Musalia Mudavadi reveals Absa, First Assurance stake in Sh4bn wealth


Economy

Musalia Mudavadi reveals Absa, First Assurance stake in Sh4bn wealth


musalia

Prime Cabinet Secretary nominee Musalia Mudavadi during his vetting on October 17, 2022. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NMG

Properties in upmarket Riverside Estate, shares in Absa Bank and First Assurance Company Limited account for the largest share of nominee for Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi’s net worth of Sh4.1 billion.

The Riverside Stables is worth Sh1 billion, according to disclosures made by Mr Mudavadi to the Committee on Appointments, which vetted him yesterday.

He also owns rental office blocks worth Sh870 million through a firm known as Tritone Investments, underlining his heavy investments in property.

The former Vice-President also has Sh200 million shares in Exclusive Air Services Ltd—which leases helicopters.

Kenya’s business magnates, politicians and new millionaires have in recent years taken to flying as the preferred mode of transport – expanding the market for leasing and private ownership of planes.

Aside from the heavy investments in real estate, Mr Mudavadi disclosed his shareholding in First Assurance Company worth Sh440 million and another investment of Sh545 million in Absa Bank.

“If I take my investment in shares in some companies and also some properties I own, I would put my net worth at about Sh4 billion,” Mr Mudavadi disclosed.

“My sources of income are rental income, dividends where I have shareholdings and also interest and of course other expenses that come from the farm.”

He disclosed ownership of high-end cars worth Sh44 million as well as shares in investment firms—Jodeci Investment (Sh120 million) and Malulu Land and Developments (Sh250 million).

Mr Mudavadi was the first Cabinet Secretary nominee to appear before the 15-member National Assembly Committee to be vetted for the position of Prime Cabinet Secretary.

The Amani National Congress (AANC) party leader was nominated by President William Ruto as one of his Cabinet Secretaries following the agreement that his party and UDA signed before the August election.

Read: The four men who could make or break Ruto government

Wealth declaration has become a key consideration in the fight against corruption amid concerns that public officials were turning into instant millionaires overnight.

Mr Mudavadi had a significant shareholding in First Assurance Bank before he and other investors sold a 63.3 percent stake in the insurance firm to Absa Group (then Johannesburg-based Barclays Africa) for Sh2.2 billion in 2015.

First Assurance, which started off in Kenya as Prudential Assurance Company in 1930, offered group life, medical and general insurance.

The company’s shareholding structure had remained a well-guarded secret, the only information available being that it is owned by two investment vehicles – First Assurance Investment and Syndicate Nominees.

Yesterday, Mr Mudavadi disclosed that he has investments worth Sh255 million in First Assurance through First Assurance Investment.

He also owns another Sh185 million shares in the insurance firm through Syndicate Nominees.

Mr Mudavadi, who first became a Cabinet minister in 1989 at 29 years, owns the Absa investment through First Assurance Investment and Syndicate Nominees. First Assurance Investment has other investments worth Sh650 million.

The former Vice-President also distanced himself from the Sh1.3 billion Anglo-Leasing graft scandal and the Sh283 million cemetery land fraud at the Nairobi City Council, arguing he was not involved.

Mr Mudavadi’s wealth dwarfs those of Defence Cabinet nominee Aden Duale (Sh871 million), Foreign Affairs nominee Alfred Mutua (Sh420) million and Attorney-General nominee Justin Muturi ( Sh700 million).

Mr Duale told the vetting team that his net worth is Sh851 million, including the assets.

“My current and anticipated sources of income include rentals and others which is about Sh10 million annually,” he said.

Mr Muturi disclosed that his Sh700 million net worth is derived from farming, legal consultancies and occasional rewards.

His disclosure, however, shows a big margin in his net worth from the Sh300 million he declared last year when making public his interest to contest for the presidential seat.

Dr Mutua, the retired Machakos governor, told MPs that his net worth of Sh420 million includes a hotel in Machakos, which was built through proceeds of loan.

“Before I became a governor, my net worth was slightly over Sh200 million,” Dr Mutua said.

Suna MP Junet Mohamed sought to know whether the A & L Hotel in Machakos is owned by Dr Mutua whom he accused of failing to provide a breakdown of his wealth as required.

Wealth declaration for those seeking top public offices is anchored in the Constitution as a tool in the fight against corruption.

The full financial disclosure is meant to allow the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) detect and prevent corruption when top public servants are serving in office.

Alice Wahome, the nominee for Water and Irrigation, put her financial net worth at Sh218 million.

“This is the value of properties between myself and my assets. My current and anticipated sources of income is a salary from Parliament, legal practising allowance of Sh100,000 from my law firm and Sh500,000 a month from my rental properties. I have no tenants in the properties currently due to Covid-19,” Ms Wahome said.



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