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....the competition in oil business by occasional price undercutting.

While still Energy Minister, Raila re-established and nurtured his links with the Libyan government of Colonel Muammar Gadaffi where again he not only did good business in oil importation but also got substantial material support during the 2002 general elections.

Besides supporting Raila’s political causes, the Libyans also played a key role in stabilizing Raila in the oil business in a couple of ways. Industry sources say that between 2001 and 2002 when Raila served as Energy Minister, he received at least three consignments of petroleum products at very low prices which were later sold locally at market prices.

The overall turnover from the three Libyan consignments is reliably said to have been in the region of over half a billion shillings, a tidy sum of money in any language, enough to ensure that one crosses the Rubicon once and for all.

Reliable sources say that Libyans bankrolled the Narc campaign with some US$ 3 million (about Kshs 210 million), thanks to Raila’s good contacts in the oil-rich land of Gadaffi. There is no doubt that if Raila becomes the ODM presidential candidate he can count on massive financial support from the Libyans once more.

Besides Libya, Raila enjoys good links with the South African government of Thabo Mbeki while in Nigeria he is known to have strong links with Olosegun Obasanjo, who was a close friend of Raila’s late father Jaramogi.

That Libyans, South Africans and Nigerians had enough confidence in Raila to channel campaign funds through him although he himself was not a presidential in 2002 is an indication of how highly regarded he is in some international circles.

Evidently, he could certainly count on even more enthusiastic support from his international contacts should he become the ODM presidential candidate.

For Raila, the linkage between politics and business went much deeper than petroleum business. It is significant that the Odinga family business, Spectre International Ltd, acquired the then state-owned Kisumu Molasses Plant soon after Raila started politically cooperating with Moi.
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Raila has consistently argued that the acquisition of the molasses plant was a pure business deal “which had nothing to do with politics”, but his critics point out at the coincidence between the time his family acquired the parastatal and Raila’s shift of political alliance. It is highly unlikely –indeed one may even say impossible-that the Moi government would have sanctioned the Kisumu Molasses Plant deal at the time if Raila had not become an ally of Moi’s.

Former commissioner of Lands Sammy Mwaita offered to sell the 240 acres on which the Kisumu Molasses Plant is built to Spectre International on January 11, 2001 at a price of Kshs 3.6 million at a time when Odinga started working closely with Moi. By June of the same year, Raila was appointed to the cabinet and made Energy Minister.

Significantly, Spectre International had applied for the same land in a letter of February 18, 1999 but the request had been rejected by the government at the time.

Titles were prepared in favour of Spectre International on February 3, 2002 for a 99-year lease backdated to September 1, 2001 and the Odinga family was ready to laugh all the way to the bank.

When the Odinga family started the process that led to the acquisition of the Kisumu Molasses Plant in 2001, Raila had already established good business contacts in South Africa. Energem Resources Incorporated, an international firm quoted at the Toronto Stock Exchange, had been looking for an investment opportunity in Kenya for a long time and the Kisumu Molasses Plant appeared just right.

Soon after taking over the plant from the government, Raila struck a lucrative deal with.......Continue Reading
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