The curtain has come down on one of the most iconic African leaders whose life was spiced up with good, bad and the ugly depending on which side of history one is on.
President Daniel Arap Moi’s life has been described in various terms but the ones on his wealth are yet to be precise.
No one can specifically quantify his wealth. No one knows how much of it there is in liquid terms but if those privileged to have his last name are fighting over it, then there is so much more than meets the eye.
Moi’s death has minted billionaires overnight and some of those positioned for this windfall include his 7 children; Jonathan, Philip, Raymond, Mark, Jennifer, Doris and June.
Turmoil in Paradise
But all has not been well in the Moi family with cracks emerging since the childhood of many of the president’s children.
These cracks emerged in the public during the burial preparations for their mother, Lena.
At the time, Jonathan and Gideon differed on who would be the family spokesperson with Jonathan blowing up against his brother in a characteristic sibling rivalry which could spill over into the wealth sharing between the siblings.
A family spokesman quoted by the Nation during the burial preparations for Lena said the late Jonathan could not handle it any more.
“Simply because our father transferred most of his properties to you doesn’t entitle you to become our spokesman,” the source quotes Jonathan.
For now, Gideon seems to have taken the back seat and his brother Raymond is the one speaking for the family. This calm could be the lull before the billion-shilling storm that could come in case the siblings did not agree on how to inherit the late Mzee Moi.
In addition to the family members, there are several other men and women who have become billionaires because of their association with the late Moi.
Conservative estimates place Moi’s net worth at US$3 billion which is the equivalent of Sh310.2 billion.
The wealth is accumulated from the various investments that cut across real estate, agriculture, energy, publishing, education, hospitality, banking and transport.
Moi accumulated this wealth mostly during his 24-year rule from 1978 to 2002.
After his retirement, Baringo Senator Gideon Moi has been in the forefront expanding the family’s portfolio further. This could be the reason why he is rumoured to be the one calling the shots when it comes to sharing of the wealth.
What’s at stake?
Since Moi’s wealth is spread across many sectors in Kenya, the family has to agree on how to share it without much drama.
Some of it is in parcels of land across the country. The Mois own thousands of acres of land whose value in is the billions of shillings.
In addition, the family which is a great player in the financial sector has to amicably agree how ownership or shares in the First American Bank, Giro Bank‚ Equatorial Bank, Sovereign Group, Giant Forex Bureau and Equity Stock Brokers will go.
Already, the Trans-National Bank has been fully acquired by the Access Bank, a Tier 1 lender in Nigeria.
The CBK says that the Nigerian Lender will assume full control of the bank in February this year following preliminary approval of its takeover bid in December 2019.
“This follows (the takeover) CBK’s approval on December 24 and approval by the Cabinet Secretary, Treasury on January 6, 2020,” CBK said in a statement.
In media, the family owns Standard Group under which falls Kenya Television Network (KTN), Standard Newspaper and some radio stations. Rowland Printing and Baraza Limited are also some subsidiaries owned by the Mois.
East Africa’s largest integrated logistics services provider, Siginon Group, is a major player in the transport and logistics sector.
The company is headquartered in Kenya but has operations in Tanzania and Uganda. There are several more companies in the freighting industry for the Mois which include a part of the Kenya Airways fleet.
The family owns several properties in the United States and South Africa. While most of these properties remain unidentified, local, the real estate sector has Mugoya construction, Sielei Properties Ltd, Regent Management, Paradise Holdings, Chester House, Homestead Enterprises, Courtyard Property Investment and Gateway Properties.
During the national agricultural fairs, Moi was always called mkulima nambari wani. This was all because the family has under its agri-business portfolio Sian roses, Fresh Produce Ltd, Sasine Group of farms, Chemusian Company, and Kiptagich Tea Estate. In Malawi, the Moi family owns a tobacco farm.
In telecommunication, the family has a sizeable share in Safaricom while also having stakes in Cable Wireless and Chesco Ltd.
Moi was a champion for education and he invested heavily in the sector. His most known institutions are Kabarak University and Kabarak High School. In addition, he owns Sunshine National School, Sacho High School, Moi Educational Centre and the Moi Africa Institute Kabarnet Gardens. The family also has interests in many other international and local schools.
The hospitality industry has Moi’s hand in the InterContinental Hotels, Sheraton Group (Sheraton Holding) and Safariland Club. The family’s hotel and tourism interests are spread across the industry.
There are many other interests that are spread in several other businesses leaving the Moi progeny spoilt for choice and swimming in money. How the family shares its wealth remains a matter of public interest since the Moi family has been largely private.