15 May 2017
The Chief Minister of Jersey, Senator Ian Gorst, held an official meeting with His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta, the President of Kenya, in London on Friday (12 May 2017).
The high-level meeting is the latest stage in Jersey’s efforts to strengthen its relationship with partners in Africa and follows the Chief Minister’s recent visit to Kenya (March 2017) and attendance at the World Economic Forum on Africa 2017.
President Kenyatta has made his first official visit to the United Kingdom since 2008 in order to participate in the London Somalia Conference. The conference seeks to build on the international response to the ongoing drought and humanitarian crisis in Somalia and to agree the new international partnership needed to keep the country on course for increased peace and prosperity by 2020. During his three-day visit, the President of Kenya has held official meetings with Prime Minister Theresa May, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, HRH The Duke of Cambridge and with Jersey’s Chief Minister.
The Chief Minister and President Kenyatta discussed ways to further enhance the positive relationship between Jersey and Kenya. This included how to progress the repatriation of £3million of assets confiscated by the Royal Court of Jersey in February 2016, when Windward Trading Limited pleaded guilty to four counts of laundering the proceeds of corruption. The landmark prosecution brought in the Royal Court of Jersey related to corrupt activities, which took place in Kenya, where Windward’s beneficial owner, Samuel Gichuru, is resident. Mr Gichuru was formerly Chief Executive of the Kenyan electricity utility company. In March 2017, during the Chief Minister’s first official visit to Kenya, Senator Gorst signed a preliminary asset sharing agreement with the Principal Secretary for the Kenyan National Treasury, Mr Kamau Thugge. This agreement paves the way for the return of the confiscated assets to the people of Kenya.
This meeting with President Kenyatta is an important step towards the completion of a full asset recovery agreement, which will operate under a proposed international Framework for the Return of Assets from Crime and Corruption in Kenya (FRACCK). The FRACCK initiative will involve a number of international partners and will focus on repatriating stolen assets to Kenya and supporting development projects within the country. The Chief Minister and President Kenyatta also discussed the desirability of a wider cooperation agreement, which would include negotiations on a Double Taxation Agreement (DTA) between Jersey and Kenya, and also a programme of cooperation to combat financial crime.
The Chief Minister commented: “I am honoured and delighted that His Excellency President Kenyatta was able to meet with me during his busy schedule in London. This is an important signal of the growing partnership between Kenya and Jersey. The President put particular emphasis on the positive cooperation with Jersey that has delivered success in tackling corruption. I believe it is in the interests of both Jersey and Kenya to continue these endeavours. The Government of Jersey is committed to furthering our relationships in Africa and to developing strong, mutually beneficial links.”
Senator Gorst added: “This is a core component of Jersey’s efforts to strengthening and catalysing flows of transnational trade and investment, and to offering capacity building on tackling corruption and financial crime. In so doing, Jersey will be continuing the Island’s long tradition of contributing to Britain’s role “as a great, global, trading nation.”