Munga secret Britam deal leaves Mauritius with Sh3.9bn loss

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Tuesday August 03 2021

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Mr Peter Munga. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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By VICTOR JUMA

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Summary

  • After seeking the shares, Mr Munga would later promote them in two tranches at undisclosed costs which could maybe well be expected to hold earned him billions of shillings in capital gains.
  • He first sold 104 million shares in 2017 in the initiate market and adopted it up with the disposal of 348.5 million shares to Zurich-based multinational Swiss Re in 2018.
  • Mr Munga called the roundabout transactions a “Manowari Venture”, consistent with the inquiry.

Billionaire businessman Peter Munga orchestrated a secretive snatch of 452.5 million shares of Britam Holdings from the authorities of Mauritius in a deal that left the island nation with a Sh3.9 billion loss, consistent with an inquiry listing.

The Port Louis rate of inquiry, which investigated the transactions, established that the then Mauritius’ Minister of Monetary Services and products, Factual Governance and Institutional Reforms Roshi Bhadain helped the Kenyan businessman snatch the shares for Sh7.1 billion in 2016.

This used to be no topic the reality that there hold been rival greater bids of Sh11 billion every from South Africa’s insurance coverage firm MMI Holdings and Barclays Monetary institution (now Absa Community), which Mr Munga had earlier promised to match.

The Britam shares were seized by Mauritius in 2015 from its citizen Dawood Rawat, whose Sh71 billion ponzi plan used to be exposed, inserting stress on the authorities to promote his resources in Kenya and rather about a jurisdictions to compensate traders and policyholders.

After seeking the shares, Mr Munga would later promote them in two tranches at undisclosed costs which could maybe well be expected to hold earned him billions of shillings in capital gains.

He first sold 104 million shares in 2017 in the initiate market and adopted it up with the disposal of 348.5 million shares to Zurich-based multinational Swiss Re in 2018.

Mr Munga called the roundabout transactions a “Manowari Venture”, consistent with the inquiry.

Manowari is a Swahili name for submarine and the authors of the listing dispute it is a fitting description of the secretive nature of the transactions.

The sale of the shares to Mr Munga’s funding car Plum LLP wouldn’t hold been made public in Mauritius had it now not been for a rely on asked by the Chief of the Opposition.

On May maybe presumably 3, 2016, Mr Bhadain casually told Parliament that the shares had been sold to Mr Munga.

The response triggered the formation of the inquiry after it emerged that the Kenyan businessman had sold the shares at a cheaper impress and the laid-down task for handling Mr Rawat’s resources used to be overlooked.

There were several meetings between Britam administrators and Mauritian officers in Nairobi and Port Louis however potentially the most consequential used to be a secret one between Mr Munga and Bhadain on Saturday, November 14, 2015.

They were joined by officers of BDO, the accounting firm that had been appointed as particular administrators of the Rawat resources.

“This used to be the assembly that changed the course of historic previous of this sale which could maybe well in the smash smash with the superior tumble from R4.3bn (Sh11 billion) to R2.4bn [Sh7.1 billion at the agreed exchange rates],” the listing says.

Mr Munga told the people that the Kenyan authorities wouldn’t welcome a international investor.

He used to be repeating a message that had been communicated by dilapidated Treasury Cupboard Secretary Henry Rotich, who wrote to Mauritius’ Ministry of Finance and Economic Construction (MOFED) asking the shares to be sold to Kenyan traders.

MOFED initiated the sale of the Britam shares however the technique used to be later “hijacked” by Mr Bhadain, whose mates irregularly offered amendments to the Insurance Act to contend with insolvency disorders.

Mr Munga is amongst the businessmen with highly effective connections in the Jubilee administration.

On March 8, 2016, Mr Munga landed in Mauritius with his small team and handled BDO. On March 12, 2016, the independence day of Mauritius, he signed an MoU which the listing says used to be extra in the character of a proper contract, with the total phrases laid down in sad and white for R2.4bn.

The listing realized that sale of the shares to Mr Munga used to be concluded without Cupboard approval, valuation, or the appointment of an self sustaining transaction adviser.

The shares were to be transferred to the Nationwide Property Fund Restricted (NPFL), which used to be to promote at a later date.

The authorities had borrowed R3.5 billion (8.9 billion) from Monetary institution of Mauritius (the central monetary institution) to compensate Mr Rawat’s victims, easing the stress to promote the Britam shares straight away.

However the shares were sold to Mr Munga and easiest the proceeds were transferred to NPFL, with Mr Bhadain and his team of regulators and conservators (accounting firm BDO) pronouncing it used to be wanted to promote the shares because their costs were falling on the Nairobi Securities Substitute.

The shares were transferred to NPFL on June 10, 2016 and on the identical day they were sold to Mr Munga, with the fund receiving a string of payments starting up from April 29, 2016 to June 3, 2016.

Plum LLP, Munga’s funding car, moreover came into existence on that same day.

Queer for a world transaction of this nature, the deal used to be denominated in Kenya shillings and Mr Munga chose the paying monetary institution besides negotiating the forex conversion rates.

Equity Monetary institution, which used to be based by Mr Munga, made the payments in a task that the inquiry listing says makes it delicate to effect whether kickbacks were moreover remitted to rather about a events.

The shillings were converted into US bucks and wired to Mauritius.

The listing says that Mauritius can glimpse the co-operation of United States, which tracks buck transactions, however accepted that any deals tantalizing the shillings will dwell a thriller.

“If the transaction had took place in US bucks and a Mauritian monetary institution used to be eager, that avenue could hold been pursued thru the co-operation of the US,” the listing says.

“However the transaction had been finished in Kenyan shillings and, what is extra, when the money used to be transferred in US bucks, the monetary institution eager used to be a Kenyan monetary institution, that of Peter Munga.”

The rate wanted to envision an nameless exclaim it got and which alleged that the adaptation between what Mr Munga paid and the supreme bids could even be traced to a monetary institution in the United Arab Emirates.

Afsar Ebrahim, who used to be then deputy managing associate of BDO Mauritius and whom the listing says used to be the most fundamental intermediary between Mr Munga and the ex-minister Bhadain, travelled to Kenya after the deal used to be concluded and met the Kenyan billionaire on the morning of May maybe presumably 9, 2016.

Mr Ebrahim told the associated rate that he travelled to Kenya to ascertain possession small print of Britam shares and that he had no rather about a enterprise in the nation.

The rate, nonetheless, obtained a letter written by Mr Munga to the BDO government referencing the assembly.

“Does that build sense? A 4-day talk over with in May maybe presumably when all has been settled in March 2016? What for? When BDO has an place of business in Kenya to achieve that easy exercise which could maybe maybe nicely hold been finished online,” the authors of the listing posed.

Mr Munga would moreover lumber to Mauritius on a enterprise visa on February 5, 2017, two weeks after Mr Bhadain had resigned from the authorities.

The listing says his itinerary and the folk he met dwell a thriller. The intrigues did now not rush Mr Rawat, who co-invested with Mr Munga in Britam for a long time.

“The Kenyans either duped the Mauritians or made a covert deal which is rather sharp,” he’s quoted as pronouncing in the listing.

The island nation sought the co-operation of the Kenyan authorities thru the Legal professional-Fashioned’s place of business however used to be reportedly snubbed.

Other folks who were to be interviewed for his or her roles consist of Sandeep Raghunath Khapre (Managing Associate of BDO Kenya), Mr Munga, Agnes Odhiambo (dilapidated Britam director), Benson Wairegi (dilapidated Britam CEO) and Gladys Karuri (dilapidated Britam CFO).

Others are Mr Rotich and Wanyambura Mwambia, the deputy director of commercial affairs guilty of tax administration and deepest sector disorders on the Treasury.

Many of the folk easiest submitted short written statements which the associated rate variously described as misleading, coached or ridiculous.

“What we are able to claim is that the Kenyans had things to cloak for them to quit co-operation when the topic came to a crux. They’d no motive now not to co-operate with the inquiry, if things had been finished with the openness and transparency required,” says the listing.

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