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Mystery surrounding Duale link firm deepens

Friday July 19 2019

COUNTY REVENUE

National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale addressing reporters at his Nairobi office on May 22, 2019. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

VINCENT ACHUKA
By VINCENT ACHUKA
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The mystery surrounding the ownership of a company linked to National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale that has bagged contracts worth Sh2.6 billion has deepened after it emerged that it shares the same postal address with two other companies fully owned by his brother.

RECORDS

A search at the companies registry revealed that Concordia is wholly owned by Mr Abdi Yakub Duale, chair of the Kenya Leather Development Council (KLDC) board. Interestingly, Concordia shares a postal address with two other firms owned by Mr Abdi, a former Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) board member.

Investigations by the Nation have revealed that Concordia, Nomad Palace Hotel and Medina Hospital all share the postal address, 126-70010 Garissa. Until 2014, Concordia had two owners whose names curiously matched the Majority Leader’s and his brother Abdi’s.

In past reports by Auditor-General Edward Ouko on the KRA, Mr Abdi Bare Duale is listed as an executive director of Nomad Palace Hotel and Medina Chemicals Ltd.

The same information has been provided on Mr Abdi by the KLDC.

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“Mr Abdi Bare Duale is the Chairman of Kenya Leather Development Council. He is an experienced business executive with vast knowledge in starting up and running successful enterprises. He is a trained entrepreneur with an MBA (International Trade) from Edith Cowan University, Australia. He has many business interests and is currently the Managing Director of Medina Chemicals Limited and the Executive Chairman of Nomad Palace Hotel Limited. He previously served as a board member of the Kenya Revenue Authority, Kenya Bureau of Standards and Nerix Pharma Limited,” the KLDC website says.

Records at the companies registry show that Mr Duale’s brother is the sole director in Concordia, whose company secretary, lawyers, bankers and auditors are not named in the documents.

The firm’s tax compliance status was also not available in documents seen by the Nation.

'BLACKMAIL'

The records show that a Mr Aden Bare Duale and Mr Abdi Yakub Duale formed the company on August 30, 2007, under Certificate of Incorporation number 144127, given by S.M. Ndisya for the Registrar of Companies.

On September 12, 2014, Mr Duale resigned as director. His shares were transferred to a Ms Marian Mohamed Hassan. 

On Wednesday, the Garissa Township MP distanced himself from Concordia, saying the firm is owned by his namesake. He sent photos of an identity card and passport he said belonged to his namesake. But the signatures on the identification documents did not tally with those on the tender documents or with Mr Duale’s signature on his current passport.

Hours before the story ran, Mr Duale launched a scathing attack on Nation Media Group on Wednesday evening.

“They are again trying to extort money and blackmail me by running another fake story by one journalist Brian Wasuna tomorrow (Thursday). The company in question is Concordia. I'm not party to the company, nor am I the director,” he said on his social media pages.

“Despite providing the Nation reporter with all the documents that could have helped him do a professional job, sadly, the company has decided to go the gutter route by publishing pure falsehoods in the name of investigative journalism,” he said.

AFFIDAVIT

But by Thursday evening, the owners of Concordia had not come out to claim ownership of the company.

The Nation, however, unearthed even more different signatures appended to different documents at the Registrar of Companies by one Aden Bare Duale. For instance, the signature he used when he was handing over his shares to Ms Hassan, shown on the minutes of a meeting confirming the handover in September 12, 2014, is different from the one on the Share Transfer Deed on January 22, 2016.

In order for a director of a company to transfer shares, he or she must present a written resignation letter and then file a CR 9 Form, a Notice of Cessation of office. The person is then supposed to present an affidavit confirming the resignation. Thereafter, the parties involved should sign a transfer deed.

Interestingly, there are no documents at the Registrar of Companies showing when Ms Hassan transferred all the shares she got from Mr Aden Bare Duale to Mr Yakub Duale, currently listed as the company’s sole shareholder. 

The firm has won several government contracts, some funded by the World Bank.