A section of Kenyans are now calling on President Uhuru Kenyatta to resign after details emerged his family operates offshore accounts containing billions.
According to an expose dubbed Pandora Papers, Uhuru, his mother former First Lady Mama Ngina Kenyatta, brother Muhoho Kenyatta and sisters, Kristina Pratt and Nyokabi Muthama secretly own 11 offshore companies and foundations in Panama and Britain.
One of the 11 firms mentioned was valued as holding assets of US$30 million (Sh3.31 billion), according to the leak released by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).
Even though Pandora Papers did not find any evidence that the money and assets the Kenyatta's have in the offshore accounts was stolen from state coffers, some Kenyans such as former State House speech writer Eric Ng'eno argues it is illegal for President Kenyatta to operate a foreign account(s).
Now, what does the Constitution stipulate on State Officers operating offshore accounts?
According to Article 76,2(a) of the 2010 Constitution, 'A State officer shall not maintain a bank account outside Kenya except in accordance with an Act of Parliament.'
But according to Kenya Subsidiary Legislation, 2015, a State Officer may open a foreign account after getting approval from the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC).
Educational, medical and other reasonable purposes are some of grounds the EACC may consider in approving request by a public officer to open a bank account abroad.
The law further states once allowed to operate a foreign account, a state officer should submit statements of the account annually to the EACC and authorize it to verify the statements any other relevant information from the foreign financial institution in which the account is held.
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