There have been links between President Uhuru Kenyatta’s family and a newly declassified report that discloses how Kenya’s rich and powerful have hidden billions in offshore accounts.
According to records obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and shared with more than 600 reporters and media organizations around the world, Uhuru and six members of his family secretly owned offshore companies.
11 companies have been linked to them – one of which holds assets worth US$30 million (Sh3.31 billion).
ICIJ reports that the leaked records list Uhuru and his mother as beneficiaries of a secretive foundation in Panama.
According to the investigation, his brother and two sisters also own five offshore companies with assets worth more than $30 million, according to records.
ICIJ said Kenyatta and his family did not respond to requests for comment.
ICIJ reports that the Kenyatta family accumulated most of its offshore wealth before Uhuru was elected president.
“In Kenya, President Uhuru Kenyatta has portrayed himself as an enemy of corruption,” according to The Guardian.
“Every public servant’s assets must be declared publicly so that people can question and ask: what is legal?” in an interview with the BBC in 2018.”””
There will be pressure on him to explain why he and his close relatives accumulated more than $30 million in offshore wealth, including property in London. Kenyatta did not respond to inquiries about whether his family wealth was declared to the relevant authorities.”
The Pandora Papers investigation by ICIJ reveals offshore dealings by the King of Jordan, the presidents of Ukraine, Kenya, and Ecuador, as well as the prime minister of the Czech Republic and the former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
A team of more than 600 journalists from 150 news outlets spent two years sifting through the files, tracking down hard-to-find sources, and digging into court records and other public records from dozens of countries, according to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.
According to an investigation, the records provided by Aleman, Cordero, Galindo & Lee (Alcogal) suggest the Kenyatta family was engaged in operating at least seven entities, two in Panama, and five in the British Virgin Islands.
The records show one BVI company owned a home in central London, and two others had investment portfolios worth tens of millions of dollars, the ICIJ reports.
There is evidence that the accumulation of offshore wealth dates back to the days of President Moi.
According to the ICIJ, in July 2003, the same month Kenyatta publicly defended Moi, Othmane Na*m, a lawyer with Union Bancaire Privée, asked Panama offshore specialists to help register a new foundation known as the Varies Foundation.
The foundation, like a trust, was designed to manage and shelter wealth for its beneficiaries, who are listed in draft bylaws from July 2003: Uhuru Kenyatta and his mother.
The records show thatUnion Bancaire Privée also managed a foundation for Uhuru’s brother, Muhoho.
“Invoices from Alcogal in Panama to the bank show the Swiss advisers referred to the Kenyattas as “client 13173.” According to its report, the ICIJ.