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Kenyans wire back Sh1trn in offshore bank accounts

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Wealthy Kenyans have wired back an estimated Sh1 trillion from offshore accounts in the past three years, taking advantage of a tax amnesty offered by the Treasury.

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) in a response to Business Daily queries said the amount was repatriated by some 16,000 applicants who took advantage of the amnesty window during which they were not required to declare the source of their wealth or even account for previous years’ tax arrears.

The amnesty, which was announced by Treasury Secretary Henry Rotich in 2016, is set to close next month.

“We have received over 16,000 applicants with the amount repatriated so far at Sh1,014,058,103,551. The incentive was meant to encourage Kenyans to repatriate their wealth back to the country for purposes of development,” said KRA in a statement.

The amount wired back is more than one third of Kenya’s annual Budget.

Wealthy Kenyans have traditionally stashed wealth abroad to either escape the taxman’s scrutiny or to spread their risks by investing in the more politically and economically stable Western democracies.

A report by an American think tank, the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), last year revealed that Kenya’s super-rich were holding more than Sh5 trillion in offshore tax havens across the world.

Another international report released in 2007 detailed how a corrupt network in the Moi administration looted at least Sh130 billion and stashed it abroad, including in the United Kingdom and South Africa.

The report by risk advisers Kroll and Associates was commissioned by the then President Mwai Kibaki’s administration.

The 110-page report published online detailed how people close to Mr Moi set up shell companies, fronts and secret trusts to siphon away Kenyan taxpayers’ money, which they stashed in banks, real estate and companies in an estimated 30 countries around the world.

With the return into the country of the over Sh1 trillion, the owners of the cash have effectively ‘cleaned’ their wealth and evaded any questions on the source of the money or any tax liabilities that may have been due in the years before they made the declaration.

The colossal amount has, however, not made a visible impact in the economy, raising questions on where the cash has been kept.

Kenyan laws have a narrow scope on taxation of wealth earned abroad, but the amnesty offered a golden opportunity for those who had stashed cash offshore to bring it back without scrutiny.

Deloitte East Africa Tax Partner Fred Omondi said in an interview yesterday that most tax audit firms had not received any significant enquiries from Kenyans willing to repatriate wealth back home.

“We haven’t seen a lot of uptake of this amnesty given that most income earned abroad is not subject to taxation in Kenya. Until the money is invested here and taxable income generated, there is no tax revenue to expect,” said Mr Omondi.

Mr Rotich, who yesterday did not respond to our queries on the impact that the Sh1 trillion has had on the economy, at the time of the announcement said the amnesty would make the environment more conducive for those willing to reinvest back home.

“Mr Speaker, taxpayers who take up this amnesty shall have all principal taxes, interests and penalties for the year of income, 2016 and the prior year’s automatically remitted in total. In addition, the government shall not follow up on the sources of such income and assets declared,” said the Treasury CS in his 2016 annual Budget Speech.

The incentive has since been extended twice to allow more uptake after potential applicants failed to take advantage fearing they would be subjected to provisions of Proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Act.

Mr Rotich last year amended the law to exempt them from the requirement to declare the source of their wealth to the Financial Reporting Centre. He urged taxpayers to take advantage of the amnesty and “clean up their records with KRA”.

KRA then issued guidelines on the repatriation and signed certificates for those who successfully applied for the repatriation during the period. The tax forgiveness applied only to those who declared income from their wealth abroad, including homes, for the period up to December 2018.

They were expected to file their returns with KRA.

Audit firm Ernst and Young, in its analysis of the amnesty in March 2016, warned that the process was prone to abuse.

“The amnesty should be undertaken with precaution as there is the potential for abuse with respect to money laundering under the pretext of repatriating assets,” the firm wrote a day after KRA held a stakeholders meeting to get feedback on the guidelines provided for the amnesty.

Delloite’s Fred Omondi also said the amnesty could have been used by those seeking to clean their funds before taking them back to the offshore havens with the needed legitimacy granted through the repatriation.

source:businessdaily

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Kenyan Men from all over the US to gather in Atlanta on June 29 for 2019 KEMEN Summit

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BY KAMNAO ANTHONY

KEMEN Summit 2019 and dinner will take place in Atlanta Georgia on June 29, 2019 starting with Workshop and Networking from 10.00 A.M. to 1.P.M.

This is a special rare occasion to brush shoulders with a diverse group of visionary Diaspora leaders chosen from business, Mentorship, Financial guidance, Literacy, Motivation, Immigration experts, Education, Health, Wellness and many other key speakers with a wide range of topics.

These are men who clearly understand that change and effective progress are only possible with a good vision, determination and ambition,.. therefore your actions and attendance counts greatly as you may be impacted and be part of that change.

In the evening, the program continues starting from 4 P.M. to 11 P.M.

There will be Panel discussions, various speakers, formal dinner and ending with KEMEN awards.

We need you to be the architects of a sustainable future and as Diaspora men that are looked upon as men of impact in all fields, a large representation will make the occasion to arouse the much needed awareness that can make this noble movement a force to reckon with.

KEMEN aims at empowering men to believe in themselves equip them with tools of knowledge through workshops and conferences to enable them attain the grandest height possible.
Men empowerment is the core to sustainable development, wellness, stability, and progressive societies anywhere in the world and as such KEMEN are on track.

Women are now breaking the glass ceiling and as the number increase, men though not competing, should be on the forefront in welcoming them to a world they have already dominated.
The only way to do that, is to remain on top and empower more and more men so that their role as head of households cannot be shaken or taken for granted.

We need all men to work together to pursue a sustainable path that leads to economic growth of the communities that we reside in here in America and still, even extend the same to our motherland.
While doing so, there are many challenges as we have to be the custodian of social justice, economic, health, education, wellness and even political stewardship.

We live in volatile times and hence we should always be on top to make great advances towards eradicating poverty, ignorance, corruption, moral decay and diseases as these are the ills of any society, and the same can only be achieved if we work together as a team.

We all the same must be aware that inequality persists but that can be narrowed to prevent it’s growth.
Real impact presents many challenges but as a united front, we are confident that we can meet them to yield change and the much needed progress.

Most of us grew up in a country that had many problems ranging from unable to get clean water, education to even starvation hence the need to make sure that those issues are addressed and if possible show our leaders back home how it can be achieved.

We live in a developed nation where we see things done in a more perfect way and as Diaspora men that are looked upon, we owe a duty to our children so that they may never go through some of the injustices we had to go through.
When we formed KEMEN we were aware that change does not simply happen by itself for the same has to be pursued with vigor and by all in society.

We hold family conference calls and also conference calls which are not limited to men as ladies also join us to discuss diversified issues.

We in KEMEN will not accept an aircraft that only allow a few to board while leaving the rest behind and that is why we are appealing to all to join our movement and act as ambassadors for the common good to encourage others to join for that is the morally correct thing to do.

It is the smart choice to do to avoid being left behind in this sustainable journey that we all need to take as it is in everybody’s best advantage and interest.
We all know that people in the Diaspora are busy and hence it may somehow demand long-term sacrifice but in the end it will bear fruits.

Everyone therefore has a role to play in empowering men and bring Diaspora men to the table as key partners and to do that, it embodies the spirit of shared responsibility that is essential for achieving a better world.
During the 2019 KEMEN Summit in Atlanta successful businessmen will deliver speeches of great topics that can have a great impact in your life so do not miss this great chance.

We will also honor such men and others nominated in order for them to continue impacting and empowering men in the Diaspora and beyond.
KEMEN will later diversify and touch other areas that can affect the empowerment of men such as Human rights abuses, poor working conditions, health, immigration, discrimination, and even corruption and decision making to determine best suited leaders back home.

We will do that as we strongly feel that the mentioned issues can affect both our long-term investments and growth prospects.
All participants are requested to get involved in KEMEN agenda and also consider how you can use your expertise and resources to help promote and impact all members that have joined and will continue joining.
We need you to advance innovations and forge collaborations with others that have already made great impacts on some of the toughest common issues we face.

KEMEN is firmly committed to the power of partnerships, working with businessmen, scholars, Health experts, Tax experts, immigration lawyers, insurance, Religious men, talented men and women and in short all key stakeholders to enhance progress on all our objectives.

The immediate challenge is achieving the required impact to show a total change that will flow to all our members may it be financial, wellness, benevolence benefits but at this stage we all can boast that we have made great progress.

Much has been achieved since inception as we have held several successful meetings, direct conference talks, and social gathering all with the purpose of impacting men and not leaving behind our women in the Diaspora.
Even though our ladies have been identified as a strategic player in reaching some of our goals, there has been no clear role for combined business in our objectives but where man succeeds, the woman will always be there and with that in mind KEMEN has a UNIVERSAL agenda.

We do hope that after the summit, there will be urgent actions towards a new dynamic movement to push forward our set up goals.
We will need your support though and your attendance, mentorship and participation will be greatly appreciated as we move forward from summit holders to an all financially stable action group that can effectively realize our set up goals.

In KEMEN we will connect the dots in the ever-growing field of responsible business initiatives, Wellness while impacting our men.
We therefore appeal to all to work together on an entirely new gigantic scale – collaborating and co-investing, share risks, realize opportunities by networking here in America and later globally to engage in business by simply using the potentials God has given us.

We have seen how powerful such collaborative efforts can achieve great things and ours is just the beginning and sky is the limit statement is just an understatement for we can go beyond.
KEMEN has helped generate a major shift in Diaspora mindset from the time it was initiated for as of today our members of great impact are now becoming role models of a better world.

Help us to respond to the urgency of our many Diaspora challenges to build a better tomorrow that will be of great impact to our children that we are raising here and the same to be extended to our brothers and sisters back home.

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Diaspora

Details emerge as top Kenyan student found dead in US

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Top 2013 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) student Norah Jelagat Borus, was on Friday found dead at her campus residence in Stanford University in California, USA.

Norah was the 4th best student nationally in 2013 and was admitted in the School of Engineering.
Police confirmed the death Friday afternoon, noting that there is “no ongoing safety threat to the campus community.” The cause and date of the student’s death remain unknown.

Stanford Police spokesperson Bill Larson said he was unable to provide further details regarding the death. The Daily has reached out to the Santa Clara Medical Examiner-Coroner’s Office for comment.

NORAH

Friday’s death is the fourth student death announced by Stanford since February. Master’s student and world-champion cyclist Kelly Catlin died in March after struggling with depression. Her death came just one month after another graduate student was found dead in a campus laboratory.

Later in March, Mischa Nee ’20 died in a hiking accident after becoming separated from a group of other Stanford undergraduates in Mallorca, Spain.

Following Nore’s death, family spokesperson Mr Joseph Maswan said some family members had travelled to the US to establish the circumstances surrounding Ms Borus’ death.

Ms Borus, who sat for her KCSE in Precious Blood Riruta, emerged the best girl in Nairobi County in the 2013 KCSE results.

Below is the campuswide leter sent out by the Provost:

Dear campus community members,

I am writing, on behalf of the President and Provost, with terrible news to convey on this Commencement Weekend. We have lost another member of our student community.

Police this afternoon have confirmed the death of an undergraduate coterm student who was found in a residence on campus. The police have told us there is no ongoing safety threat to the campus community.

It is difficult for me to convey the depth of anguish I feel, and I know many of you will feel, at this news. It is impossibly challenging to comprehend the death of another student at Stanford this year.

We have been in touch with the student’s family this afternoon. While we are working to understand the family’s wishes, we are not in a position to share the identity of the student. We also will be reaching out to friends and colleagues of the student to offer support and care, now and over time.

I want to urge all of you, as well, to reach out for support. Many students are in the process of traveling home or elsewhere for the summer right now. Even if you are off-campus, I encourage you to contact one of the campus-based resources listed below:

  • Stanford Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is available for students 24/7 at (650) 723-3785 and https://vaden.stanford.edu/get-help-now. Students who are off-campus and traveling can still contact CAPS as a resource, as well as this national number for free and confidential emotional support: (800) 273-8255 and https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/.
  • The Graduate Life Office is available 24/7 at (650) 723-7288, pager ID number 25085, and during office hours at (650) 736-7078.
  • The Office for Religious Life offers pastoral care and spiritual guidance and can be reached at (650) 723-1762.
  • Residence Deans (RDs) are available to help undergraduates navigate support and resources during this difficult time. An on-call RD is available 24/7 at (650) 504-8022, and RDs also can be reached through this web page: https://studentaffairs.stanford.edu/residence-deans/find-your-rd.
  • The Faculty Staff Help Center offers confidential assistance for faculty and staff. More information is available at https://cardinalatwork.stanford.edu/faculty-staff-help-center.

I am profoundly grieved to have to share this news, particularly in the wake of the deaths of multiple members of our campus community this year. I wanted to share the news as soon as possible, recognizing that there is clearly a need for greater conversation. We will share more information as soon as it is available.

At this moment in the year, many of us are dispersed around the globe. However, our sense of community travels with us wherever we go. I hope you will reach out to each other to extend care and support, and we at the university are here for you, as well.

Sincerely,

Susie Brubaker-Cole
Vice Provost for Student Affairs

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Diaspora

Help Atlanta-based Kenyan woman in immigration custody fight for her freedom

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Well wishers and friends are appealing for your help in an attempt to secure the freedom of their compatriot who was taken into custody in Atlanta and could be facing deportation. Here is her story:

On the night of April 7th Veronica was on her way home from work when she was pulled over for a minor traffic infraction. Unfortunately In the process of completing her paperwork, her immigration status came up. This led to Veronica being taken in to custody.

We as her friends have come together to help Veronica and retained an attorney to  represent Veronica on the immigration case. We need your help to enable Veronica afford the opportunity to appeal her immigration case, gain her freedom and continue living in the US.

We are reaching out to you appealing for your compassion, goodwill and financial support to assist in raising funds towards Veronica’s attorney fees and immigration fees. The total needed for both the attorney and immigration fees is $8,000. This will help Veronica get the representation she so desperately needs and get her out of custody.

Please help bring Veronica home to her loved ones. Help us make a difference in Veronica’s life. Help her gain her freedom. Let us show that humanity and compassion still exist and thrive.

Any size donation is greatly appreciated as we come together to bring Veronica home and help her overcome this hardship.

Your support and kindness is very much appreciated and will never be forgotten.

Donations can be sent to:
1. Cashapp: +16782056692 ($dnkatha)

2. Gofundme

For more information contact:
Dianah: 6782056692
Lucy Karuri: 6784787804

May God bless you abundantly

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