Leaks link Kosgei to Sh103m UK flat

Powerful Moi-era head of Public Service Sally Kosgei. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Powerful Moi-era head of Public Service Sally Kosgei. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Powerful Moi-era head of Public Service Sally Kosgei used a secret Mauritian-registered firm to buy a $1 million (Sh103.66 million) apartment in Central London 16 years ago.

The revelation is contained in leaked documents that show Dr Kosgei, who also served as a Cabinet minister in Mwai Kibaki’s Grand Coalition government, channelled money from Kenya via Zonrisa Ltd, a Mauritius company, to acquire the high-end apartment, near Harrods — a luxury department store.

The former Aldai MP used cash from Zena Roses Ltd, her 70-hectare flower farm which exports to Europe, to buy the luxurious London home.

“Kosgei owned her offshore company in April 2001, when she began work as the Cabinet secretary in the Office of the President,” the document states. “Kosgei’s ownership continued throughout her tenure as one of Kenya’s most powerful politicians.”

There is, however, no suggestion that she used the offshore company to acquire the property illegitimately.

The leak by International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), dubbed the Paradise Papers, reveals how the powerful and ultra-wealthy secretly invest vast amounts of cash in offshore tax havens such as Mauritius.

Dr Kosgei, however, told ICIJ that she bought the property using her personal savings before she joined Office of the President as head of Public Service and secretary to the Cabinet.

“There is no relation whatsoever between the purchase and date of my work in the Office of the President,” she was quoted by ICIJ.

Dr Kosgei said she complied with all necessary laws in acquiring the UK property.