyBlog Org.)

In January 2007 Wikileaks launched themselves on to the international stage via the ‘World Social Forum’ held in Nairobi, an event that Assanje described as the “world’s biggest NGO beach party”.(The Guardian)

Wikileaks’ registered address in Kenya was given as ‘Nairobi, c/o WLK PO Box 8098-00200’. Curiously, this address was the same as that for the Mars Group, ‘a leadership, governance, accountability and media watchdog’, and like Wikileaks an internet based organisation. (SpyBlog Org)(Yellow Pages Kenya)

Mars Group Kenya was opened by a Mwalimu Mati with his wife Jayne, in December 2006. Mwalimu Mati had worked for Transparency International Group (Kenya) but left after he was ‘sacked’ in June 2006 following an audit that ‘found major anomalies in the awarding of contracts as well as the misuse of Transparency’s name. (BBC)

Mwalimu Mati claimed that he had heard of Wikileaks from a friend in Germany and become a ‘volunteer’ in 2007.


Julian Assange referred to the Kroll Report as the “holy grail of Kenyan journalism” and later said that, “I went there [Kenya] in 2007 and got hold of it”.(The Guardian ) (The New American) (Ted.Com)

What really happened was that the Kroll Report was leaked to Mwalimu Mati at the Mars Group who claimed that “Someone dumped it on our laps”. Mars Group, in effect, published it via Wikileaks under the headline, ‘The missing Kenyan billions’.(The Guardian)


The timing of the Report’s ‘publication’ was perhaps also revealing. The ‘leak’ took place on 31 August, 2007, a few months before the presidential and parliamentary elections in Kenya and just three days after Moi and Biwott announced on 28 August that they were backing President Mwai Kibaki in the forthcoming elections. (WikiLeaks)

Kibaki’s main opponent in the election was Raila Odinga, who in turn had sat on the ‘Cabinet Committee against Corruption’ that appointed Kroll and supervised the drafting of the Kroll Report.‘Early in 2003’, wrote Odinga, ‘a representative of the internationally renowned risk advisory firm Kroll was introduced to me in London. I invited him to Nairobi and introduced him to the Secretary of the Cabinet Committee against Corruption, John Githongo’. (Saisa Duni)

The Kroll Report quickly became a central theme of Raila Odinga’s and his party’s, the Orange Democratic Movement, campaign.(MarsGroupKenya)


Was it purely coincidence that the timing of the Kroll Report took place at a critical point in the run up to Kenya’s elections? It seems not.

On Friday 31 August, 2007, a Wikileaks ‘spin doctor, who turned out to be none other than Julian Assange, when asked why the report’s publication had been rushed, replied “Political timing”. (SpyBlog Org)


There has been some dispute as to whether the document released via Wikileaks was indeed a report produced by Kroll. There are a number of reasons to think that perhaps it wasn’t.

For a start, it doesn’t even look like a Kroll report. The typeface used in the publication appears to be different to that usually associated with Kroll reports and its format also differs from other reports.

Nor is the terminology used that normally seen in a Kroll report. For example, the term ‘Legally privileged and confidential’ does not appear on other Kroll reports.

The language used is in part almost colloquial in nature and lacking the precision expected of such reports.
Throughout the Kenya Kroll report reveals a lack of professionalism and a failure to undertake even basic due diligence.(this is more thoroughly dealt with here)


In an article published in the British newspaper (The Guardian, on September 3, 2007), shortly after the partial Kenya Kroll Report was published by Wikileaks, it was stated that ‘extraordinarily’, Kroll had given ‘the management of the project [the Kenya Kroll Report] to a young member of a prominent white Kenyan family’.


The person The Guardian article was referring to was ‘Mara Moon’ Dudu Douglas-Hamilton, a member of a British aristocratic family, born in Kenya, who had studied politics and criminology at Cape Town University in South Africa.


Dudu Douglas Hamilton, if she had worked on the Kenya Kroll Report, would have done so under the auspices of a Tara O’Connor, a graduate of Cape Town University and former journalist, and then Kroll’s Managing Director for Africa [Link] who supposedly ran the company’s ‘specialist investigators and political analysts’ from Johannesburg.


It is also clear that several pages from the 2004 ‘Consolidated Report’ were removed prior to its being leaked and that the ‘Report’ as published is obviously not complete.

Its contents page refers to page numbers but in the report itself none of the pages are numbered. Its contents page also refers to a page 1 as being an ‘Introduction’ but the published report does not contain an introduction.

To date the missing pages have not been made public.


It is also curious that allegations against several other individuals named in the Kroll Report were removed before it was leaked.

The index refers to ‘targets’ 1, 2, 3, and 7, but the sections relating to targets 4, 5, and 6 were not published, which raises the question as to who were targets 4, 5, and 6?

Requests for these pages to be published, for the circumstances of the report’s commissioning, its terms of reference and for the full cost of the ‘Kroll Report’ to be revealed, have never been met.


One theory as to the partial nature of the Kroll report’s publication is that between its leaking to the Mars Group and its publication on Wikileaks, the original document was edited and sections removed.

It is curious (or perhaps not) that the ‘targets’ for whom allegations were published, were all current supporters of Kibaki’s Party of National Unity (PNU). No details were released of anyone supportive of the main opposition, the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM).


When the Kroll Report was published even the Kenyan government publicly stated that it could not act on the report because it amounted to rumour and gossip and nothing more.

It is also worth noting that Kroll closed its East Africa office very shortly after the publication of the document and refused to confirm or deny whether the leaked report was the one that they provided to the Kenyan Government, or ‘comment on the authenticity of the report’.

The Kroll Report however, was very influential at the time of its publication both internally to Kenya and with foreign governments and remains so to this day, regularly cited by academics and authors.


Real, faked or doctored, the partial Kroll Report as published, however, is based on hearsay, rumours, fundamental inaccuracies and obvious untruths. The sources relied on by Kroll, mostly unnamed, also lead to grave doubts as to the validity of the report.

Kroll did not make even simple checks against publicly available information. They were unable, for example, to accurately describe the registered owners of Kenya’s telecoms giant Safaricom even though it is a publicly listed company and the information is publicly and readily available.

Kroll’s investigators failed to make even simple fact check searches on the Internet and based their report on fundamental errors. These and many other multiple errors seriously undermine the Kroll Report as any form of empirically-based study.

A proper investigation would not have put forward as facts unreliable information, gossip and hearsay. It would have conducted exhaustive and independent research to distinguish rumours from facts and to determine whether any of the allegations could be supported. It would have conducted corporate and internet searches, reviewed government files, contacted other governments, interviewed reliable sources and obtained documents to determine the truth. Instead, Kroll chose not to do this, at great expense to Kenyan taxpayers.

The manner of the Kroll Report’s commissioning, its publication and the timing of it, and its multiple failings as a work of professional research give rise to serious questions regarding the activities of the Government of Kenya at the time, the intended purpose and use of the Kroll report, the professional competence of Kroll and the manner of that company’s operations in Kenya. These questions have still to find adequate answers.


The Source