By Faith Nyasuguta
On Monday, there was very little or no reporting in Kenyan newspapers on the fresh revelation where President Uhuru Kenyatta’s family was revealed to have secretly owned a chain of offshore firms for decades.
The Star Newspaper https://www.the-star.co.ke/ was leading with the story on its website with the headline No evidence Kenyattas stole state assets.
However, the other outlets either put the focus outside the nation of Kenya or entirely missed covering it.
Kenya’s number one daily newspaper, The Nation, published a story written by a separate news agency with the title “Pandora Papers expose leaders’ offshore millions” and used the image of the king of Jordan. The write-up only had four lines covering the Kenyattas.
For two other outlets, The Standard and The People Daily, the revelations were not published on their websites.
The biggest TV station in Kenya, Citizen TV, has also published a copy of the story from Reuters news agency on its website and it has only mentioned the revelation about Mr Kenyatta’s family at the end of the story.
Despite the minimal coverage by the major news outlets, the leak story has sparked conversations on social media in the country, with the hashtag #PandoraPapers among the top trends on Twitter.
President Kenyatta has turned the tables on a consortium that produced a set of papers showing his family has more than $30 million in foreign lands.
In a short response via State House Spokesperson Kanze Dena on Monday, Uhuru said the reports such as that by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalism “will go a long way in enhancing financial transparency”.
His response has left a number of Kenyans on Twitter in awe.
Indicating that he would respond comprehensively to the Pandora Papers, upon his return from a State Visit to the Americas, Uhuru said, “These reports will go a long way in enhancing the financial transparency and openness that we require in Kenya and around the globe.”
“The movement of illicit funds, proceeds of crime, and corruption thrive in an environment of secrecy and darkness.”
Uhuru further added that the Pandora Papers and subsequent follow-up audits will lift the veil of secrecy and darkness for those who can not explain their assets or wealth.