24 August, 2007

Transparency Int

Transparency International. A reader sent me this article from the Guardian Newspaper. It gives us an insight into the sort of good work that Transparency International is doing all around the world:

Anti-corruption survey lists lawyers for first time
Lawyers have a new reputation in Kenya - as solicitors of bribes. The professionals have
been listed for the first time ever in the annual Kenya Bribery Index, prepared by the local chapter of the Berlin-based Transparency International. Lawyers were ranked the ninth most corrupt group in Kenya in the report, which was published yesterday. The police remained the most corrupt institution in the country for the sixth year running, according to the survey which involved asking 2,400 respondents what institutions they had interacted with and for details of bribes paid.
Associated Press in Nairobi

The article inspired me to do a Google search for the Kenya Bribery Index. I recommend that you have a look at it. It gives an idea how long the Kenya Branch of Transparency International has been working to encourage their fellow citizens to clean up their act. Perhaps, some enterprising young persons could consider setting up a branch in Anguilla.

I was sorry to see how poorly the judiciary and police of Kenya do in the rankings for 2007. The police in Kenya have traditionally been the worst offenders when it comes to bribes. Lawyers enter the list for the first time. You can download the 2007 report here.

Now, I am well aware that thre is no evidence that we have corrupt police or lawyers in Anguilla. But, it would help to keep us on the straight and narrow if we did have a branch of TI here, wouldn’t it?


  1. “We have no reason to be anything better. That’s how we were raised. We were raised to chase money. Not equality, not freedom, not peace.” --Bermuda radio personality Thaao Dill

  2. I am glad that you say there "is no evidence that we have corrupt police or lawyers in Anguilla". Most of the population are quite law abiding and have minimal contact with either the police or lawyers. However there are some of those who do have such contact who have suspicions (and doubtless evidence), which they are prepared to talk about, that some of the police and lawyers do have issues such as conflict of interest, self-enrichment, etc. These people would appear to have little confidence in the Disciplinary Committee of the RAPF or the Ethics Committee of the Bar Association to hear or resolve their grievances. I wonder if any reader can give anecdotes, without naming names (we don't want any law suits flying at Mr Mitchell).

    It would indeed be wonderful if a branch of TI were established in Anguilla.

  3. Find out which law firm in AXA is associated with this group.
    TI can only be set up in independent nations. Anguilla is not independent.

    Kenyan inquiry into Vodafone's mystery partner

    Xan Rice in Nairobi
    Friday February 16, 2007
    The Guardian

    Vodafone, the world's leading mobile phone operator, is under investigation in Kenya over its relationship with a Guernsey-registered company that acted as an advisor in east African telecoms.
    Kenya's investment watchdog is trying to ascertain who is behind Mobitelea Ventures Ltd, a shell company that in 2003 was allowed by Vodafone to acquire a 5% stake in Safaricom, the country's biggest mobile operator. The shares are now worth at least $100m (£51m).

    Local MPs, who only learned of Mobitelea in November, want to establish whether its owners include politicians from the former government who may have used their influence to facilitate Vodafone's original $20m investment in Safaricom in 2000. At that stage, Kenya's regime had become a byword for corruption, with politicians amassing vast wealth.

    Justin Muturi, chairman of the parliamentary Public Investments Committee (PIC), which is investigating the Mobitelea deal, told the Guardian he was concerned about Vodafone's lack of transparency over its dealings in shares of Safaricom, one of the Kenyan government's most valued assets.

    Vodafone has refused a formal request from the PIC to reveal who owns Mobitelea. Mr Muturi said he would be asking the Serious Fraud Office for assistance.
    Mobitelea's shareholding in Safaricom was revealed in a local newspaper in November 2006. Until then it had been assumed - even by the Kenyan government - that Safaricom remained a 60:40 joint venture between government-owned Telkom and Vodafone.

    With Safaricom due to be listed shortly, the PIC launched an inquiry, and asked Vodafone to attend a meeting in the Kenyan capital on January 30.
    The invitation was declined but, in a letter to the committee that has been seen by the Guardian, Gavin Darby, Vodafone Group's chief executive for the Americas, Africa, China and India, stated that Mobitelea was Vodafone's chosen partner in Kenya.
    "When Vodafone makes investments in new territories it is not uncommon that it works alongside a partner who typically gives advice on local business practices and protocol and the various challenges associated with investing in a new market.

    Vodafone would prefer to be in a position to make a comprehensive disclosure but, having taken legal advice, could be in breach of a duty of confidentiality were it to discuss Mobitelea further."
    Documents obtained by the Guardian show Mobitelea was registered in Guernsey on June 18, 1999 - several months after Vodafone had struck a preliminary deal with the Kenyan government.

    Mobitelea's real owners are hidden behind two nominee firms, Guernsey-registered Mercator Nominees Ltd and Mercator Trustees Ltd. The directors are named as Anson Ltd and Cabot Ltd, based in Anguilla and Antigua.

    In his letter, Mr Darby said that Mobitelea was allowed to invest in Safaricom "in return for its valued advice". An investigation by the Guardian shows just how lucrative the opportunity was. In return for its services, Mobitelea was given $5m in cash and a 5% stake in a company that analysts value at $2bn.

    Besides untangling Mobitelea's ownership structure, Mr Muturi is investigating why the government changed its own rules of telecoms privatisation to allow Vodafone to acquire 40% of Safaricom, instead of the 30% limit that had been in place. Without the concession, the Kenyan government's current share of Safaricom would be worth an additional $200m.
    "This is all very murky. By refusing to cooperate, Vodafone is treating us like children and hindering our pursuit of knowledge," Mr Muturi said.
    Mwalimu Mati, a former head of the local chapter of Transparency International, the non-governmental organisation combating corruption, also believes the British authorities should investigate the Mobitelea deal. "At best Mobitelea has been given a bite at the Safaricom cherry ahead of ordinary Kenyans."

  4. I read Mr Vanterpool's article, and I thought he made some invaluable statements, but I often wondered if because a young person goes to college and returns he should be just given a position without experience, because I often realize that a lot of people thinks a degree equals production. Experience is invaluable in any organization. I may be a bit bias but I taught for a while and I still think the older teachers and the way that they taught surpasses this of today. Phonics had to be taught in our day, and now teachers are being told what and how to teach, like this is new, just my thought.
    The teachers still stand out and leave a legacy behind Verna Fahie, Orealia, Janice Teacher Rosina, Joyce, Rodney and so many others likewise they should be compensated for their contribution long after they are retired. I agree with all what Mr Vanta said.

  5. The problems we see in the Water Department, the RAPF, and with the former Magistrate, are the result of appointing technically qualified persons to positions of authority. They not only lack experience, as the above writer indicates, but they did not study management.

    The Ministers recommended two people with years of service for promotion to Permanent Secretary. I believe they were recommended because of their political loyalty. The Deputy Governor has incurred the wrath of the Ministers by appointing two people who had less seniority but who he felt were better qualified. It should not surprise us that Ministers want to change that part of the constitution that allowed Stanley to do this.

    When Dame Bernice spoke of full internal self government, I believe the Ministers chose to believe that all power would devolve to the four of them. The idea is frightening. I really don't think that's what Miss Lake had in mind.

  6. I am not sure why you did not post the article but I will repost a condense version of it. In an article entitled: Kenyan inquiry into Vodafone's mystery partner writtened by Xan Rice in Nairobi
    Friday February 16, 2007, The Guardian; It raised suspicion into a shell company (Mobitelea Ventures Ltd). The real owners appear to have companies in Anguilla and Antigua. "Mobitelea's real owners are hidden behind two nominee firms, Guernsey-registered Mercator Nominees Ltd and Mercator Trustees Ltd.

    The directors are named as Anson Ltd and Cabot Ltd, based in Anguilla and Antigua."

    Transparency International also cannot seem to identify these owners. I am sure it is easy for offshore companies to hide their identitiy in Anguilla because of our secrecy laws. Are we helping international organisations in company corruption?

  7. Do not be frightened, Mr Reid is a no nonsense man, he will call a spade a spade, and no one can twist nor turn him, he is quite aware of what is happening within the civil service, and I believe when the ball comes in his court he would act. He is a decent young man. The ministers of government want to place all their cronies in positions to have a mess and that is why they are so angry because Mr Reid held his position. This is a new age, this is democracy.He can make better and more intelligent decisions then all those ministers put together. Look at the present situation in Anguilla with labor and immigration a total mess free for all, non existent, people roaming all over illegally this is the result of bad decisions.

  8. Dear Mr. Mitchel
    I am concerned about the following and would like your legal expert opinion on the matter. I believe that it falls under the heading of transparency.

    A few years ago the police and government made it abundantly clear about the size, lettering and colour of the number plates to be used by vehicles on Anguilla.
    Laws were quoted indicating that the letters had to be 1/2 inch in width, white numbers on a black background, and numbers had to be either three or four inches in height. This, I must admit resulted in more professional-looking number plates being on the vehicles of Anguilla.

    Today we see a new number plate in use that does not meet any of the earlier quoted regulations. Was there an ammendment made to the ordinance regulating the number plates of vehicles on Anguilla so that these new plates could be heralded in? If this did not happen, can we consider the steps taken by government to introduce a new number plate as illegal?

    I wonder if this is another ploy to fill the pockets of a supporter of the government at the expense of the local guys that manufacted the plates according to the regulations.


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.