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Uhuru Overtaken In Richest Kenyans Report (LIST)

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President Uhuru Kenyatta was believed to be the wealthiest in the entire country but a new report revealing the five richest families in Kenya has knocked him and his family off the top spot.

The report by Oxfam International released on Monday, January 17 showed the five richest families in Kenya who control more wealth than millions of the country’s citizens, highlighting the wealth gap that continues to exist within the borders.

The report showed that Sameer Naushad Merali, whose family includes the late billionaire Naushad Merali, tops Kenya’s tycoons’ list with a fortune of Ksh89.6 billion.

The late billionaire businessman Naushad Merali. /TV47 DIGITAL

The family of Bhimji Depar Shah, who founded consumer goods manufacturer Bidco Group of Companies, follows with a fortune of Ksh85 billion.

“The two richest people have more wealth than 16.5 million Kenyans,” said Oxfam.

Others include textile manufacturer Jaswinder Singh Bedi at Ksh77.1 billion and Mahendra Rambhai Patel at Ksh48.7 billion, whose family owns Ramco Group, a conglomerate with interests in print, hardware, manufacturing, office supply and property sectors.

Uhuru rounds up the top five with an estimate of Ksh60 billion, though the research firm clarified that his wealth was likely tied to his family’s assets.

The Kenyatta family has stakes in a wide range of sectors and industries such as banking, milk processing, transport, media, hospitality and land.

Oxfam’s figures are based on data from Wealth-X, an organisation that tracks the records of the world’s wealthiest individuals. The charity said the data was up to date as of November 30, 2021.

“Between 2016 and 2021, the number of individuals with wealth over $50 million increased from 80 to 120. Their combined wealth increased from $12.73 billion to $17.4 billion, an increase of 36.8 per cent, adjusted for inflation,” read the report in part.

The report curiously adds that of the 19 dollar billionaires in Africa with a combined net worth of $73.4 billion (Ksh8.3 trillion), none of them come from Kenya. The country boasts of 1,755 individuals whose individual net worth exceeds Ksh567 million.

Their combined wealth amounts to Ksh4.2 trillion, which is equivalent to 41 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), with the report following a 2020 Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) survey that showed that 24 million Kenyans are living in poverty.

The wealthiest person in Africa remains Nigerian Aliko Dangote at $13.5 billion (Ksh1.5 trillion), drawn from interests such as cement manufacturing, sugar and salt milling, mining, logistics and energy.

Other large African economies have billionaires and they include South Africa (five), Nigeria (three), Morocco (two) and one in Zimbabwe. The African billionaires draw their fortunes from commodities and natural resources, which Kenya does not have.

President Uhuru Kenyatta with with his mother Mama Ngina Kenyatta. /FILE

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Marvin Chege
About author: Digital journalist and managing director with a passion for writing captivating stories. Marvin is a young scribe, a social media, sports, gaming junkie and realist who specialises in viral news, multimedia and investigative storytelling.

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