Suna East Member of Parliament Junet Mohammed has now been linked to Mohammed Jaffer corruption scandals as pressure mounts on investigative agencies and institutions to do something about Jaffer’s monopoly that is hurting the economy.
In a series of social media posts seen by cnyakundi.com on Tuesday, 20th July, netizens exposed how Jaffer has managed to get away with a litany of crimes, including selling the government its own land, evading taxes, and how he has surprisingly evaded up to five parliamentary investigations into his monopolies in the Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) sector and grain industry.
Jaffer is said to have controversially built his business empire by leveraging on political patronage and was at one time the main benefactor of ODM Party Leader Raila Odinga when he served as Prime Minister.
According to sources, Jaffer also shares a close relationship with Raila’s closest lieutenant Junet Mohamed, who aides him in among other things: evading taxes.
Earlier this year, reports emerged that Junet had reportedly been caught on camera demanding and collecting a bribe from Jaffer.
The influential MP is said to have been captured on excerpts of a leaked video clip that was reportedly secretly recorded on various occasions visiting the tycoon at his Nyali mansion and collecting a large amount of cash believed to have been for his acceptance to be used as a middle-man to bribe state officials to get protection for Jaffer and his companies which are said to owe billions of shillings in tax arrears.
Junet reportedly assured Jaffer that he would use his connections to ODM leader Raila Odinga and Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho to ensure KRA does not place sanctions on Jaffer or any of his trading firms.
Over a period of two years, Mohammed Jaffer is said to have been recording high ranking government officials and MPs who usually visit his residence to obtain cash. He has recorded even former Prime minister Raila Odinga.
During this period our source revealed Junet had collected an estimated Sh100 million in protection and bribery money from the unassuming billionaire.
Unknown to Junet and other guests; Jaffer’s residence, offices and cars are all wired with sophisticated audio-visual recording equipment that picks all his interactions.
Among those recorded collecting kickbacks by Jaffer’s highly trained security staff are said to have included Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi and even his Treasury counterpart Yukur Attani!
Jaffer’s influence is not limited to the executive arm of government.
He is reputed to be close to high ranking judges in the judiciary including Court of Appeal judge Alnasir Visram. So strong is his influence that one of his sons is employed at the Court of Appeal.
It is the reason Jaffer wins a majority of cases filed against him or any of his firms; be it a demand by KRA for back taxes or against Kenya Railways whose huge tracts of land around the port of Mombasa GBHL has irregularly been used to secure bank loans amounting to a staggering Sh45 billion.
Jaffer’s monopoly in LPG sector
Jaffer, who is a close ally to ODM party leader Raila Odinga is regarded as one of the largest interested parties in the LPG industry and is accused of taking advantage of his political privileges from top state agencies to muscle out his competitors.
In 2019, the businessman was directly linked to the collapse of “Mwananchi Gas” – a subsidized gas project launched by the government in October 2016.
An investigation into what led to the collapse of the project revealed that a well-calculated plan by Pro Gas owner Mohammed Jaffer killed Gas Yetu.
It all started with a contract awarded by the Petroleum Ministry and the National Oil Corporation of Kenya (Nock) to a consortium led by Allied East Africa Ltd.
Having gotten the tender, but with no capacity to deliver, the consortium turned to Mohammed Jaffer owner of Africa Gas and Oil (AGOL) which also owns Proto Energy Limited under which Pro Gas is sold.
The company was then just beginning and was virtually unknown in the country.
Jaffer had however managed to obtain a lease for use of a cylinder pressing machine from KPA in a shady deal that seems to have been orchestrated by officials from the Energy Ministry.
The fraudulent suppliers, in the first batch, delivered faulty cylinders raising questions about quality assurance and monitoring of the manufacturing process.
A total of 67,251 cylinders were found to be leaking posing a serious safety hazard had they gone into circulation.
This, however, seemed to be part of the grand plan to kill the project as then PS Andrew Kamau cancelled the tender purchase order of 357,000 cylinders despite money having been paid out to East Africa Allied and Mohammed Jaffer.
The PS also cancelled another purchase order of 700,000 cylinders with little explanation as to how the total budgetary allocation that had risen to Ksh2.9 billion had been spent.
Through bribery, Jaffer has now completely taken over the imports, distribution and retail business in the LPG sector undercutting other companies and driving them out of business altogether and the latest tactic is buying off competitors who feel helpless and have to allow Jaffer to buy them off.
Most recently, the billionaire is said to have hardened his grip on the sector after Mombasa-based gas seller Proto Energy, associated with Jaffer, was reported to have snapped up a rival cooking gas company for an undisclosed sum.
Proto Energy, is the maker of Pro Gas and has now received regulatory approval to buy out Solutions East Africa, whose LPG products trade as SeaGas.
Aside from his control of the LPG sector, Jaffer, a tycoon in the grains industry, is also said to have allegedly taken hostage of the coastal area economy by privatising the port operations, flooding the markets with his Unga brands after pocketing corrupt KEBS officials.
The business leader is said to misuse politicians like Suna East MP and ODM Party operative Junet Mohamed to block projects.
The tycoon has also pocketed a significant number of MPs ensuring that any parliamentary committee investigations go his way.
To date, there have been tens of investigations on the unfair monopoly by his companies including Jaffer Mohamed-owned Grain Bulk Handling Limited (GBHL) but no action has been taken.
Suits filed in Court against Pro Gas, Energy Ministry and EPRA are often thrown out as he bribes witnesses and threatens anyone who comes in his way.
Maize and other grains are expensive because of the monopoly that GrainBulk Handlers has been enjoying over the years.
Multi-billionaire Jaffer is the founder of the MJ Group, East Africa’s largest provider of clearing and forwarding services.
His GBHL owns a grain terminal that specializes in the discharge and handling of bulk grain cargo at the Port of Mombasa.
For long, he’s been a monopolist and competitors crying foul for being undermined as he uses his influence in the system to tune things to his favour.
In 2019, according to the National Land Commission, Jaffer’s Grainbulk Handlers Limited had irregularly grabbed up to 43 acres of the Indian Ocean within Kibarani, disrupting the livelihoods of thousands of fishermen and negatively impacting the ecosystem of the region.
However, President Uhuru Kenyatta directed the National Land Commission to revoke Kibarani dumpsite land allocation to a “private developer” which was Grainbulk Handlers Ltd (GBHL).
GBHL was listed by NLC as among politically well-connected tycoons who have encroached the sea and put up multibillion shillings properties including container freight stations and offices near the port of Mombasa.
In the same year, GBHL is also said to be behind the grabbing of Hippo Point land in Kisumu which is currently embroiled in a controversy.
Our investigations revealed that the grabbing process began in July 2011 when councillors were then rounded up from their wards all over the city to attend an urgent Full Council meeting to ratify the fraudulent grabbing of Hippo Point by the investor called Nam Lolwe Investment Ltd.
No councillor was allowed to query the purpose and speed of this transfer.
The resolution was used to affect a “75 years sublease” transfer on 1st August 2011 to the said Nam Lolwe Investment Ltd and the title issued to the company.
The company has since transferred the fraudulently acquired interest to Grain Bulk at a consideration of Sh 100 million.
In 2021, a court battle also revealed how the State bought its own land from billionaire Mohammed Jaffer.
In this case, a Mombasa family’s hopes of benefiting from Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) millions have diminished after a land battle with three companies was thrown out but it also shed a light on how the Mombasa-based billionaire scammed the government more than half a billion.
The family had in 2018 petitioned the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) demanding that the National Land Commission Chairman Muhammad Swazuri and Kenya Railways Corporation CEO Atanas Maina be investigated over the compulsory acquisition of a piece of land, LR No MN/VI/755, located in Miritini, Mombasa.
The family of the late James Kamau Thiong’o and the African Gas and Oil Company Limited (AGOL) have been claiming ownership of the disputed land and the matter has been active before the court.
Also sued were Golden Sparrow Trading Company Ltd and Mjad Investment Ltd both owned by Jaffer.
However, both the National Land Commission (NLC) and the Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC) processed the payment before they could determine the legality of the title being held by AGOL.
On the 7th of July, 2021, the Environment and Lands Court told representatives of the estate of James Kamau Thiong’o that the land in dispute had been acquired by the government in 1976 extinguishing the case that has been a thorn in the flesh of Mohammed Jaffer.
Judge Charles Yano ruled that documentary evidence tabled in court, including proof of compensation, had revealed that the compulsory acquisition process for parcel No. MN/VI/755 was completed back in 1977, and the family’s title was extinguished.
Despite the case coming to an end, it remains a mystery why the Sh519 million was paid to Mohammed Jaffer firms yet the government had bought the land in 1976 as now confirmed by the courts.
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