Unclaimed assets worth billions lie idle in government custody as Kenyan families languish in poverty

Unclaimed assets worth Sh16 billion now lie idle in government custody. (Facebook)
  • In 2019 alone, money lying idle in government custody rose by 23 percent or Sh3 billion.
  • Apart from that, Ufaa is also in possession of unclaimed assets suspected to be worth billions hidden in safes.
  • In a report, the Unclaimed Financial Assets Authority (Ufaa) said the unclaimed assets now stands at Sh16 billion ($160 million).

Unclaimed assets worth billions belonging to Kenyan families are lying idle in government custody as some of their unsuspecting owners are languishing in poverty.

In 2019 alone, money lying idle in government custody rose by 23 percent or Sh3 billion, most of it uncollected salaries, pension dues, matured policies, bank deposits and royalties.

In a report, the Unclaimed Financial Assets Authority (Ufaa) said the unclaimed assets now stands at Sh16 billion ($160 million).

Apart from that, Ufaa is also in possession of unclaimed assets suspected to be worth billions hidden in safes. Last week Ufaa chief executive John Mwangi told parliament the agency was yet to know the value of contents in safe boxes held by various institutions, which could be worth billions of shillings.

The safe boxes scattered across several local banks hold valuables such as title deeds, company incorporation and share certificates, jewellery and firearms and at times illegally stashed local and foreign currency.

In its 2018 end-year disclosure, Ufaa said it was holding 1,451 safe boxes that were yet to be opened and their contents verified.

The report by Ufaa also disclosed that another 12 million shares of listed companies of an undisclosed value had been surrendered. Ufaa said it is now holding 567 million shares, a 2.1 percent rise from 2018’s reported shares of 555 million.

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