Henry Rotich, Kenya’s finance minister, was arrested on corruption charges in late July—the highest-profile target yet in President Uhuru Kenyatta’s anti-graft drive. Rotich and other senior Kenyan officials have pleaded not guilty to multiple counts of fraud, abuse of their office and other allegations stemming from the misuse of funds in two planned hydroelectric dam projects.
Kenyatta came into office in 2013 vowing to prioritize tackling Kenya’s endemic corruption, but critics point out that his efforts have yet to yield any high-profile convictions. The case against Rotich is a potential sign of renewed seriousness, but it could also be complicated by tensions between Kenyatta and his deputy, William Ruto, who is an ally of Rotich and is vying to succeed Kenyatta as president in 2022. In an email interview with WPR, Ngala Chome, a doctoral candidate at Durham University in the United Kingdom, explains how the case against Rotich is unfolding against the backdrop of political infighting and Kenyatta’s push to secure his legacy.
World Politics Review: What exactly is Henry Rotich being accused of, and how serious are the charges against him and the other senior officials who are implicated?