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Economy

Only 7,000 seek billions in unclaimed assets fund

Only 7,000 individuals have sought to be reunited with their properties since the Unclaimed Financial Assets Authority
Only 7,000 individuals have sought to be reunited with their properties since the Unclaimed Financial Assets Authority (Ufaa) was formed five years ago. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Only 7,000 individuals have sought to be reunited with their properties since the Unclaimed Financial Assets Authority (Ufaa) was formed five years ago, official data shows.

The individuals have lodged Sh500 million claims with the agency, which is holding Sh13 billion belonging to two million Kenyans. The claim rate translates to a paltry 0.35 percent of the targeted owners

Ufaa chief executive John Mwangi said the claims range from as low as Sh25 to a maximum of Sh7 million. The assets are largely collected from mobile money and bank balances as well as listed company dividends, mature insurance policies and unpaid salaries.

Speaking when he launched a 50-day Rapid Results Initiative (RRI), Mr Mwangi said the agency will share its data with regional and county administration officers to help creating awareness among Kenyans.

“Most Kenyans invested during their working life while living in major towns, but retreated to rural homes making it difficult for them to access communication sent to their former postal addresses,” he said.

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Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i asked Ufaa to work with the Treasury to withhold cash for counties and ministries that fail to surrender assets in their possession.

He also called on Kenyans to disclose whereabouts of their assets to their kin saying many families were languishing in poverty since their breadwinner concealed information about various investments made during their working life.

Ufaa currently has Sh13 billion in cash and a further 555 million shares valued at roughly Sh25 billion.

The 50-RRI campaign saw all regional and county commissioners trained on the sensitisation mechanism to be used to identify owners of unclaimed cash.

Dr Matiang’i also called for review of succession laws to help Kenyans access their family members’ wealth easily thancurrently where one has to file a suit in court and have it heard and eventually gazetted before the court eventually grants them administration papers.

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