Sunday, May 02, 2010

A Kenyan whistle blower reviewed

It's our turn to eat: the story of A Kenyan Whistle Blower by Michela Wrong (Fourth Estate, Harper Collins):

Michela Wrong tells the story of John Githongo, a journalist and civil rights campaigner who, in 2003, was co-opted by the Kenya government to be its corruption buster. Three years later Githongo was on the run from the Kenyan government. He pitched up on Wrong's doorstep in London looking for a bolt hole, bringing with him a dossier of evidence implicating several government ministers in arms-deal corruption.

On one level this book reads like a political thriller. Among several gut-churningly audacious intelligence-gathering techniques, which Wrong relates, Githongo secretly recorded his conversations with key players in the scandal.

Although Wrong's narrative storytelling technique may raise ethical questions -- for example, she dramatises the scenes in which Githongo either confronts, or is confronted by, his corrupt colleagues -- she is faced with the challenge of narrating the slow, cancerous spread of corruption in a fast-paced, readable way.

To read the full Mail & Guardian review click here:
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