Embattled billionaire Humphrey Kariuki among top brass picked for State jobs

Humphrey Kariuki

Businessman Humphrey Kariuki at Milimani Law Courts on February 26, 2020 when he was facing a Sh41 billion tax evasion case. He is among top brass to serve as members of the National Investment Council for a period of three years.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

President William Ruto has picked top brass of various companies to serve as members of the National Investment Council to serve for a period of three years from Wednesday this week.

More visible in the appointment made through a Gazette notice is billionaire Humphrey Kariuki, the owner of Thika-based Africa Spirits Ltd.

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) during ex-President Uhuru Kenyatta had shut down Mr Kariuki’s company and took him to court over Sh41 billion tax evasion.

However, the taxman suffered a blow in May after the High Court in Milimani, Nairobi, quashed and prohibited it from prosecuting the tycoon.

Mr Kariuki’s Africa Spirits Ltd was among the 26 alcohol factories that reopened after Dr Ruto ascended to the country’s helm of leadership.

“That factory (Africa Spirits Limited) was paying about Sh50 million in terms of tax every month. They sent policemen there, shut it down, arrested Humphrey Kariuki – a very enterprising Kenyan, an honourable man, a man who has toiled through his life – locked him up for four days with ordinary criminals,” Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua said at a Kenya Association of Manufacturers event.

Another person is David Langat, Mombasa-based businessman, founder of the DL Group who has other tea processing companies in Kericho.

Mr Lagat, who also has interests in shipping, owns Koisagat Tea Factory in Nandi and he was part of delegation when Dr Ruto was blocked from travelling to Uganda in August 2021.

The 12-member council also has the chief executive officer (CEO) of Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) Paul Russo, the Country Director, Kenya, at TradeMark East Africa Ahmed Farah, as well as Sitoyo Lopokoiyit, the CEO of M-Pesa Africa and Chief Financial Services Officer at Safaricom PLC.

Others are Tom Mulwa, the managing director of Liaison Group and CEO and founder of Twiga Foods; Francis Njogu the boss of Gulf Ltd and Sheila Kyarisiima, a partner at NISK Capital Ltd as well as Eva Warigia, the CEO of East Africa Private Equity and Venture Capital Association. Also in the list are Sarah Ochieng and Karen Taylor.

"In exercise of the powers conferred by section 26 (e) of the Investment Promotion Act, 1, William Samoei Ruto, President of the Republic of Kenya and Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Forces, appoint the aforementioned members of the National Investment Council," reads the Gazette notice.

The Council will advise the government and government agencies on ways to increase investment and economic growth in Kenya as well as promote co-operation between the public and private sectors in the formulation and implementation of government policies relating to the economy and investment.

The Council will also monitor the economic environment to identify impediments to investment and economic growth and to propose incentives to promote investment and economic growth; monitor economic development in Kenya to identify areas that may not be benefiting from economic development.

The 12 members will consult with persons from both the public and private sectors to obtain views and suggestions for promoting investment and economic development.


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