BY NAMULONGO PETER,NAIROBI,4TH OCT,2021-President Uhuru Kenyatta has finally responded to the controversial Pandora Papers that linked his family with 13 secret offshore accounts reportedly worth Ksh.3.3 billion.
President Kenyatta, in a statement sent by State House Spokesperson Kanze Dena, said his attention has been drawn to comments surrounding the Pandora Papers by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalism (ICIJ).
The Head of State, while stating that he will respond comprehensively when he returns from his State Visit to the Americas, seemingly commended the consortium for the report saying it will improve financial transparency.
“…these reports will go a long way in enhancing the financial transparency and openness that we require in Kenya and around the globe. The movement of illicit funds, proceeds of crime and corruption thrive in an environment of secrecy and darkness,” he stated.
“The Pandora Papers and subsequent follow up audits will lift that veil of secrecy and darkness for those who can not explain their assets or wealth.”
The reports, as published by the BBC which participated in the investigations, claimed President Kenyatta and six members of his family secretly owned a network of offshore companies.
One such company is a foundation called Varies that was established in 2003 with Mama Ngina Kenyatta and President Kenyatta as the first and second benefactors respectively.
Another, Milrun International Limited, was set up much earlier in 1999 by Mama Ngina and her daughters, Kristina and Anna, in the British Virgin Islands.
“According to the ICIJ, Mrs Kenyatta and her daughters were advised by experienced international wealth experts from the Swiss bank Union Bancaire Privée (UBP), which recruited Alcogal, a Panamanian law firm specialising in setting up and administering offshore companies,” wrote the BBC.
“The consortium says invoices from Alcogal to the bank show that the Swiss advisers referred to the Kenyattas with the code ‘client 13173.’”
UBP is also said to have in 2003 helped the president’s brother, Muhoho Kenyatta, set up a company in Panama called Criselle Foundation.
Other world leaders named in the Pandora Papers include the King of Jordan Abdullah II, former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, Gabon’s President Ali Bongo Ondimba and President of Congo-Brazzaville Denis Sassou-Nguesso.