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Fake news: Airports boss Caleb Kositany shamed by American based journalist over Kenyatta family Sh 17b theft

By Winnie Mabel December 3rd, 2023 2 min read

The Kenya Airports Authority Chairman, Mr Caleb Kositany, took to social media to share a screenshot of the front page of the Financial Times in which it reported that the United States Federal Reserve is investigating Kenya’s 2014 $2.7 billion Euro Bond, and had a photo of former president Uhuru Kenyatta attached to the story. The article was attributed to American based journalist Demitri Sevastopulo.

“Hence the noise,” Mr Kositany captioned his post with the screenshot.

However, it now appears that the news shared by Mr Kositany is fake news after the journalist in question took him on, saying he never wrote such an article.

“This is a complete fake. I did not write any story about Kenya. Mr Kositany, I hope you are more careful about how you run your airports and you should be ashamed for spreading such #fakenews. When I was 2 years old, I did ‘meet’ Jomo Kenyatta on a beach IN Mombasa but I am pretty sure we did not talk about the Federal Reserve,” said Mr Sevastopulo on December 1, 2023.

In the fake news article attributed to Mr Sevastopulo, it was alleged that investigators were looking into how $117 million (Sh 17,930,240,000) was moved from a JP Morgan account to the personal bank account of a relative of Uhuru Kenyatta, Mr Magana Kenyatta.

“US Federal Reserve Bank of New York has opened an investigation on the $2.75 billion Euro Bond issued by the Kenya government in 2014…the US government is concerned that inverstors money from a Kenyan Governmetn account to a private account at JP Morgan Chase. Investigtors claim that $117 million moved to an account belonging to a Magana Kenyatta- a step-brother to former president Uhuru Kenyatta,” read the fake news article in part.

The fake news article went on to claim that the 2014 Euro Bond, the largest debut by any African country at the time on the international bond market, “has become a symbol of what critics say is holding Kenya back: corruption and government mismanagement of public finances” Apparently, Uhuru and his Jubilee Party along with critics were engaged over a tit-for-tat affair over how the money was spent.

The fake news also claimed opposition leader Raila Odinga was the one who noted the transfer of the $117 million from the government account with JP Morgan Chase in New York to “one with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York on Sept 8, 2014, according to transfer receipts.” Further, it was alleged Raila called on the American government to investigate the financial transaction and prove they were “not part of this grand theft.”

“The action by the fed is likely to throw a spanner in the works when Kenya repays the $2.75 billion Euro Bond this December. Id the investigations proves monies were irregularly moved, then the U.S Government may sanction or fine JP Morgan Chase or even issue sanctions to members of the Kenyatta family,” read the fake news article.