We Shall Revisit!: State Capture or Institutional Failure?

We start with a trip down memory lane to the deputy presidential debate at Catholic University of East Africa (CUEA) on 19 July 2022, when a question was posed to the debaters to define what state capture is. In a humorous and Kenyan fashion of “mwakenya” preparedness, one of the debaters produced the Kenya Gazette Notice published on 26 June 2019 and referred to Legal Notice 1112 where the then Cabinet Secretary in charge of National Treasury and Planning with recommendation from the Cabinet Secretary Lands and Physical Planning exercised the powers of section 106 of the Stamp Duty Act and exempted the instruments executed in the merger of NIC PLC and Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA) (the latter known to have shareholding linked to former President Uhuru Kenyatta’s family) from provisions of the Act. The result was that the merger was exempt from paying stamp duty in the region of Kshs. 350 million.

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