It is Kenya that gave the WikiLeaks, the scoop that transformed its founder- Julian Assange, from an unknown hacker to one of the most talked about people on the planet.
WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange’s War on Secrecy a book by David Leigh, Luke Harding revealed that Mr Assange lived in Kenya for over two years during which WikiLeaks gained global recognition.
The Daily Nation indicated that it was during the WSF (a mock version of the World Economic Forum but involving poor nations as opposed to the wealthiest) that he resolved to start WikiLeaks.
‚ÄúIn 2007, Assange spent four days at the World Social Forum (WSF) tent in Kasarani, Nairobi giving talks, handing out flyers and making connections,‚ÄĚ an excerpt of the book revealed.
It was during his extended stay in Kenya that Mr Assange launched expos√©s that caused uproar¬†on a global scale.
Assange’s Kroll report on official corruption in Kenya during President Moi’s regime was the site’s first big scoop.
The Kroll report detailed how Kenya‚Äôs second president Daniel Arap Moi and his family swindled billions of US dollars out of the country and stashed them in secret trusts and shell companies.
Assets amassed included a 10,000-hectare ranch in Australia and up to Ksh130 billion stashed in offshore accounts located in tax havens such as Brunei and the Cayman Islands.
Assange gave the leaked report to The Guardian, who broke the story worldwide, sparking nationwide turbulence in Kenya.
“While in Kenya, Assange met courageous individuals, corruption investigators, trade unionists¬†and a fearless press,” stated a section of the book.
WikiLeaks later published ‚ÄúThe Cry of Blood,‚ÄĚ which detailed a so-called high-level policy to disappear and kill young Kenyan men by Kenyan police.¬†
The 2008 expos√© on extra-judicial killings in Kenya earned Assange the prestigious Amnesty International New Media Award in 2009.
Assange was arrested at the Ecuadorean embassy in London last Thursday after the country withdrew his asylum following a seven-year stay.