CIVIL society is often maligned as an agent of foreign powers. Yet here is a case of civil society defending the national interest from exploitation by a foreign company and its local agents.
For the last six years, Mwalimu Mati and Mars Group have been fighting a lonely battle trying to get the state to stop paying money for a fertiliser factory that was never built.
KenRen was the Anglo-Leasing or Goldenberg of its day, according to Mars Group.
In 1970 Sh350 million was allocated for a factory near Changamwe. The debt has now accumulated to Sh5.1 billion despite Kenya repaying Sh690 million last year.
What happened to the money? How was it spent?
Last year the Public Accounts committee proposed that a forensic audit into the KenRen swindle.
Now the Auditor General has questioned payments for "a project which did not take off and against which no value for money was realised." (See Page 37).
Hopefully that forensic audit will now finally take off, and we can recover some of the money from whoever was responsible.
In the meantime, the state should give civil society and Mars Group a pat on the back for keeping the KenRen issue alive.
Quote of the day: "Trust not too much to appearances." - Roman poet Virgil was born on October 15, 70 BC