Kibakis, Obamas claim idle assets held at Treasury

Obama senior had nominated his eldest son Roy Obama, also called Malik, as a beneficiary. AFP PHOTO | Tony KARUMBA
Obama senior had nominated his eldest son Roy Obama, also called Malik, as a beneficiary. AFP PHOTO | Tony KARUMBA 

Families of former presidents Mwai Kibaki and Barack Obama have lodged claims for their assets taken over by the Treasury after being deemed idle property.

The Unclaimed Financial Assets Authority (UFAA) yesterday said the family members had finally formally sought the funds that remained unclaimed for years.

“Obama family members met us last week to lay claim to the assets. Kibaki family has also lodged a claim as well as that of the late CS Nkaissery,” said Kellen Kariuki, chief executive at UFAA — agency that holds unclaimed assets in trust for the rightful owners.

The authority is holding East Africa Breweries Limited (EABL) shares of undisclosed value belonging to the family of Obama Senior, Barack Hussein Obama — a former senior economic analyst at the Treasury who died in a car accident in 1982.

The shares were transferred to it last year, adding to Obama life insurance cover that the agency has been holding since 2014.

Former First Lady Lucy Kibaki’s property in Co-operative Bank had also been transferred to the authority in 2015, before she died in April 2016, in London. Mama Lucy is survived by four children and her husband, who ruled Kenya from 2002 to 2013.

The family of Mr Kibaki’s predecessor, Daniel arap Moi, is, however, yet to make a claim to their assets under State custody.

The shares of Mr Moi’s wife Lena, who died in 2004, in East African Breweries and Centum were surrendered to UFAA in 2014 and 2015, respectively.

“Moi’s family is yet to make any claim with us,” said Ms Kariuki.

Lena is survived by seven children, including Baringo Senator Gideon Moi. Her marriage to former President Moi collapsed in 1974 followed by a divorce in 1979, developments that saw her fade away from the public arena.

The former President left office in December 2002, after serving for 24 years.

It is the responsibility of a company to search for the rightful owners or beneficiaries of an asset in its custody before declaring it as unclaimed and forwarding it to the UFAA.

The Obama life insurance of Sh55,933 came to UFAA’s custody in 2014 from the defunct Kenya National Assurance Corporation.

Obama senior had nominated his eldest son Roy Obama, also called Malik (above), and his youngest wife, Jael Otieno, as beneficiaries. The deceased had four wives, two of whom he married while in the United States, and eight children.

Among the children is the former American President Barack Obama, from his marriage with Ann Dunham, whom he met while studying at the University of Hawaii in the US.

The value of unclaimed assets surrendered to the State in cash stood at Sh8.73 billion as of June.

About 66.36 per cent, or Sh5.5 billion, of the assets have been transferred to UFAA by 46 banks, Sh1.58 billion by 36 listed firms, Sh710.25 million by 22 insurers, Sh22.44 million by two pension funds and Sh14.74 million by 10 saccos.