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Martha Karua pocketed BAT’s £50,000 bribe to promote cigarette smuggling

Azimio La Umoja presidential running mate Martha Karua is not as clean as purported by the coalition owners.

In 2015, Ms Karua was paid a £50,000 bribe by British American Tobacco (BAT) to prevent a rival company from supplying Kenya Revenue Authority with technology to curb cigarette smuggling.

Karua received the bribe which was an equivalent of Ksh. 7.6 million from the cigarette makers in pretense of political donations.

Martha Karua pocketed BAT’s £50,000 bribe to promote cigarette smuggling

In return for the bribe which was paid through a proxy, BAT obtained crucial confidential KRA documents on the Ksh. 15.2 billion five-year deal for new technology to tackle smuggling which is rampant in the cigarette industry.

Her efforts to attach the scandal to her campaign aide Mary Mukindia did not bear fruits. Karua was exposed by BAT bribery and corruption claims dossier given to Britain’s Serious Fraud Office by Paul Hopkins, a whistle-blower who worked with BAT in Africa for 13 years.

UK authorities then launched investigations which revealed how BAT ran a systematic bribery syndicate in Nairobi aimed at stifling anti-smoking laws and collecting business intelligence on rivals. It was found that Martha Karua played a role by accepting a bribe to aid the vice.

The former minister for Justice and Legal Affairs used Mary M’Mukindia, a former director at the KRAas a conduit through which BAT PLC paid the £50,000 bribe to block a rival firm from winning the lucrative tender at the KRA.

Another crook who colluded with Ms Karua to execute the bribery scandal was Julie Adell-Owino, a former BAT Kenya lobbyist.

The scandal that involved both BAT in Kenya and Uganda was first exposed by BBC in December 2015, and further details revealed by the Independent newspaper.

Karua was on Monday unveiled as a running mate to Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Alliance presidential candidate Raila Odinga who will face off Kenya Kwanza’s Dr. William Ruto and Rigathi Gachagua.

Raila lauded the mother of two as a nominee who meets the integrity test despite her stinking role in the BAT scandal. Ms Karua was also part of the team that abused loopholes in the defunct law to swear in a leader at night amid violence that had sparked the country over disputed election results.

Martha Karua does not meet the integrity test neither does she match the experience of DP William Ruto’s nominee, Hon. Rigathi Gachagua. Gachagua is an experienced senior public servant and current Member of Parliament for Mathira Constituency. 

The former administrator is also vocal, aggressive, combative, an excellent mobilize and a great team.