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Prof George Wajackoyah talks tough on 'wash wash', claims dirty money hidden in Asia

Roots party presidential candidate George Wajackoyah.  [Samson Wire, Standard]

Roots Party presidential candidate George Wajackoyah is promising to clamp down on the illicit flow of dirty money, known as 'wash-wash', should he win in the August 9 poll.

In an address to 100-plus guests at the KICC today, Prof Wajackoyah claimed that individuals, among them top politicians, are engaged in illicit finance and are laundering the money through a major Asian banking centre.

According to Prof Wajackoyah, the unnamed high-heeled individuals take advantage of the Asian country’s tax regime to seek legitimate cover before transferring the illicit proceeds back to Kenya through a banking system in a renowned city in the Persian Gulf.

The plot to launder the cash is so elaborate that, Prof Wajackoyah claims, the beneficiaries maintain staff round the clock at briefcase companies to obscure the origin of their money.

“So long as you pay taxes, the money that you take there becomes legal. The ‘wash-wash’ that we know; the monies are taken, they pay 15% [tax], then they bring it back in. Some of the opponents, because I have the information, have staffed companies in Dubai to wash money. When the law for hanging comes, I'll do just that.

He vowed to re-introduce the death penalty to curb runaway corruption in the country and reiterated that corrupt individuals will be hanged as punishment for their crimes.

“We want everybody, including myself, to reveal their source of wealth. How did you acquire the house you are living in, how did you purchase the cars you own, and how do you manage to fly out your children whenever they fall sick,” said Prof Wajackoyah.

Wajackoyah stressed that if elected, his administration will seal corruption loopholes and, instead, offer each Kenyan an economic incentive, including a pay of Sh200,000 every year from marijuana earnings.

He claimed that marijuana farming, especially in Nyeri County, will pay off Kenya’s entire debt portfolio, enable the country to purchase Bill Gates’ Microsoft in two years and facilitate the country to accumulate 10% of IMF’s total cash reserves.

“Each Kenyan will get a dividend cheque of Sh200,000 every year from the sale of bhang… and we would build two 2 expressways in each county in Kenya,” said Wajackoyah.

According to Prof Wajackoyah, marijuana grows wildly in central Kenya and is the next cash crop after tea and coffee.

“The Kikuyus go their head start in 1923 when they were allowed to grow coffee and tea. Before 1923, it was illegal for any indigenous Kenyan to grow both crops. Question is, if we required the permission of mzungus, who have now legalized bhang, why shouldn’t we legalize,” said Wajackoyah.

He explained that dividends from marijuana sales will be complemented by earnings from snake farming.

“Each venomous snake farmer will make Sh600,000 per vial of anti-venom. If we harvest black mamba anti-venom, a Kenyan farmer will make Sh500,000 per vial,” said Wajackoyah.