The Kenyatta family has dominated Kenyan politics since independence. The family owns a huge network of offshore companies for decades. This is as per the recently leaked financial documents.
The financial documents nicknamed Pandora papers are said to be the largest leak in the history of mankind. At least 12 million files were leaked and now they are linking Uhuru Kenyatta and six members of his family to 13 offshore companies.
Uhuru Kenyatta and his family have invested in bonds and stocks valued at $30 million equivalent to Ksh. 3.3 billion. These documents were extracted from the archives of 14 law firms and service providers based in the British Virgin Islands, Panama and other tax havens. Investigations by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) helped to uncover the hidden assets. Other media companies involved include: Africa Uncensored, Finance Uncovered and other news organizations.
The investigations reveals that foundations known as Varies was established in Panama. Ngina has been named as the benefactor and Kenya’s President as the second benefactor. This means that he could inherit the assets after her death.
According to the Many wealth people love the foundations established in Panama because the identity of the owners of assets are only known by the lawyers. They are not required to register their names with the Panama government.
The other attraction is that the assets can be designed in a way to make it possible to avoid paying taxes upon their transfer to the successor. Kenyatta family has business interests in hotels, land ownership, farming, transport, media and insurance in Kenya.
President Uhuru Kenyatta told BBC’s hardtalk programme in 2018 that the wealth owned by his family is known by the members of the public because as a president he is required by law to declare his wealth.
“As I have always stated, what we own – what we have – is open to the public. As a public servant I’m supposed to make my wealth known and we declare every year,” Mr Kenyatta said.
“If there’s an instance where somebody can say that what we have done or obtained has not been legitimate, say so – we are ready to face any court,” he added.
During the same interview with the BBC, Uhuru Kenyatta said that he wanted his legacy to be promoting transparency and fighting corruption.
Several leaders such as President Ali Bongo of Gabon, Tony Blair (former PM of United Kingdom) and Denis Sassou-Nguesso were named in the report.
In 1999, Mama Ngina Kenyatta (4th wife of Jomo Kenyatta) set up an offshore company known as Milrun International Limited. The company was incorporated in the British Virgin Islands.
ICIJ reports that Ngina Kenyatta and her daughters were advised by international wealth experts from the Swiss Bank Union Bancaire Privee (UBP) which went further and recruited a law firm based in Panama which specializes in setting up and administering offshore companies.
The ICIJ further found out that invoices from Alcogal to the bank indicates that the Swiss advisers referred to the Kenyattas’ with the code “client 13173”. The company was later used by the Kenyattas’ to purchase an apartment in Central London which they still own up to today. Finance Uncovered checked with the filings at the United Kingdom Land Registry to confirm that.
Further, Finance Uncovered revealed that the Kenyatta Family acquired two more properties in the United Kingdom using other offshore companies.
The UBP private wealth advisers went a step further and advised Muhoho Kenyatta (President Uhuru Kenyatta’s brother) to set up an offshore company in Panama. The company is known as Criselle Foundation established in 2003. Muhoho Kenya is the beneficially with his son Jomo Kamau Muhoho being his successor.
The report reveals further that Muhoho Kenyatta owns another offshore company registered in the British Virgin Islands which owns stocks and bonds valued at $30 million as at November 2016.
Note that the Pandora Papers does not show any evidence that the Kenyatta family stole or hid state assets in their offshore companies.
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