Forget what Treasury CS Henry Rotich said on Wednesday about Kenya being broke, we have money only that it might be accumulating illegitimately in the coffers of several corrupt individuals.
As the Jubilee government continues to be hit by corruption scandal after another, it has emerged that the number of people worth more than half a billion shillings in Kenya has risen 16.2% in the last one year.
While we are not implying that these new high-net-worth individuals(HNWIs) have all attained their status through corruption and fraud, a majority are believed to be politicians or businessmen with strong links to government coffers and tenders.
Knight Frank Wealth Report, 2018 indicates that these new dollar millionaires are 180 in total for the year-ending 2017. They rose to 1,290 from the 1,110 recorded in 2016.
Out of the 1290, 90 are worth $50 million (Sh5 billion) or more while less than 10 are worth at least $500 million (Sh50 billion).
These numbers are expected to grow by 60.5 percent over the next five years to 2,070 in 2022.
Knight Frank says this will be the second fastest growth rate in Africa behind Nigeria’s 74 percent to 6,500 individuals.
According to the report, the top sectors generating wealth for Kenyans are retail businesses (18 percent); finance, banking and investment (18 percent); industrial businesses (8 percent) and manufacturing (6%).
The report further indicates the continent had a total of 22,970 individuals in the Sh500 million-plus wealth band in 2017, a seven percent increase from 2016’s figure.
The continent had a total of 1,190 individuals worth at least Sh5 billion, holding a total wealth estimated at $245 billion (Sh24.8 trillion).
Predictably, South Africa had the highest number of individuals with assets valued at Sh506 million or more. It was followed by Egypt with 4,180, Nigeria with 3,730, Tanzania with 250, Zambia with 140, and then came Uganda which had less than 100.
-Additional Reporting by Knight Frank HERE