IDLE CASH

Whose money is it? Sh10 billion lies unclaimed.

This is an increase from Sh8.53 billion reported in 2017.

In Summary

• From the assets, Sh371.75 million is in cash and cash equivalents, Sh464.89 million in receivables and Sh11.89 million in investments.

• Details of the assets trust fund as of March 31 shows that the Authority has received remittances amounting to Sh13.1 billion from holders into the Trust Fund Account.

UFAA chief executive John Mwangi
UNCLAIMED WEALTH: UFAA chief executive John Mwangi
Image: COURTESY

Over Sh10 billion shillings lie unclaimed at the Unclaimed Financial Assets Authority.

This is an increase from Sh8.53 billion reported in 2017.

The authority received unclaimed assets worth Sh10.62 billion as of December last year and reported 22.39 million units of unclaimed shares.

According to the financial statement of the authority, no one has gone to claim the said assets, this is unlike 2017 where 1,581 claims were made.

From the assets, Sh371.75 million is in cash and cash equivalents, Sh464.89 million in receivables and Sh11.89 million in investments.

The authorities CEO John Kihara said the receivables are interest earned on Treasury bills investment that have not matured while the investment is income from Treasury bills.

According to the unclaimed financial asset Act, such assets include bank savings and deposits, cheques and drafts, money orders and funds held or owing under any life or endowment insurance policy or annuity contract.

The assets are forwarded to the authority after two years of not being claimed. 

Details of the assets trust fund as of March 31 shows that the Authority has received remittances amounting to Sh13.1 billion from holders into the Trust Fund Account.

This includes foreign exchange in various denominations. Reports have been made for 564 million units of shares.

The data, as posted in the states corporation website shows that the Authority has so far received claims amounting to Sh421.2 million and 1.23 million units of shares from 6,667 claimants.

Out of these, claims amounting to 166.9 million and 908,107 units of shares have been paid to 2,125 claimants.

While it is not clear who owns the unclaimed assets, a spot check into the authorities online register shows that top government officials led by President Uhuru Kenyatta are some of the people besides ordinary Citizens yet to make a claim.

The register shows that assets unclaimed by Kenyatta were forwarded to the authority by the National Bank of Kenya. 

Others are ex-vice president Kalonzo Musyoka whose assets were forwarded by Kenya Commercial Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Cooperative Bank of Kenya and Safaricom. 

Also forwarded by Safaricom are assets of unknown value belonging to the late businessman and government minister Nicholas Biwott. 

Former Cabinet minister Maina Wanjigi also has some assets to his name forwarded by Williamson Tea and Barclays Bank of Kenya. 

African Union Special Envoy for Infrastructure Raila Odinga also has some assets to his name through the Raila Odinga Centre. 

Seven years after his death, assets connected to the late defence minister Njenga Karume and forwarded by Safaricom, KCB Group and Standard Charterd. Karume was widely known for his businesses in the hotel industry and the real estate sector. 

Even as the rich and ordinary Kenyans shy away from claiming the billions of shillings, the agency remains to be the custodian of the assets until it’s reunited with the rightful owners.