Sunday, July 27, 2008
How The Kenyatta And Moi Families Made Their Dirty Money
There was a time I was naïve enough to believe that it is the political class who rule Kenya.
Not really. Allow me to give you a simple example to prove my point.
When president Kenyatta died in Mombasa in August 1978 and his then Vice president took over the presidency, many did not realize how crafty a political player Moi really was. Indeed late into the Moi presidency there were still many Kenyans who did not think he was very intelligent. Ironically that is how Moi won his greatest battles, by people underestimating him. The minute folks stopped taking him for granted (most notable in 2002) was the minute Kanu was removed from power. But I digress.
Moi was clearly very frightened as he hesitantly took over the reigns of power in 1978. Who was he scared of? The Kiambu mafia? That is laughable because the kitchen cabinet is only operational when the owner of the kitchen (in this case the president) is around. The minute the “owner of the kitchen” dies or leaves office, that powerful kitchen cabinet is dead in the water.
A clue as to who Moi may have been terrified of can be figured out from the rallying call he came up with very early on. He promised that he would “fuata Nyayo” which means “follow in the foot-steps” of President Kenyatta. This was to reassure all those wealthy powerful folks who held the purse strings of Kenya that they had nothing to worry about over their ill-gotten wealth.
Another example. I am persuaded that on that memorable December day in 2002 at Uhuru Park, as President Kibaki took the oath of office to become Kenya’s third president, deep in his heart he was determined to root out corruption. I have plenty of evidence to support this including an intimate meeting I attended with the then presidential candidate and a certain organization at Mfangano House in Nairobi in early 2002. At the meeting Kibaki kept on repeating that the money collected from taxes was more than enough to take care of plenty in the country with very little recourse to foreign Aid. H also convinced me and many others at the meeting of about 30 people that he was serious about fighting corruption. The truth is that the president was well-intentioned but amazingly, rather naïve.
I also have plenty of information and other evidence to prove that reality hit Kibaki a few months after he had taken office and caused him to change his entire thinking on a lot of things. This is what led him to sanction what we now know as the Anglo Leasing scam—further proof that the people with real power in Kenya are the people with the cash.
Indeed a very similar trend can be seen in President Moi who on taking over office was not a rich man. He was merely a simple farmer with one small company called Lima Limited that sold agricultural machinery. Moi quickly realized that a poor man cannot rule Kenya for long. As you read this, the two wealthiest Kenyans are Daniel T. Arap Moi and Gideon Moi in that order.
Those who have been calling for a new constitution have a point because going by the current constitution, cash is the real ruler of Kenya. Just look around you, if you are in Kenya. “The message” always flies at you from all directions. It simply says this; “woe unto you, if you DON’T have money.” The thread of that message comes right from the top to the ordinary mwananchi down there who is terrified of any sickness visiting their household during this cold season. (Am told it has been exceptionally cold in Kenya this year.)
Never cheat yourself that it is Presifent Kibaki who is ruling Kenya. The name of the real ruler of Kenya is President Cash Money.
This explains the reason why business and politics can never be separated in Kenya. And I am not talking about small business here. And it is also for the same reason that the list of the top 100 wealthiest Kenyans always reads like a who-is-who in Kenyan politics past and present.
The Kenyatta family made it’s vast weath from grabbing land. Pure and simple. It was often said that the old man (Kenyatta) never saw a fertile piece of land that he could resist getting his grabby old hands on. In fact at public meetings, Kenyatta would often talk of “shamba iko na rotuba nyingi sana” (fertile land) and you could see the saliva literally oozing out of his mouth in excitement. It is said that every time the Kenyatta family gets cash broke, they simply sell off a small parcel of the vast land they own countrywide.
This is the reason why it was very juvenile for any Kenyan to have expected both the Kenyatta and Moi family to support the new constitution during the historic referendum of 2005. How do you cut your own two feet with an axe as you watch? If you are still confused just find out what the proposed constitution said about land and a truth and reconciliation commission.
Another corruption technique used by the Kenyatta family to acquire vast wealth was what was popularly known in those days as the “10 per cent rule.” Before any foreign investor opened for business on Kenyan soil, it was mandatory that 10 percent of the shares of his company would have to go to a member of the Kenyatta family. This explains the family interest in numerous tourist hotels at the Coast for example. Of course Moi and the Kalenjin brigade came later and adjusted that rule to as high as 90 per cent in some instances. I kid you not. And in the process caused people to discover what had been going on.
The Moi family did indeed do exactly what Moi promised on taking over power—walifuata Nyayo za Kenyatta. They followed in the footsteps of Kenyatta, albeit with some major adjustments. Somebody decided that being rich mostly in assets, as the Kenyatta family are, was not for the Mois. This family needed to see the cash, literally. And that was one of the reasons why it was mandatory that if you wanted to see Moi you carry with you a briefcase (strictly no cheques please) containing a million shillings or more in hard cash. This fact has been confirmed by various sources including Kamlesh Paul Patttni and jailed businessman Ketan Somaia who both gave evidence separately under oath saying that they had left briefcases full of cash when they went to see Moi for the first time. So let us say that the president (who was very energetic, and now we know part of the reason why) had like 10 appointments a day, each lasting less than 5 minutes…WOW!! Before an hour was up, he would have made a cool Kshs 10 million, which was a lot of dough in those days.
The story of how Kenya lost out on a very sweet deal concerning the Kenya Meat commission illustrates how business decisions were made by the Moi family during president Moi’s long reign.
A Japanese company was interested in financing the revival of the then stalled Kenya Meat Commission. They would bring in the machinery, train staff and finance the day to day operations. The meat would then be exported and sold in the world market and from the proceeds the Japs would deduct their investment and when that was done, ownership of the factory would revert back to Kenyans. Very sweet deal and all the government needed to do was to sign on the dotted line. But there was a problem. In fact a very big problem. Somebody asked the question: “Where is the cash?” They couldn’t see immediate cash in the deal so they were NOT interested.
Later when President Kibaki took over, he was aware of the deal and he has since tried everything to revive it. But as they say, time and tide wait for no man and this saying is especially true in business. The Japs I am sure got their meat elsewhere. Kwani Kenya has a monopoly as the only source of beef worldwide?
I have painstakingly prepared a special report titled; How the 5 richest Kenyans made their dirty money overnight. To be honest the contents of this report made me cry tears. The safest way for you to read such explosive information is in your email. Get it FREE as well as regular Updates and other hot Kumekucha special reports by sending me a blank Email right away
N.B. My special report does NOT beat about the bush and I also name names.
Posted by Chris at 12:44 AM