Not too many details about the businesses owned by former prime minister Raila Odinga are known publicly. However, a report that appeared in the Daily Nation has made an intense effort at lifting this veil.
The report says that Raila Odinga and his family are among shareholders of one of the most prominent oil marketers in Kenya.
The report says that Raila and his family “own a substantial stake in the oil business Be Energy, the local arm of a multinational founded by Saudi Arabian tycoon Sheikh Abdul Kader Al Bakri. Born and raised in Saudi Arabia, Mr Bakri founded Bakri International Energy in 1973.”
This report also says that during the height of the fuel shortage that hit Kenyans in April 2022, Raila was doubling up as an oil marketer.
The report also says that “Odinga and his family own 2,801 shares in Be Energy, the equivalent of 35 per cent of the Kenyan-registered company. The Bakri family is, however, the majority shareholder. The Saudi Arabian family owns 5,201 shares through their International Energy World S.A.”
The Daily Nation further reported that International Energy World is registered in Panama. Panama is a country commonly used by people looking to lower tax liabilities in their countries of origin.
“The Odinga family owns its stake in Be Energy through another firm – Pan African Petroleum Company. Raila Odinga Jr, the former Prime Minister’s son, is a director of Be Energy alongside Mr Oburu Oginga,” the Daily Nation reported.
“Pan African Petroleum Company is owned by Mr Odinga Jr (25,000 shares), Rosemary Adhiambo Odinga (50,000 shares), Winnie Irmgard Odinga (25,000 shares), Elija Bonyo Oburu (125,000 shares), Wenwa Akinyi Oranga (25,000 shares) and Kango Enterprises (250,000 shares),” the Daily said.
The report also showed that Be Energy is among at least 90 petroleum dealers that participate in the Open Tender System (OTS). The OTS is a controversial and highly secretive public procurement process in which winners import and supply fuel to Kenyans.