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Lobby: Name winner of ‘PepeaNaFinje’ lottery

NEWS
By Paul Wafula | November 10th 2018

A consumer’s lobby group has given the betting regulator seven days to respond to the controversy surrounding the ghost winner of an aircraft lottery.

The Consumers Federation of Kenya (Cofek) said it was concerned about the ‘PepeaNaFinje’ lottery in which it was claimed that the winner will have the prize of a jet (aircraft).

“That winner is yet to be made public. It is wrong. This is a fraud that must, with immediate effect, be unmasked and perpetrators brought to book,” a letter signed by Cofek’s Secretary General Stephen Mutoro to Kimani Kung’u, chairman of the Betting and Licensing Board reads in part. The letter was copied to Attorney General Paul Kihara.

The letter follows an investigation by The Standard into the cloud of uncertainty that hangs on the winners of the lottery published last week.

Cofek said it was invoking provisions of Article 35 of the Constitution to demand that information about names of the company, directors and addresses be provided. “We hereby write to demand... that the board show cause why it should not be prosecuted for failing accountability test and/or engaging in potential collusion with the licensee(s) to defraud the unsuspecting public,” Mr Mutoro wrote.

It also wants the board to publish on its website all winners of all licensed gaming and lotteries.  

The lottery was run by Silicon Solutions Limited, which came into the betting space with a bang, literally promising the sky.

For just Sh50 the firm headquartered in Westlands sold to thousands of gamblers the dream of winning their own private plane, a Beechcraft Baron 58 aircraft.

And that plane was not all that the lucky winner of the mega jackpot would get. The winner was also promised a cool Sh2 million, perhaps to help them fuel for their first ride to the Coast.

The Beechcraft Baron 58 is a light, twin-engine piston aircraft developed by an American company. It is marketed as a small business plane but is mostly used by private operators.  

But it went silent a day before the final draw and it has never made public who the winner was. It has also been evasive and has not responded to our questions on the lottery. A search at the company registry showed the firm has three shareholders, James Ndirangu Kamau who holds 100 shares; Kamunyu Kimani Daniel 500 shares and Mwaniki Ronald Kimani, 100 shares. We contacted Mr Kimani who asked us to visit the firm’s head office in Westlands.

He said he had already left the company. But he later asked us to send him an email and to copy it to the firm’s official address to get us the answers. However, more than 10 days later, the firm is yet to respond.  

This paper asked the firm to share the terms and conditions of the lottery given that its website has been suspended.

It also wanted answers on whether or not the firm bought the aircraft to award the winner or if it never had any aircraft in the first place. We wanted to know registration details of the aircraft and proof that actually anyone won it.

The Standard also wanted to know why the winners were not publicised as was the case with its other winners of the smaller prizes in the build up to the final draw. We also wanted contacts of the winners to interview them as well as if the firm had an independent auditor who oversaw the process in line with betting practices.   

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