Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

Kenya suspends bank accounts of suspected funders of terrorism

Kenya has suspended the licences of 13 Somali remittance companies following the massacre at a Kenyan university last week, Somalia’s central bank governor said on Wednesday, and Kenyan media have reported that dozens of bank accounts had been frozen.

Top of the list issued in an official government gazette notice was alleged al-Shebab commander Mohamed Mohamud, said to be the mastermind behind the university attack.

The killing of 148 students in Garissa, about 200km from the Somali border, has piled pressure on Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta to deal with the Islamists who have killed more than 400 people in the country in the past two years.

Kenya’s biggest-selling Daily Nation newspaper said on Wednesday that the government had “frozen the accounts of 85 individuals and entities suspected to be financing terrorism in the country”, including Somali money transfer companies.

Somalia’s central bank governor, Bashir Issa Ali, said the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) had notified officially 13 Somali remittance companies about the closure of accounts.

Devastating impact
He said the move would have a devastating impact on Kenya’s Somali community, which numbers just over one million people.

“It’s going to hurt Somalis in Kenya more than Somalis in Somalia. The amount of money sent from abroad to Kenya is huge,” Ali said, pointing out that many Somalis in Kenya rely on relatives abroad to pay for basic expenses, including school fees.

The owner of one Somali money transfer company said the Kenyan government had not suspended remittance companies’ bank accounts but that the CBK had instead revoked their licences.

“Last night we simply received a notice, without discussion and without informing us [beforehand],” said the owner. “This is not the way to fight terrorists.”

Kenyan Foreign Minister Amina Mohamed said on Tuesday that the East African nation was seeking additional foreign intelligence and security help after the Garissa massacre, the deadliest attack in Kenya since al-Qaeda bombed the United States embassy in 1998, killing more than 200 people. – Reuters

Vote for an informed choice

We’re dropping the paywall this week so that everyone can access all our stories for free, and access the information they need in the run up to the local government elections. To follow the news, sign up to our daily elections newsletter for the latest updates and analysis.

If our coverage helps inform your decision, cast your vote for an informed public and join our subscriber community. Right now, you can a full year’s access for just R510. Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.

Related stories


Already a subscriber? Sign in here


Latest stories

Paddy Harper: On gleeful politicians and headless chickens

Paddy Harper doesn’t know who to vote for yet, since the Dagga Party isn’t contesting his ward, but right now what to order for lunch is a more pressing concern

Malema: ANC will use load-shedding to steal votes

While on the campaign trail in the Eastern Cape, EFF leader Julius Malema, without evidence, claimed the ANC was planning to use rolling blackouts to ‘steal votes’

Khaya Koko: The looting isn’t over until the fat belly...

A song about Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane preventing looting was way off the mark in a province riddled with corruption and theft

Eskom will try to avoid blackouts during local government elections

Chief operating officer Jan Oberholzer said the ailing state power utility’s staff would be on standby as South Africans cast their votes on 1 November

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…