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Kenyans reluctant to go for Sh8.73bn unclaimed assets

The Unclaimed Financial Assets Authority chief executive Kellen Kariuki. FILE PHOTO | NMG
The Unclaimed Financial Assets Authority chief executive Kellen Kariuki. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Kenyans are shying away from claiming the Sh8.73 billion idle cash surrendered to the State, the Unclaimed Financial Assets Authority has said.

The agency is struggling to re-unite the cash with their rightful owners or beneficiaries, some of who have been notified.

“We have written to many people to come forward and claim their hard-earned money but surprisingly, most are not doing so,” chief executive Kellen Kariuki said.

UFAA said the names of the owners and their last known addresses have also been published on the authority’s website to facilitate online enquiries.

Unclaimed assets include money in bank accounts which have been dormant for more than five years, bankers cheques not cashed and contents in safe deposit boxes unclaimed for more than two years.

Others are life insurance policies unclaimed for more than two years and shares whose dividends have not been collected for more than three years.

Only claims fully supported by documents are paid out as stipulated under the Unclaimed Financial Assets Act 2011 and attendant regulations.

By June 30, a paltry 3,039 claims amounting to Sh139.6 million, or 1.6 per cent of the of cash in the trust fund, had been lodged since processing of claims started in early 2016 after regulations were gazetted and a claims policy passed by the agency’s board.

About Sh37.7 million, or 0.43 per cent of the total surrendered cash, has been paid to 419 claimants, underlining the weight of the issue. Assets of prominent families are among those surrendered to the State as unclaimed property.

They include former presidents Daniel arap Moi and Mwai Kibaki, deputy president William Ruto, former vice president Kalonzo Musyoka, father of former US President Barack Obama and former Interior CS Joseph Nkaisserry.

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