Why the net worth declarations may not be as they seem
As several Cabinet Secretary nominees continue to face the National Assembly Committee for vetting, it is clear that their net worth declarations has sparked several interests online.
The nominees have dropped massive numbers from KES 4 billion to KES 80 million.
Even so, it is not clear how the values were reached and whether they are indeed the correct representations of the CS nominees’ true net worth. The Committee has not made public the complete written submissions by the nominees.
Net worth is calculated as assets without liabilities but the nominees have mostly given a list of assets only with no accompanying liabilities.
Given a scenario that the liabilities were not considered in the said net worth, then they are wrong, and false, which is a Penal Code offense in Kenya.
While the chances for an audit are mild, the CS hopefuls could face prosecution if their declarations are found to be false. This is because the CSs were all under oath.
Any person who, in any proceeding, or for the purpose of instituting any proceeding, knowingly gives false testimony touching any matter which is material to any question then pending in that proceeding or intended to be raised in that proceeding, is guilty of the misdemeanor termed perjury.
Chapter 11 of the Kenyan Penal Code deals with offences relating to the administration of justice. These include perjury, subornation of perjury, false statements by interpreters, contradictory statements on oath, malicious information, fabricating or destroying evidence, conspiracy to defeat justice, interference with witnesses, compounding felonies and contempt of court.
Penalties range from a maximum of three years imprisonment for the lesser offences, to seven years for perjury.
From the submissions so far, Prime Cabinet Secretary nominee Musalia Mudavadi is the richest with a worth ofKES 4 billion followed by Defence CS nominee Aden Duale at KES 851 million and
Attorney General nominee Justin Muturi says he is worth KES 700 million.
So far, 14 CS nominees have been vetted with the least net worth being KES 80 million.