President Uhuru Kenyatta and family have been listed among heads of state and government who have used offshore tax havens to hide assets worth hundreds of millions of dollars, according to an investigation; “Pandora Papers”, by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists ICIJ.
The “Pandora Papers” investigation, which reveals the inner workings of a shadow economy that benefits the wealthy and well-connected at the expense of everyone else, is based on 11.9 million leaked financial documents from 14 financial services companies around the world and involved over 600 journalists, in what ICIJ says is the “largest collaboration in journalism history”.
According to the Pandora Papers investigations, the Kenyatta family began to accumulate much of its offshore wealth while Uhuru Kenyatta was a rising political star, noting that while president Uhuru Kenyatta assumed a new persona as an anti-corruption reformer following the 2007 elections, part of his family fortune was secreted offshore.
Kenyatta’s Swiss Advisers
The Kenyatta family are reportedly code named ‘Client 13173’, by Swiss advisers who helped them funnel wealth into offshore tax-havens.
“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,” ICIJ says in the report.
The Pandora Papers further reveal that the Kenyatta 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 Pandora Papers touch on 35 current and former 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.