I’ve just finished reading Michela Wrong’s ‘It’s Our Turn To Eat’, an insightful and easy-to-read book on state corruption in Kenya.
I like her style.
One interesting thought from the book … state corruption as a threat to national security. I’d never really given much thought to that. She writes:
“Corruption can reach a point where an entire nation is there for the taking [by the political elite and its foreign friends], where sleaze has security implications not just for the nation concerned, but for its neighbours and allies.”
She quotes the former US Ambassador to Kenya, William Bellamy:
“The reason Al Qaeda came here in the 1990s wasn’t for the scenery. If you can lie your way through immigration, if you can get your goods through customs, if you can induce law enforcement to turn the other way, if you can sort out your legal problems with a few attorneys and judges, if you can launder your money and invest in legitimate businesses, well, why wouldn’t you come to Kenya?”
An interesting point I thought.
Despite focusing specifically on Kenya, the book presents many thought-provoking lessons for other African states especially around issues of history, ethnicity and governance. I’ll attempt a book review once I’ve gathered my thoughts.
Speaking of book reviews, look out for something I’ve written on Heidi Holland’s ‘Dinner With Mugabe’ later this week.