Category Archives: Turkana

Kenya’s Money in the Past: Spymaster Memoirs by Bart Kibati

Excerpts from the Memoirs of a Kenyan Spymaster, a unique autobiography by Bart Joseph Kibati who worked in national intelligence for over two decades, where his job was to, with others in the business, identify and analyze threats and advise the government. It is a revealing look at many sectors of his life (he got married the same day that Tom Mboya was shot), Kenya’s transformation in the independence era, the business environment, and the state of security in East Africa and international relations, while serving in two administrations during  which he interacted with Presidents’ Kenyatta and Moi.

Spymaster excerpts

Police & Cattle & Remote areas

  • Cattle rustling by cattle raiders – Ngorokos (former soldier) has long been a feature in Kenya, with Laikipia and Samburu raids spilling over to Turkana, Baringo and Isiolo areas. Suguta Valley where over 40 police were killed in 2012 is a place that police have long avoided going to for years because of the dangers.
  • While the ‘Ngoroko’ plot against Moi, was a myth, it was based a well-intended idea to have an elite fighting unit to chase and deal with bandits.
  • For decades, Lamu’s Boni forest, which is near the Somalia border, has been a hideout for poachers & bandits and this has been sustained by poor policing practices in the area and support by local tribes.

East Africa & Leadership Styles

  • Some keen observations on some of the factors such as economic desires, ideology & actions of leaders  – Kenyatta, Nyerere and Obote/Amin and other political party & government officials in the run-up to why the East Africa community collapsed.
  • Two days after the signing of an East African a treaty in 1963, there were coup attempts in all three EAC countries.
  • To make their decisions, Kenyatta relied on finished intelligence information, while Moi wanted raw information.
  • Moi wanted to know why the Kikuyu hated him and Bart told him about quotas in education and government, and the collapse of their banks (which were rolled into Consolidated Bank) and area infrastructure, to which Moi replied: “How can the government build infrastructure if they ask donors not to release funds?”

Industry & Economy

  • Beach plots allocated by the President and partnership with hoteliers resulted in massive hotel empires at the coast or wealth from selling utility plots – by people around the president.
  • The greed of property developers and corruption of environmental regulators.
  • The government moved to grant duty-free cars to university lecturers in a move to pacify their radical ways.
  • Coffee smuggling from Uganda, through Chepkube, opened the eyes of many people in government, including police, to quick great wealth that could come from corruption.
  • The Numerical Machine Corporation was a success. It just could not shed the ‘Nyayo car’ tag.

Human Resources  & Working in the Government: 

  • When he finished form four at Mangu High School, he had job offers to work at East African Airways, Barclays Bank, the Post Office, Kenyatta University, and also the option to continue his schooling at A levels!
  • The recent repeal of indemnity for security forces (and TJRC) makes it hard to do police work such as combating terror threats and is a demonization of patriots.
  • How colleagues, and politicians scheme to transfer, promote or demote other security staff.
  • There is no pension for older Kenyans who, while experienced, are discarded under the guise that they are preventing youth from getting jobs. It seems the Government hopes they will die soon and stop draining the meagre government pension.
  • There were no successful coups in Kenya due to (long-term spymaster chief) Kanyotu and the Special Branch. The 1982 coup was unnecessary;  It could have been stopped but for a leak and bureaucracy. But Kanyotu was later misled by Pattni into the Goldenberg scam.
  • The more open that national intelligence services become, with things like having a visible head (of tee NIS) and a website, the less effective they have become.
  • Finally, he ends by asking if Kenya is facing more terror attacks, urban crimes, and rural banditry today because the country doesn’t have a functional intelligence collecting unit. Or there’s more reliance on technical intelligence than human intelligence by a demoralized, ethnicized spy unit.

Some revelations in Spymaster are shocking, but many of the stories have been cited elsewhere with different interpretations, and many of the people named have passed on, or circumstances have changed. Also another story elsewhere, quotes Lee Njiru a long time civil servant who says that: (the) Official Secrets Act binds civil servants to keep secrets for 30 years and the period had elapsed and he was now free to share what he knows.

Also read The Birth of an Airline by Owaahh, which narrates from the Spymaster book, about the break-up of East African Airways and the birth of Kenya Airways.

Tullow Oil East Africa updates

A few weeks ago Tullow Oil gave an update of their half year results with operational updates for different countries including Kenya and Uganda.

  • Uganda: Tullow sold a stake in its Uganda oil development to Total Oil for $900 million ($200m cash – $100m on completion, $50m at FID, $50m at first oil, $700m in deferred consideration), and will retain 10% of that and also of a $3.5 billion pipeline through Tanzania. The statement mentions inter-governmental agreements signed to secure pipeline routing and commence key commercial agreements, and last week, Tanzania and Uganda announced the commencement of the construction of a $3.55 billion, 1,445 kilometer-long oil pipeline that will be completed in three years.
  • Ghana has sustained low-cost production due to an absence of drilling in 2017.
  • Kenya: The Implementation experience of the early Tullow early oil pilot scheme will assist the Tullow oil joint venture, Kenya Government and Turkana county to prepare for full field development (however a previous plan to transport oil by truck had been shelved before the elections amid a dispute of sharing oil revenue). 
  • South Lokichar Basin: 14 exploration prospects drilled, 11 oil accumulations discovered – estimated billion barrel basin potential.
  • Other Tullow oil exploration is ongoing in Ghana, Namibia, Zambia, and Mauritania as well as in South America.

 

Tullow to truck Oil from Turkana to Mombasa

Tullow Oil has an advert in the newspapers today seeking suppliers to help it transport oil from  Lokichar, Turkana to Mombasa. There are two requests:

  • For registered truck companies in Kenya, that have new vehicles, and experience transporting hazardous material.
  • The other is for a lease of 100 pressurized insulated containers of 25,000 liters each. (Presumably these T11 standard containers can also be transported by railway).

There is a bit of regional and domestic politics here. While Uganda seems to have opted to refine its oil and ship it out via a pipeline in Tanzania, Kenya wants to show that it can deliver on that in the short-term.

Trucks on a highway (via AfricaKnows.com)

Trucks on a highway (via AfricaKnows.com)

Also the Jubilee government is checking off all its pre-election promises and while the one to prioritise the construction of an oil pipeline from South Sudan and a new oil refinery at the coast may not materialize, expect by the August 2017 elections to have a barrel of Kenyan oil shipped out from Mombasa, regardless of the means of transport or the cost of production.

Once oil is trucked to the coast, the long-term picture could see a lowering of the costs and perhaps  re-engagement by other countries in the region on the suitability of shipping oil through a pipeline in Kenya.

 

OIl & Mining Payback in Kenya

Tullow Oil have just released their Kenya Report on their oil exploration efforts and local impact in the last year with special emphasis on the Turkana area. And earlier, Base Resources who are a signatory to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, had also released their EITI impact report.

In the last year, by their measure, Tullow Oil and Base Resources have paid the Kenya government $22 million and $16 million respectively in direct payments, and with more indirect benefits.  Oil and mining are industries that are complex and expensive to set up, but which don’t generate a lot of direct jobs – some of their number include:


  • Last year, Tullow paid Kshs 4.1 billion (~$48 million) to Kenyan suppliers, $100 million to foreign suppliers registered in Kenya and another $100 million to international companies. Of the Kenya supplier amounts, Kshs 259 million went to Turkana business interests.
  • They still need Kenya petrol legislation. 
  • Estimated findings are 600 million barrels  in South Lokichar alone.
  • Infrastructure Needs: Looking at an export pipeline and regional road and rail. Regional countries need to support an export pipeline, agree on what route will such a pipeline take, where the terminal will be (likely to be Lamu) – and who will invest/pay for this. The proposed underground pipeline will need to be a heated one, and at 850 kilometres, will be the longest heated pipeline in the world
  • Social Impact: Tullow have community resource offices in Lodwar, Lokori, and Lokichar – and this year, plan to double the Kshs 233 million ($2.75M) they spent on social projects in 2013, during which they faced community concerns and protests of local impact  which even temporarily shut operations. They have provided 3,000 bursaries and scholarships and teaching materials for 50 schools.
  • Jobs Jobs Jobs: Tullow has 100 employees on site, 70% of who are Kenyan. Another 2,000 are employed by their subcontractors/suppliers and 87% of these are staffed by are locals, and 59% by Turkana people.

Financing Lake Turkana Wind

Monday this saw the signing of final agreements for the financing of the Lake Turkana Wind Power – LTWP project. This was the completion of a long, 9 year process that began with a fishing on trip on Lake Turkana, that yielded no fish, but a lot of wind on boat trip. 
The signing of finance deals worth 498 million euros (~ Kshs. 60 billion), will go towards LTWP which at Kshs. 75 billion is arguably both, the largest single wind power plant in Africa and, the largest single private investment in Kenya

The  Kenya Government has committed to raise the country’s electricity generation capacity to 5,538MW (from the current 1,533MW) by the year 2017. 630MW of that will be from wind, and they they have identified five strong wind areas in Ngong, Turkana, Kinangop, Kipeto and Isiolo – and hopes that using renewable sources of energy like wind will bring down the cost of electricity to consumers, and save on fuel import costs for the country.


The government’s KETRACO agency will build a 428 kilometer, 400 kV line, from Loyangalani to Suswa Suswa to Laisamis that they say will be ready in 24 months and which will also  link up with geothermal plants along the way. 
Image from LTWP website
The LTWP which will generate 300 MW, using 365 turbines in Laisamis (Marsabit) was registered in 2006, and brought one Aldwych International as an investment and development partner in 2009.
Financiers in LTWP include the African Development Bank (AfDB are the lead arrangers and who have provided a guarantee against some delays have also financed $1.7 billion in power generation in Africam with 39% iof that going to private sector companies) the European Investment Bank. Standard Bank (Stanbic), FMO, Nedbank, EADB, PTA, PKF, DEG, Proparco and soon OPIC (US)
Other partners in LTWP include Vestas (turbine supplier), the governments of Denmark (proving EUR 135 million including 120m in export credits), Netherlands, and Spain (who are financing the Laisamis- to Suswa transmission line).  
Next, the Kenya government wants to expand the number of last mile electricity connection while KETRACO also plan to extend the transmission lines to Northern and North Eastern Kenya – and on to Ethiopia, Tanzania and Uganda. This will serve the regional transmission purposes and also open up northern Kenya.
Joseph Njoroge,  the Energy principal secretary, said additional electricity opens up opporutunies such as enabling the pumping of crude oil, the Standard Gauge Railway is also planned to use electric trains, Iron Smelting, as well as clinker production (by Athi River and Dangote.