You have seen the term fake gold scandal being tossed around, for the most part, this weekend. The only problem is that there are so many theories about the scandal that you wouldn’t know what’s true and what’s not. Not to worry, we are going to tell you the official situation as it is. Here is what you need to know about Kenya’s Fake Gold Scandal.
5. The issue at hand
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has reportedly penned a protest letter to the government of Kenya; demanding compensation for losses incurred in a fake gold scam involving senior Kenyan politicians and state officials. This is after reports of Kenyan customs officials were holding gold consignment belonging to Ali Zandi at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
Ali Zandi is the owner of Dubai-based gold trading company Zlivia. The company is reported to have connections with the Saudi royal family.
4. What went wrong
Zandi reportedly entered into a deal with flamboyant Kenyan businessman and politician Zaheer Jhanda; who assured him to source gold from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and deliver it to him in Dubai.
Zandi was then later told his gold had been confiscated by Kenyan authorities at JKIA; after which the Dubai-based businessman allegedly wired $2.5 million to have his consignment, estimated to be worth KSh 30 billion, released. Several months later, Zandi believes that he has been conned by his contact in Kenya.
What’s interesting is that Jhanda claims that the gold is yet to leave the DRC and that he had shares in Zlivia.
You cannot have gold worth KSh 30 billion in Kenya and the government is not aware of it,” he said in protest to allegations he was part of the fake gold racket that was defrauding foreign investors millions of shillings.
3. The leaked audio
Leaked audio of a phone conversation has put Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula at the heart of the scandal. The audio has since been shared among Kenyans who have criticized the Senator for being part of such a shady deal. If you haven’t heard the audio, you can do so by clicking on this link.
The names mentioned in the now controversial audio clip are President Uhuru Kenyatta, Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i and former prime minister Raila Odinga.
Noordin Haji, The Director of Public Prosecution, ordered for an investigation into the audio recording. He also warned against the sharing of misleading information.
DPP’s Press Statement on Audio Clip Titled “WETANGULA EXPOSED IN FAKE GOLD SCAM” pic.twitter.com/nBouGYZXBl— ODPP_KE (@ODPP_KE) May 18, 2019
2. The usual politics
After the audio leaked, some politicians were quick to demand the resignation of CS Fred Matiang’i from office. Other leaders defend some of the names dropped in the phone conversation. Gladys Wanga, Homa Bay’s Woman Representative, was quick to defend the three leaders (President Uhuru, Raila and CS Matiang’i).
She claimed that the three leaders are clean, and she can read malice in the attacks that they have received from a section of leaders who have also called for Matiang’i to resign from his position.
We are aware that some leaders from Rift Valley were sent to drag the names of the president, Raila and Matiang’i into the fake gold scam,
The calls for Matiang’i to step aside are a display of ignorance. People are unhappy because he is doing a good job and they cannot now purport to launch non-existent projects
1. As it stands
Investigations are currently underway and politics is the order of the day regarding the issue. Meanwhile, there are speculations that the controversy will die down after a week or so given the country’s history of dealing with scandals.
All I need to know is whether Sheikh Maktoum really made threats to the whole country. If so, yikes.
What do you think of this whole scandal? Have Kenyan politicians gone too far? Let us know in the comments section.