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Politicians linked to gold scam could be behind leaked audio

By Joseph Mutua Ndonga | May 24th 2019 | 2 min read

When the story of the gold scandal broke out, the revelations did not draw much attention from Kenyans. Things, however, changed a few days later when an audio recording of a conversation between a Kenyan politician and a representative of the United Arab Emirate (UAE) ruler was posted on social media.

The conversation centred on the alleged gold consignment worth Sh30 billion belonging to Dubai Royal family being held at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA). The politician is heard dropping the names of President Kenyatta and Opposition leader Raila Odinga.

Those involved in the scam must face the law. Media reports indicated a team of detectives had been sent to Dubai to record a statement from the representative of the ruler. This is a move in the right direction. It would pre-empt what could have turned out to be a diplomatic tiff between Kenya and UAE.

Mr Zaheer Jhanda and Senator Moses Wetang’ula are considered to be persons of interest. Zaheer, a flamboyant politician, has been appearing for interviews by mainstream media to present his side of the story. He has denied conning the royal family, insisting the deal was clean. He narrated how he landed a lucrative job of transporting gold for the Dubai royal family.

He used road to transport the pricey cargo bit by bit from the Democratic Republic of Congo to Kenya. Here, he seemed to create the impression the consignment being held at JKIA is not fake. Given that he is perceived to be the mastermind of the scandal; his statement would be critical in unraveling the mystery surrounding this saga.

I have no doubt he and the senator will be summoned to record their statements. During one of the interviews, Zaheer said four MPs from Rift Valley had approached him to implicate Raila. If this is true, then it means the same MPs could be behind the leaked audio. The aim was to divert the public attention and use this to push their 2022 political agenda.

In their schemes, their kingpin is very clean and as such, he is best suited to succeed the President. The other side of the Opposition has “political conmen” and “gold fraudsters”. Kenyans are not fools. I don’t expect them to be swayed by such cheap politics. The authorities should get to the bottom of this matter and put to shame those using it to malign opponents.

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