Details have emerged of how Aliko Dangote, Africa’s wealthiest man intended to set up a cement factory in East Africa and how the idea fell apart after senior politicians in Kenya frustrated the venture by demanding huge kickbacks.
The Nigerian business magnate told a Tanzanian daily that when he visited Nairobi in 2014 to put up a factory, politicians led by Deputy President William Ruto demanded a bribe of Sh385 million ($3.85 million) before the venture kicked off.
Shocked by the demand for the huge bribe, a frustrated Dangote revealed he opted to go to Ethiopia where they needed no bribes.
The Nigerian billionaire, estimated by forbes to be worth $13.5 billion, disclosed that Ruto even flew to Abuja to DEMAND the bribe from him.
In the shocking revelation, Dangote said he was keen to invest in neighboring Tanzania as well but the same ‘hyenas’ from Kenya followed him and he shelved the idea of investing in Tanzania or Kenya.
“He flew to Abuja, back in 2014. He wanted my cement factory in Kenya. I was very welcoming to him and took him around factories. He loved it but he wanted a $3.85 million bribe which was too much for us, I was shocked I went to Tanzania and his cronies and aides followed me there with similar demands and that is why we are exiting Tanzania,” Dangote told the Tanzanian media outlet.
This is not the first time the cunning Kenyan Deputy President is being accused of dishonest dealings. His political career is riddled with various accusations of corruption, murder and his favorite activity-land grabbing. Ruto has been involved in very many reported land grabbing controversies in kenya with many victims left dead and many receiving death threats hence leading to his infamous nickname “Arap-Mashamba”.
The Dangote revelation closely resembles that of murdered businessman Jacob Juma, a once Ruto-ally turned foe who met his death under a hail of bullets in a Nairobi highway after falling out with the Kenyan second in command.
In June 2016 the Canadian Financial post reported that Jacob Juma was a director of a Canadian company, Pacific Wildcat whose license to explore a $2-billion-dollar worth of minerals in Kwale, Kenya was cancelled just after the Jubilee government took over. The cancellation led Jacob Juma to call a press conference where he claimed that Ruto was demanding a huge bribe to have the cancelled license re-issued to the company. This led to bad blood between Ruto and Juma where Juma would result to writing in his twitter page that Ruto was obsessed with killing him.
This explains Dangote’s wisdom of staying away from the Kenyan market and in extension, William Ruto. He did not want to face a similar fate if he did not yield to Ruto’s demands.
Dangote is the chairman of the Dangote Group, a Nigerian multinational conglomerate. It is the largest conglomerate in West Africa and one of the largest on the African continent. The group employs more than 30,000 people, generating revenue in excess of US$5 billion annually.