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AG Kihara’s New Rules To Unmask Faces Behind Companies

Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) / Courtesy

Information regarding significant shareholders in companies will be laid bare in new rules published by the Attorney General Paul Kihara.

According to the Companies (Beneficial Ownership Information) Regulations, 2019 which will take effect in six months time, all companies will be required to keep a register of beneficial owners with the registrar of businesses.

The register will entail information such as beneficial owners’ full name, current telephone number, date of birth, postal and residential address, occupation, current email address, passport number or national identification number.

The details will also involve the date on which any individual ceased to be a beneficial owner and the nature of ownership or control.

Read: 218 Former Unilever Workers Headed To UK Supreme Court Seeking Compensation Over 2007/8 PEV

The rules will affect persons with a stake or voting right of at least 10 percent in companies. Currently, individuals are able to mask their wealth in listed companies, making it hard to counter money laundering and graft.

The companies will also be required to submit any information required by the registrar from time to time, meaning that it will be hard to keep private investor information.

The current loophole in law has made it possible for cartels and politicians to fleece the government and its parastatals through tenders, that are undertaken through proxy companies.

Money laundering has also been the order of the day, with cartels using shell companies to hide stolen monies in overseas accounts.

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Francis Muli

Written by Francis Muli

Senior reporter at Kahawa Tungu, Muli has a passion for human interest stories. He believes in unearthing societal rots that have been hidden from the public eye. He has also carved himself a niche in writing business stories. He has worked for various organisations including Kenya Television Service, Business Today among others. Follow him on Twitter @FmuliKE.
Email: mulifranc2@gmail.com

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