The “Panama Papers’‘ scandal, has not spared Africa. Former Sudanese President, Jacob Zuma’s nephew, Kofi Annan’s son, personal secretary to the King of Morocco, Kenya’s Deputy Chief Justice and 13 other Africans have been mentioned in the global data leaks, the infamous ‘Panama Papers.’
The data leaks which involves some over 11 million documents exposes the financial activities of some of the world’s rich and famous and their use of tax havens. The leaks were by an unknown source at one world’s most secretive companies, Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca.
In the case of Sudan’s former President Ahmad Ali al-Mirghani, Kenya’s Deputy Chief Justice Kalpana Rawal and ex-UN chief Kofi Annan’s son Kojo Annan – they reportedly used offshore companies to buy and sell expensive real estate in London.
Kojo Annan, the only son of former U.N. head Kofi Annan is another African mentioned. Kojo courted controversy in 1998, when a firm of his won a big contract under the U.N.’s Oil-for-Food humanitarian program in Iraq.
Kenya’s Deputy Chief Justice Kalpana Rawal is in the list. Kalpana and her husband were directors of two companies based in the British Virgin Islands.
Also among the listed Africans is Karim Wade a former Minister of State for International Cooperation, Planning, Air Transport and Infrastructure in Senegal. He is the son of former Senegalese president Abdoulaye Wade, whose presidency was marred by allegations of corruption, nepotism and constraints on freedom of the press and other civil liberties.
The king of Morocco’s personal secretary, Mounir Majidi, also reportedly used an offshore company to buy a luxury yacht a decade ago, even though his lawyers maintain is above board.
Embattled South African President Jacob Zuma’s nephew, Khulubuse Zuma, is also named as a representative of two offshore companies that acquired oil fields in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2010.
In a reaction kowever, Khulubushe’s spokesperson is quoted as saying, the reports was stating facts that South Africans already knew and that they were in no way inplicating Zuma of any wrongdoing.
“The reports do not allege that Khulubuse holds an offshore bank account, when in actual fact he does not. All the report alleges is that he is associated with a company registered in the British Virgin Islands,” he said.
Jaynet Désirée Kabila Kyungu, MP and twin sister to the President of the DRC, Joseph Kabila. She chairs the Foundation Laurent-Desiré Kabila, named after his father, and owns Digital Congo, a media conglomerate of television, Internet and radio.
Also included in the list is Abdeslam Bouchouareb, an Algerian MP and Minister for Industries and Mines. Others are José Maria Botelho de Vasconcelos, Angola’s Minister for Petroleum, as well as Ivorian banker Jean-Claude N’Da Ametchi who’s a friend of former president Laurent Gbagbo.
No African current Head of State has been quoted, except former Sudanese President al-Amad Ali Mirghani, who died in 2008.
Some of the personalities the report mentions have previously been found guilty of money laundering activities and are serving in jail, a typical case in point being a former governor of Nigeria’s Delta State, James Ibori.
He was convicted of such activities in 2012. Four offshore companies connected to Ibori are named in the Panama Papers – one of which was used to buy a $20m (£14m) private jet.
The leaks were passed to German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung, which then shared them with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. The documents reveal that Mossack Fonseca assisted companies and individuals to utilize tax havens in numerous ways.