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Economy

Rotich hands AG burden of Moi-era asset seizures

Attorney-General (AG) Githu Muigai. PHOTO | FILE
Attorney-General (AG) Githu Muigai. PHOTO | FILE 

The Treasury has shifted the burden of dealing with Moi-era men linked to the theft of taxpayers’ money in the Kroll Report to the Attorney-General amid pressure for asset confiscation.

Treasury secretary Henry Rotich told the parliamentary Committee on Finance that the forensic audit was commissioned by the Justice ministry in 2013 and AG should provide details on how to handle the report.

He was responding to a petition by Mukurweini MP Kabando wa Kabando that is before the committee  seeking to compel the government to seize the more than £1 billion (Sh142 billion) looted from taxpayers and stashed in offshore bank accounts and prime real estate overseas.

The lost funds are quoted in forensic study by Kroll Associates that showed systematic looting of public resources and hidden in more than 40 tax havens around the world by way of cash in banks, land, ranches, and shares in blue-chip multinationals.

“We are not in a position to provide information. We don’t have the Kroll report,” Mr Rotich said Tuesday. “The forensic audit was performed for the Justice and Constitutional Affairs ministry and the Governance and Ethics office.  The AG’s office, which is the successor to these offices, is better placed to provide more information on this.”

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Mr Kabando now wants the Finance Committee to make public the Kroll Report and take charge of tracing and recovering the pillaged assets hidden abroad.

The assets overseas include multi-million pound properties in London, New York, and South Africa; as well as a 10,000 hectare ranch in Australia.

President Mwai Kibaki hired Kroll Associates in 2003 to track and repatriate funds stashed abroad by business people and top public officials in the Kanu regime, but findings have never been made public even after whistleblower site WikiLeaks published the explosive report in the run-up to the 2007 General Election.

Kroll say they were never allowed to finish the assignment, a signal that US firm managed to track a share of the stolen wealth.

The UK government had offered to help trace and repatriate the stolen funds stashed in Britain Those named in the 110-page Kroll Report include retired President Moi’s sons Philip and Gideon, Joshua Kulei, who served as private secretary to Moi, ex-powerful minister Nicholas Biwott and former VP Geroge Saitoti (deceased).

Mr Kulei allegedly owns several palatial residences in London “where his children go to school” says the report, giving addresses such as 19 Eaton Park, Cobham, Surrey, Flat 11, No49 and Lowdnes Square London.

In September 2007, then government spokesman Alfred Mutua (now Machakos governor), confirmed that the government had received the Kroll Report in 2004.

The Kroll Report said that Philip Moi had assets worth £384 million while his brother Gideon Moi (currently Baringo senator) was reported to be worth £550 million. This translates to Sh54.5 billion and Sh78.1 billion respectively at current exchange rates.

Some top officials in the Kibaki government were also named in the Kroll Report.

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