President Uhuru Kenyatta and his family have been linked to a secretly-owned multi-billion empire in foreign countries.
The president and his family members are accused of owning a network of offshore companies. According to a report by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), Kenyatta’s own 11 firms abroad, and one of them is said to be worth US$30 million (Ksh3.31 billion).
ICIJ claimed that President Uhuru and his mother, Mama Ngina are some of the beneficiaries of a secretive foundation in Panama.
The reports further claimed that the president’s other family members including his brother and two sisters own five offshore companies valued at more than $30 million.
The family also owns a property in London.
The investigation by the ICIJ found that the Kenyatta’s owns a Panamanian law firm Aleman, Cordero, Galindo, and Lee (Acogal). They allegedly also have at least seven other such law firms in other countries – two 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,” ICIJ says.
According to the report, the Kenyatta’s began accumulating most of this offshore wealth way back before President Uhuru Kenyatta became the president of Kenya in 2013. Most of this secret wealth was accumulated when late President Daniel Moi was still in power, according to the report.
ICIJ notes that in July 2003, the same month President Uhuru publicly defended Moi, a Union Bancaire Privee lawyer, Othmane Naïm, requested Panama offshore specialists to help register a new foundation identified as the Varies Foundation.
“The foundation, like a trust, was designed to manage and shelter wealth for its beneficiaries. Draft bylaws, also from July 2003, name the foundation’s beneficiaries: Uhuru Kenyatta and his mother,” the report claimed.
The report further claims that later, according to reports, Union Bancaire Privée assisted in the management of a foundation belonging to Uhuru’s brother Muhoho Kenyatta.
“Invoices from Alcogal in Panama to the bank show that the Swiss advisers referred to the Kenyatta’s with a code: “client 13173,” ICIJ’s report revealed.
ICIJ noted that the Kenyatta’s did not receive their call to answer the allegations regarding the secretly owned offshore assets.