Tag Archives: Uhuru Kenyatta

#PandoraPapers: President Kenyatta hidden wealth

Strasbourg 05.10.2021 While Uhuru Kenyatta succeeded in a political comeback by campaigning against corruption, his family’s secret fortune was growing offshore, a massive new leak to @ICIJorg shows.

At his annual State of the Nation address last autumn, President Uhuru Kenyatta addressed Kenya’s Parliament acknowledging that too many Kenyans live in poverty and too many civil servants loot the country’s public resources.

During this address the son of Kenya’s first President and leader of one of Africa’s largest economies, the 59-year-old Kenyatta urged lawmakers to join him in fighting corruption and yet again repeated “the centrality of transparency, accountability and good governance as the anchors of sustainable development.”

However a massive amount of newly leaked documents show that Kenyatta’s family has for years been intensely accumulating a personal fortune behind offshore corporate veils.

Kenyatta, along with his mother, sisters and brother, have for decades shielded wealth from public scrutiny through foundations and companies in tax havens, including Panama, with assets worth more than $30 million, according to records obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and shared with more than 600 reporters and media organisations around the world.

The records – from the Panamanian law firm Aleman, Cordero, Galindo & Lee (Alcogal) – show that the family owned at least seven such entities, two registered anonymously in Panama and five in the British Virgin Islands. One BVI company owned a home in central London, according to the records, and two other companies held investment portfolios worth tens of millions of dollars. The Kenyattas’ offshore wealth, revealed here for the first time, represents part of an estimated half-billion-dollar family fortune amassed in a country where the average annual salary is less than $8,000 a year.

The family began to accumulate much of its offshore wealth while Uhuru Kenyatta was a rising star of politics, promising defeat corruption. Two offshore companies were created during an investigation into alleged looting of the public treasury during the watch of President Daniel arap Moi, Kenyatta’s former political patron.

Under Kenyan law, the President must provide a list of financial interests to the Ministry of Finance each year. Kenyatta and his family members did not respond to requests for comment, including whether he declared any offshore interests or was required to do so.

Details of the Kenyatta family’s offshore wealth have been brought to light by the leaked Pandora Papers, a collection of more than 11.9 million records from 14 law firms and other service providers based in the United Arab Emirates, the Seychelles, Panama, Singapore and other tax havens.

The investigation has revealed assets of 35 current or former world leaders, including the king of Jordan, the prime minister of the Czech Republic, and Kenyatta’s fellow African leaders Ali Bongo Ondimba of Gabon and Denis Sassou-Nguesso of the Republic of Congo.

Burundi mourns President NkurunzizaNkurunziza

Burundi began an official mourning for President Pierre Nkurunziza on June 10 a day after the announcement of his sudden death from a heart attack aged 55, leaving in shock the East African nation he had ruled with an iron grip for last 15 years.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed were among the first world leaders to express their condolences June 9 evening, with Kenyatta hailing Nkurunziza’s “contribution to the integration and progress of the region”.

Nkurunziza, 55, started to feel unwell after attending a volleyball match on June 6, and appeared to be improving until his condition suddenly deteriorated on June 8 and his heart stopped, the presidency announced in a statement.

Despite intense efforts, the medical team was not able to save the patient,” said the statement, adding that doctors had spent several hours trying to revive him. A post on the government’s official Twitter account early Tuesday evening announced Nkurunziza‘s death “with great sadness“, and a statement from the presidency said he died in a hospital in the eastern city of Karuzi.

Nkurunziza’s wife, Denise Bucumi Nkurunziza, has been transported to Kenya for Covid-19, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency reported.

Kenya enjoys tourism sector growth

Kenya’s profit from tourism raised by almost a third in 2018 from the previous year to 157.4 billion shillings ($1.55 billion), after the number of visitors increased by 37%, the tourism ministry said.

The World Bank report 2018 on Ease of Doing Business ranks Kenya No. 80 up from No. 92 in 2017, and is expected to rise in 2019, contributing mainly to tourism sector.

However the UK government Foreign travel advice warns, that “bag snatching is common in transport hubs like bus stations, railway stations and airports. Mugging, kidnapping, car-jacking and armed robbery occur regularly, particularly in Nairobi, Mombasa and other large cities. Foreigners are not generally targeted, but incidents of violent crime have resulted in the death of several British nationals in recent years. Crime rates are higher in slum areas of Nairobi, the Old Town of Mombasa and on and around the Likoni Ferry (which links Mombasa and the southern resorts). Gun attacks in Kwale County on the south coast resulted in fatalities in September and October 2017. You should be vigilant at all times and follow any security advice given by your employer or your hosts.”

Kenyatta visits South Africa

President Uhuru Kenyatta will on January, 11 make an official visit to South Africa in his first foreign trip since he was sworn-in for a second term.

According to State House Spokesman Manoah Esipisu, President Kenyatta will hold talks with his counterpart Jacob Zuma, in the Indian Ocean city of Durban centered on bilateral and pan-African issues.

Manoah Esipisu added, the  leaders will be discussing possibilities of enhancing the existing cooperation in trade, security, and in developing of infrastructures.

 

 

Kenya’s elections annulled

Kenya’s Supreme Court has annulled the result of last month’s presidential election, citing irregularities, and ordered a new one within 60 days.

The election commission had declared incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta the winner by a margin of 1.4 million votes.

Raila Odinga, Mr Kenyatta’s opponent, said the commission was “rotten” and demanded resignations and prosecutions.

President Kenyatta said he would respect the court’s decision but also branded the judges “crooks”.

Other elections in Africa have been annulled or cancelled but this appears to be the first time on the continent that an opposition court challenge against a presidential poll result has been successful.

Kenya opens Mombasa-Nairobi railway

Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta has inaugurated a major new railway between the port city of Mombasa and the capital, Nairobi.

President Uhuru Kenyatta said during the launch that the $3.2bn (£2.5bn) Chinese-funded line signalled a new chapter in the country.

He warned that he would authorise the execution of vandals after four people were arrested damaging sections of a guardrail.

It is Kenya’s biggest infrastructure project since independence.