IMF Pressures Uhuru to Release Names of Scandal Billionaires

President Uhuru Kenyatta addresses WRC Safari rally drivers at KICC in Nairobi County

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has pressured President Uhuru Kenyatta to release names and details of secret investors and shareholders in firms that are awarded government tenders. 

This was one of the recent conditions IMF imposed on Kenya when it disbursed a Ksh43.8 billion loan for budget support, on Thursday, June 24. The amount is part of the Ksh255 billion loan IMF awarded to Kenya that will be disbursed in installments. 

IMF Deputy Managing Director, Antoinette M. Sayeh, stated that important advances are being made on the governance agenda in Kenya but she wants Uhuru to unmask shareholders who enjoy state benefits. 

She also asked the government to prosecute individuals found guilty in the Covid-19 Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (KEMSA) scandal

IMF Deputy Managing Director, Antoinette M. Sayeh

"The recent publication of comprehensive audits of Covid-19 spending, along with the forthcoming disclosure of beneficial ownership information of companies that are awarded procurement contracts, are important steps to strengthen fiscal transparency and accountability in the use of public resources. 

"Going forward, effective follow-up by the appropriate institutions on the findings of the audits will be essential," Sayeh wrote on IMF's blog. 

She added that the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) had provided critical support during the loan review process, detailing monetary policies that guide  on inflation. 

The government has also enhanced the structural reform agenda by restructuring parastatals which increased the wage budget. 

"Looking ahead, the authorities should sustain their consolidation efforts by continuing to improve spending efficiency and undertaking further revenue administration and tax policy measures," Sayeh advised. 

In February 2021, the government directed Kenyan companies to disclose their secret investors and shareholders.

KRA, security agencies, and the Financial Reporting Centre (FRC) will have access to KRA PINs, national ID or passport copies, postal addresses, residential addresses, occupations, telephone numbers, and the date when the investors became beneficial owners of the said companies.

Section 93A of the Companies Act 2015 requires new firms to fill the Beneficial Ownership Information E-Register at the Companies Registry prior to registration. 

The IMF headquarters building in Washington, U.S.
The IMF headquarters building in Washington, U.S.