Raila A. Odinga: Astute Businessman or Corrupt Politician?

Posted on 18 September 2007. Filed under: Politics |

The sudden ostentatious display of wealth by Raila Odinga has left many baffled. Unbeknown to the public, Raila is a fabulously wealthy man in his own right with a personal fortune estimated to be in excess of Kshs. 4 billion. Read how the man who wants to be Kenya’s next president acquired his wealth which includes investments in the lucrative petroleum industry and in manufacturing.

How Raila acquired his billions.

Raila Odinga’s big break came in 2001 soon after he led his party, NDP, into a merger with KANU, the then ruling party. As Energy Minister in Moi’s government he was introduced to the family of Sheikh Abdukeder AlBakari, one of the richest families in Saudi Arabia with interests in petroleum drilling, petroleum exploration and export in the Middle East, Asia, USA and Africa.

Through the Saudi contacts,Raila was initiated into the lucrative world of oil business and soon enough he had joined the league of gig independent oil importers via his firm Pan African Petroleum Limited.

Industry sources say that one of the things that helped Raila make a quick buck in the oil business was a concessionary petroleum deal he struck with the Al Bakri Group where he was not only incorporated as a silent partner in the local arm of Al Bakri International but was also supplied with petroleum products from Saudi Arabia at subsidized prices which his firm would sell in the market at normal prices. That way,Raila was able to deftly beat the competition in oil business by occasional price undercutting.

While still Energy Minister,Raila re-established and nurtured his links with the Libyan government of Colonel Muammar Gadaffi where again he not only did good business in oil importation but also got substantial material support during the 2002 general elections.

Besides supporting Raila’s political causes, the Libyans also played a key role in stabilizing Raila in the oil business in a couple of ways. Industry sources say that between 2001 and 2002 when Raila served as Energy Minister,he received at least three consignments of petroleum products at very low prices which were later sold locally at market prices.

The overall turnover from the three Libyan consignments is reliably said to have been in the region of over half a billion shillings, a tidy sum of money in any language,enough to ensure that one crosses the Rubicon once and for all.

Raila’s enviable international links

Reliable sources say that Libyans bankrolled the NARC campaign with some US$ 3 million (about Kshs 210 million), thanks to Raila’s good contacts in the oil-rich land of Gadaffi. There is no doubt that if Raila becomes the ODM presidential candidate he can count on massive financial support from the Libyans once more.

Besides Libya, Raila enjoys good links with the South African government of Thabo Mbeki while in Nigeria he is known to have strong links with immediate former president Olosegun Obasanjo,who was a close friend of Raila’s late father Jaramogi.

That Libyans, South Africans and Nigerians had enough confidence in Raila to channel campaign funds through him although he himself was not a presidential in 2002 is an indication of how highly regarded he is in some international circles.

Evidently,he could certainly count on even more enthusiastic support from his international contacts should he become the ODM presidential candidate.

For Raila,the linkage between politics and business went much deeper than petroleum business. It is significant that the Odinga family business,Spectre International Ltd,acquired the then state-owned Kisumu Molasses Plant soon after Raila started politically cooperating with Moi.

Raila has consistently argued that the acquisition of the molasses plant was a pure business deal which had nothing to do with politics, but his critics point out at the coincidence between the time his family acquired the parastatal and Raila’s shift of political alliance. It is highly unlikely – indeed one may even say impossible – that the Moi government would have sanctioned the Kisumu Molasses Plant deal at the time if Raila had not become an ally of Moi’s.

Former commissioner of Lands Sammy Mwaita offered to sell the 240 acres on which the Kisumu Molasses Plant is built to Spectre International on January 11,2001 at a price of Kshs 3.6 million at a time when Odinga started working closely with Moi. By June of the same year, Raila was appointed to the cabinet and made Energy Minister.

Significantly, Spectre International had applied for the same land in a letter of February 18,1999 but the request had been rejected by the government at the time.

Titles were prepared in favour of Spectre International on February 3,2002 for a 99-year lease backdated to September 1,2001 and the Odinga family was ready to laugh all the way to the bank.

When the Odinga family started the process that led to the acquisition of the Kisumu Molasses Plant in 2001,Raila had already established good business contacts in South Africa. Energem Resources Incorporated,an international firm quoted at the Toronto Stock Exchange,had been looking for an investment opportunity in Kenya for a long time and the Kisumu Molasses Plant appeared just right.

Soon after taking over the plant from the government, Raila struck a lucrative deal with Energem whereby the Canadian firm bought 55 per cent of the Kisumu Molasses plant. Sources say that the Odinga family was paid over US$ 5 million (about Kshs 420 million) to relinquish the control of the molasses plant. The Odinga family had paid only Kshs 3.6 million for the property.

The Canadians also ploughed in millions of dollars to rehabilitate the plant and it is today one of the largest manufacturing concerns in the country employing hundreds of people and producing at least 60,000 litres of industrial ethanol for local consumption and export.

Ethanol from the Kisumu Molasses Plant is used as a fuel additive in east and Central Africa. Among other products coming out of the plant include yeast, carbon dioxide alcohol and related industrial products.

A valuation of the plant carried out three three years ago placed the Kisumu Molasses Plant at US$100 million (Kshs 7 billion). With the Odinga family owning 40 percent of the plant,putting the family’s stake in the plant in the region of Kshs 7.8 billion. The remaining five per cent shares in the plant are owned by a development trust on behalf of the local community.

Besides Kenya where Energem is in partnership with Raila in the Kisumu molasses plant business, now renamed Kisumu Ethanol Plant, other African countries where Energem’s presence is significant include Sierra Leone, Sao Tome, Congo Brazaville, Angola. Zimbabwe, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC),Chad and Central Africa republic.

Raila’s wealth at a glance

Estimated Worth

Spectre International Limited (the holding company for Kisumu Ethanol Plant)
Kshs 7 billion of which Odinga family owns 40 per cent whose value is approximately Kshs 2.8 billion

East African Spectre (the gas cylinder manufacturing plant founded by Raila’s late father)
Kshs 500 million

Raila’s family home in Karen Nairobi
Kshs 50 million

Runda House
Kshs 15 million

Pan African Petroleum Company (the firm through which the Odinga family imports and distributes petroleum products)
Has had a turnover in excess of Kshs 500 million.


Make a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

50 Responses to “Raila A. Odinga: Astute Businessman or Corrupt Politician?”

RSS Feed for Kenya Environmental & Political News Weblog Comments RSS Feed

Wow! Phil most of us don’t know much about Raila Odinga’s worth, we only hear about Spectra and the much-politicized Molasses plant. This is a very informative post on his wealth, good connections he has, and I can only conclude that he is an astute businessman.

Mind you, do not be envious of him. This is his cleanly earned money, and it should not deter Kenyans from havng him as president. Africa now needs eonomically able leaders with integrity. Those poor ones will have as their first task, enriching themselves at our expenses! All the best Kenyans! Aloys – Tanzania

Sue& Aloys, unlike many billionaires in Kenya today, Raila has shown one can trade and still remain a politician of high integrity. Some MPs in Kenya were playing hide and seek with debtors and auctioneers in 2001 now own helicopters and live like kings.

please fill us on how the rest of kenyanpoliticians got their wealth start with moigo to kenyatta then Kibaki thanks

Oh yes anon, keep visiting. Many political stories of the kind you ask for are lined up for the coming months.

[…] A. Odinga: Astute Businessman or Corrupt Politician? – Today, 04:56 PM Raila A. Odinga: Astute Businessman or Corrupt Politician? Kenya Environmental & Political New… Raila A. Odinga: Astute Businessman or Corrupt Politician? Posted on September 18th, 2007. The […]

Corrupt Politician!! Corrupt Politician!! Corrupt Politician!! Corrupt Politician!!

Dear Sir,

I am from AL-Bakri family mentioned above. The 1st third generation in my family.

And yes, I am rich, very, very Rich.

Thanks to our alliances with American Oil Giants who only care about the Bottom Line.

Bring forth your democracy.

Raila Odinga’s blunders that have cost him the Presidency

If the General Election was held before Mid November, Mr Odinga would have easily become Kenya’s 4th president. But he has allowed the golden opportunity slip through his fingers after making three serious political blunders. He has shot himself in the foot and he is reaping the benefits.

1: Dick Morris
He brought the American election consultant to run his presidential campaign. What’s the difference between Dick Morris and the Artur brothers whom Raila keeps talking about. Read today’s editorial in the Standard newspaper (http://www.eastandard.net/news/?id=1143977783)

The passage below is an extract from the wikipedia site on Dick Morris.


“On August 29, 1996, Morris resigned from the Clinton campaign after reports surfaced that he had been involved with a prostitute named Sherry Rowlands. A tabloid newspaper had obtained and published a set of photographs of Morris and Rowlands on a Washington, D.C., hotel balcony.

Accompanying the photo layout was Rowlands’ story of the casual affair, including the revelation that Morris’s favorite sexual fetish was toe-sucking. The article also revealed that Morris had allowed Rowlands to listen in on phone calls with the President, and had given her a copy of a campaign speech before it was delivered……

A further scandal erupted over Morris’s failure to pay his income taxes. The Connecticut Department of Revenue Services, the state tax-collection agency, listed Morris as the seventh-largest delinquent taxpayer for 2007. The agency states that Morris owes $280,819 in unpaid taxes and that he has been on the delinquent list for years.”

2: RAILA’s Mou with Mslims
Raila sparked off a major controversy by signing a pact with some Muslim leaders to get their support in the December 27 elections. Had he shut his mouth, Kenyans would not have known about the secret document.

He first spoke about it in a public rally. And when the issue sparked off a serious controversy, Raila denied ever signing the document. He later admitted signing the document. He has failed to divulge the contents of the MoU, which he described as “harmless.”

What kind of a president would Raila be? A kigeugeu president? Better the devil we know than the fake angel.
Catholics have now joined evangelical churches in denouncing a memorandum of understanding signed between Raila and the Muslim leaders. In a statement issued at the Vatican, the Catholic bishops of Kenya said it was unacceptable to use religion as a platform to ascend to power.

“Kenya is a secular state,” they said. “No one should be allowed to turn it into a religious state. Promises to give any faith-group special rights and the application of its particular religious laws for governance are completely contrary to the Constitution of Kenya.”
The flame ignited by Raila is fast gaining momentum in churches across Kenya and the ODM man is in deep trouble. The content of the MOU on display on the internet is dangerous and Raila has burnt his fingers.
3: The Majimbo debate
When Raila came up with the Majimbo debate, he thought it would work magic by rallying all other Kenyan tribes against the Kikuyu community. But the move has backfired in the face of Raila. PNU’s propaganda worked.
The tribes Raila hoped to rally behind him now believe majimbo is a demon and that members of their communities working or living in other provinces risk being evicted. Nothing worked against Raila better than the propaganda about Kenyans needing passports to visit other provinces in Kenya.
Raila is a double dealer. He signed a secret deal with Muslims and on the other hand invited an America to be his political advisor. Since when did Kenyan Muslims become the darling of the Americans? Raila is taking Kenyan Muslims for a ride in his desperation to become Kenya’s 4th president.
Does Raila still dream of becoming of becoming president? Wish him luck!

Ken Korir’s too is a propaganda which will not see the light of the day. He is immersed in his criticism of Raila that he has failed to visualise his posible presidency. He should remember this is politics, and if Raila becomes president tomorrow I’d not be suprised if Korir drops dead out of shock.

its ok with him,his mind has helped him obtain
all this,good luck to him in the forth coming
elections,he is a good and wise leader,i will vote
you in.


This is the worst corruption. This make people
like Bill Gates and all self made business people sick. Business is an art that involves working hard. Of the 400 richest people in American only only one today has ventured in buiness. This is not business this is corruption and stealing. 240 acres of developed land for 3.6 million then sell it for 420 million and retain 40%. Show me he bids where Odinga was highest bidder with his 3.6 million bid.

Sure, the guy has used his contacts i don,t see any corruption, the guy is simply smart.

this is one successful man with leadership history on his trail. all we see in him is positive contributions to the economy of the nation an creation of employment to the common man. he has zero tolerance on corruption has it has been seen in other articles

Raila wealth is due to his hard work and other guys are envious. hoping he wil be next presdo


Raila is Satan’s gift to Kenya. He is a war Lord and has proved his beastiality in the past weeks. I hope satan prepares him space in the hottest part of hell.

These information should be exposed, let him
explain and account where he got all the wealth – he can
before he accuses the “Kikuyus”. Can at least
share his 10% in his Kibera where even a meal
is problem let alone proper housing. Shame on you Mr Raila Odinga. You call people thieves but
arent you one?

Otieno Jack you are mistaken your views are wrong, if you had any kind of financial wealth would you afford to save kibera residents? get real even Jesus said ‘the poor you shall alway have among you’ . Cheer up

Excellent and hardworking fellow, Raila Amolo Odinga has shown that hardworking pays.

[…] There are glaring irregularities which have not been fully explained by the Odinga’s. It is significant that the Odinga family business, Spectre International Ltd,acquired the then state-owned Kisumu Molasses Plant soon after Raila […]

Raila,if a politician,the corruption cause how can you tell me after being the minister of energy then he becomes super rich.That is not posible,there is something about raila that you people dont know about.He is hiding from a lot of things.Why do we let our minds be carried away by a single person,why cant we work hard and start praising our effort in another way.I don’t think Raila should be a president,personal y,he is being pushed by the likes of akina Ruto.Kenyas lets work hard and change the situation we are in right now.WE lost a lot of cash fro the post election violence,we should never think that politicians will change the situation even a single bit.We have to wrk.Nothing comes on a silver platter.

stop spreading lies

Guess who introduced Energy Minister Raila to oil buddies in Sudan & elsewhere? Moi’s main thief, Joshua Kulei!

[…] let me take majeshi and other misinformed jaluo domshadites down memory lane. Railas weath __________________ THE KENYA WE WANT IS THE KENYA WE AS WANANCHI BUILD POLITICIANS DO NOT BUILD […]

[…] let me take majeshi and other misinformed jaluo domoshadites down memory lane. Railas weath __________________ THE KENYA WE WANT IS THE KENYA WE AS WANANCHI BUILD POLITICIANS DO NOT BUILD […]

There is definately much much more than this. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

Once the report becomes public you will all have your mouth agape. Railas family has made millions of shillings out of the Oil industry. The oil reports are not discussed even by Waweru because he can be sacked just like Ruto and those who tried to question Railas moves.

Am not so sure when we use the term Billionaire we are doing it justice, billionaire by kenyan standards simply means in Kenya shillings, that doesnt make one a billionaire, only makes one comfortable, think global and my freind you would be embarrassed to speak of our so called ‘billionaires’ in the same breath as the ‘real deal in USD’ please convert those shillings to dollars to do it justice. Thank you

Fabuluously wealthy depends on what comparisons your making, if your so broke that some politican or businessman with a few million kenya shillings shakes your values to the core then you should stay in your village and become a big fish in a small pond, the world is a global village, stop those childish remarks that one is fabulously wealthy, wealthy my foot when it can all end in one campaign spending spree, do the word justice I told you, really wealty people are measured in USD, Dollars not Kenya shillings, just convert to Dollars then you will get the picture, stop glorifying a comfortable lifestyle, think global and you would be embarrrased at your comments.

agambo imewo jatelo

We love him and I’m proud to read this,for sure he must be wealthy for him to be strong so no problem,we wish him well.King maker becoming the king.

Raila is our man

how credible is this information?

i really admire the man.i wish he keep the fire burning

How credible is the information and can somebody in the Raila family circles confirm or deny the allegations. The position as articulated may keep off some people from supporting Raila’s presidential bid in 2012! The sooner the air is cleared on the issue of the big money, the better!

is this guesswork or the real picture?

Lybia Raila re-established and nurtured his links with the Libyan government of Colonel Muammar Gadaffi. Yes a muslim like he is. Obama went as Senator to campaign for him for president. Ran in the streets with a mega phone. For his campaign money who is stupid here. O’dinga lost the election and Eldorett Christians churches were burned by his voters. 600 in a church thanks to our president backer and O’Dinga. A crook muslim who went from Christian for money Arab power.
Also friends with Iran. This man ia out now. Lybia has smartened up. So will they over this guy….

this man is just a pretender and a cheat. Hes advantage is that he has all hes traces covered, but not 4 long

morale raila u r jst a businessman n i hope u make more let em tlk coz de frog cant stop de cow 4rm drinking water 4rm da river u inspire me alot.

waah this is the kind of thing that is agwambo mysterious yet puts you on the hook!

dear sir,am ambitious too,but i dont know how i can make my dreams come true.kindly advise on how to be prosperous.thank you.

hidding the truths. Raila is corrupt and the wealth are from dubious source. ashindwe

If this is true, then all our political angels are Lucifer as well.

This is not even a tip of the iceberg. Do you know who owns a very large stake in Oilibya? And where’s Boc Gases? Not to mention that kisumu Ethanol Plant is the ONLY supplier of alcohol in East and Central Africa!

I dont see any problem with a man n his bussines

On wealth, he just have the business mind. He’s smart. There’s no record that he stole our money in 2001 and 2002 when he was energy minister. He only used connection opportunities to do his business. Those who say he should convert his billion shillings into dollars to be rich, know that the value of wealth is measured according to the person’s value and his/her environment. I dont kno y ur jelouse and this man has worked so hard to bring freedom and change on matters of leadership to this country. Ua bad attitude shows clearly that good leaders must always have haters, even Jesus did, and this is because of the selfishness and greed. People like Judas Iskariot had the same feeling for Jesus and this is just the same for people like you and Miguna Miguna who hate Raila for their own interest.


I salute Raila for making use of opportunities which presented themselves. Everyone of us should do the same. You may not be as rich as him, but for sure you shall have put your brain to work instead of just thinking that every rich person is corrupt. 60% of all wealth can be traced to hard work . Enjoy your wealth and I will surely vote for you in any election.

This looks like a magazine publicity stunt. We will read don’t worry.

Where's The Comment Form?


    A blog created to cover environmental and political information in Kenya with a view to promoting POVERTY ALLEVIATION through creating awareness of the Millennium Development Goals


    Subscribe Via RSS

    • Subscribe with Bloglines
    • Add your feed to Newsburst from CNET News.com
    • Subscribe in Google Reader
    • Add to My Yahoo!
    • Subscribe in NewsGator Online
    • The latest comments to all posts in RSS


Liked it here?
Why not try sites on the blogroll...

%d bloggers like this: