Whether it is by design or default, it so happens that just as ODM leader and former Prime Minister, Raila Odinga, has been in Dubai for what is reportedly, a resource mobilisation tour to expand his financial arsenal for 2022, one of his biggest donors, and most trusted funding allies, has received the green light for a major business deal back here at home.
Mombasa tycoon Mohammed Jaffer, a businessman closely linked to Raila, and who has been quoted as one of his biggest financiers in his past presidential bids, has had a business bid by one of his companies approved by the government’s regulatory agencies.
Mombasa-based gas seller Proto Energy has snapped up a rival cooking gas company for an undisclosed sum in the latest dealers’ race for a larger market share of the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) sector.
Proto Energy, associated with billionaire businessman Mohammed Jaffer, is the maker of Pro Gas and has now received regulatory approval to buy out Solutions East Africa, whose LPG products trade as SeaGas.
“The Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) authorises the proposed acquisition…of business and assets of Solutions East Africa by Proto Energy Limited,” said director-general Wang’ombe Kariuki in a gazette notice.
The buyout is expected to see the Mombasa business mogul firm his grip in the lucrative cooking gas market.
Africa Gas, which is partly controlled by Mr Jaffer who is also the owner of Grain Bulk Handlers, imports the bulk of the LPG consumed in Kenya and also controls a significant transit market to neighbouring countries.
Political big guns are jostling for financing in readiness for an election that is believed would be driven by hi-tech infrastructure and expensive foreign campaign advisers.
Over the last two months, Ruto has also visited Turkey and Uganda on unclear missions.
On Monday, Raila’s spokesman Dennis Onyango downplayed the alleged fundraising extravaganza in Dubai saying the ODM boss was in the UAE emirate for an African Union project.