After noticing a severe lack of billionaires on our TV screens, Jeff Koinange came to our rescue in his Inspirational Thursday Jeff Koinange Live show. But there was a tiny problem. The said billionaire, a Mr. Ben Gethi, is a suspect in the mega corruption scandal that saw Anne Waiguru lose her position as Kenya’s most powerful minister and the country lose nearly Ksh. 800 million to shadowy figures. Ben Gethi, the 31 year old self-made (apparently) billionaire wasted no time in insulting our collective intelligence. But it was Jeff who did all the dirty work for him.
Uncharacteristically, the fuming Koinange, stomped and bellowed like a wounded bull while hysterically brandishing The Star’s, headline at the cameras, demanding that the audience re-evaluate their opinion of his friend. It is also Jeff Koinange who, throughout out the show, put on pink kid gloves to pass softballs to Ben Gethi, thus ensuring the latter came out unscathed. Its baffling how Jeff Koinange, one of Kenya’s best journos forgot to turn on his journalistic instinct and ask crucial questions. But for a man who recently hosted a clearly inebriated Tony Gachoka on his show, maybe it is time we lowered our expectations and accept the fact that his best days are behind him. Why did Jeff Koinange fail to ask these crucial questions? If you take a step back, you will begin to see a well-choreographed attempt at cleansing the suspect. Either that, or Jeff is irredeemably incompetent. Welcome to Kenya’s media; bringing corruption suspects to your living room for cleansing. Lets dive in and ask what Jeff failed to ask.
7. Is Ben Gethi Really Worth Ksh. 3 Billion?
Let us turn to one of the elephants in the room first. The very first statement Ben Gethi made was he was worth Ksh. 3 Billion. That was clearly designed to make the audience go WTF? The tactic works when you want to awe the audience and command their respect and attention. Jeff did not question this sum any further. That is why we have to question. Just imagine, somewhere in Nairobi, there is an unknown company worth Ksh. 3 billion. The CEO is some shadowy figure. The company operates from some hole that cannot be mentioned. It has unknown number of employees. The company has no public brand image we know of. The company’s leading figure is a 31-year old guy living in a parkland’s apartment. Conclusion? Most likely, this company does not exist. For those people who hated business, the figure mentioned of Ksh. 3 billion is called net worth. That is the monetary value of all property and cash owned minus any loans. In my understanding of financial management, for a company to have that kind of worth, it must have sales more than double that amount per annum. Therefore, for Ben Gethi Inc to be worth Ksh. 3 Billion, sales should be above Ksh. 7 Billion. Was Ben Gethi referring to the worth of the company or amount of business the company handles per annum? We needed more details Jeff.
6. What Companies Does He Work For And in What Position?
For someone who invited himself to the interview with the sole intention of unmasking the mystery surrounding his very existence, Ben Gethi did little to unmask himself. Initially, we knew nothing about Ben Gethi. After 60 minutes of softball questions, we know no more about the guy than we already knew. For instance, he did not say what position he holds in the companies alleged to engage in corruption. What we know is that he is not the CEO of any company. He said he is only a director of an unnamed company. Why is the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission interested in only one director of the said company. Does the company have only one director? Does it have a CEO and a board? If anything, if the company is engaged in corruption, EACC should go after the company’s CEO or chair of the board, who holds greater responsibility.
5. Where Did He Get The Capital
Get this, Ben Gethi started his company with a capital of Ksh. 500K. He did not say when he started but let us say he began at 24 after college. Within seven years, he has woven a multibillion empire. All of it clean money earned from doing unnamed businesses with the government of Kenya. Those of you who have lived in Kenya for more than a week know it is impossible to do business with the government of Kenya without compromising your integrity. Mind you, there is no inheritance involved here. He categorically stated that he is self-made. But that is a bold faced lie. In September 2014, the Business Daily carried a story about construction of Rosslyn Mall in Runda by the Gethis. The land was inherited from their father. Rosslyn Mall was one of the assets belonging to Ben Gethi, which was frozen by government.