Kenyatta Family caught up in a fresh storm over staggering fortune

Founding President the late Mzee Jomo Kenyatta with his extended family including current president Uhuru Kenyatta (right)

The Kenyatta’s’ offshore secrets were discovered among almost 12 million documents, largely made up of administrative paperwork from the archives of 14 law firms and agencies that specialize in offshore company formations

By The Weekly Vision Online

With less than a year in office, the last thing President Uhuru Kenyatta needed was the Pandora papers expose allegedly linking the first family to a web of offshore companies in Panama and the British Virgin Islands. A few hours after the matter became public President Kenyatta put on a brave face, promising to respond to all the claims saying the family was involved in “legitimate business.”

There has been no comment so far from Kenya’s civil society actors who in the 1990s hounded President Daniel Moi’s government over claims of mega graft. It is noteworthy that Pandora papers did not list the Moi family which is said to be a colossal fortune running into billions of shillings.

The documents were obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and seen by more than 600 journalists, including reporters at Finance Uncovered and Africa Uncensored, as part of an investigation that took many months and spanned 117 countries

The Kenyatta’s’ offshore secrets were discovered among almost 12 million documents, largely made up of administrative paperwork from the archives of 14 law firms and agencies that specialize in offshore company formations. Otherworld leaders whose names are in the files include the King of Jordan, the PM of the Czech Republic Andrej Babiš and Gabon’s President Ali Bongo Ondimba.

President Uhuru Kenyatta

The documents were obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and seen by more than 600 journalists, including reporters at Finance Uncovered and Africa Uncensored, as part of an investigation that took many months and spanned 117 countries. Though no reliable estimates of their net worth have been published, the Kenyatta’s are regularly reported to be one of the richest families on the African continent. They are rated second in Africa to Angola’s Augustino dos Santos, with interests in banking, insurance, motor vehicle imports and assembly, media, hotels, agricultural land and dairy.

The Kenyatta’s are revealed through the Pandora Papers as being variously connected to 11 offshore companies and foundations. The documents reveal that family members used offshore companies to acquire three properties in the United Kingdom. One, a flat near Westminster in London, now worth an estimated £1m, was until this summer rented out to a British Member of Parliament, although she did not know who owned it.

The Pandora Papers also show that Muhoho Kenyatta, the president’s younger brother who manages large sections of the family’s businesses, owned an offshore company with a portfolio of cash, stocks and bonds worth $31.6m in 2016.

The document also shows that a foundation was set up in Panama in 2003 for the president’s 88-year-old mother, “Mama” Ngina Kenyatta. Upon her death, all the assets held in the foundation were to pass to her son, Uhuru Kenyatta.

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