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Top Kenyan officials called before court to account for missing member of wealthy Gulen family

The court has summoned three top officials to account for Selahaddin Gulen’s disappearance.



Fethullah Gulen, the Turkish Muslim scholar, thinker and founder of the Gulen movement.

Kenya’s Kiambu High Court has summoned three top officials to account for the disappearance of Selahaddin Gulen. The fugitive Turkish businessman has been missing since May 3. 

The officials include Interior County Secretary Fred Matiang’i, Director of Directorate of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti and Police Inspector General Hillary Mutyambai. reported that Kiambu High Court Judge Mary Kasango ordered the men to appear before the court on May 7 following an application filed by Rachier & Amollo Advocates.

According to Selahaddin’s lawyer Jothan Arua, Selahhadin was with someone at the time he was abducted. “However, the other individual was freed yesterday,” he said. also reported that Selahaddin began a legal protest against the Kenyan government in 2020. He sought to prevent his extradition to Turkey following a failed coup believed to have been sponsored by his uncle Fethullah Gulen.

“The real motive behind the issuance of the Red notice is that in 2016 (when I lived in the U.S.) there was a failed coup attempt in Turkey. It is suspected that one Fethullah Gulen (my uncle) may have supported the coup,” he was further quoted as saying.

On May 3, Salehaddin was abducted on Kiambu Road on the way to the DCI headquarters to meet with Interpol to clear his name over the allegations. 

Salahuddin is a member of the wealthy Gulen family. The family owns six academic institutions in Kenya called the Light Academy schools and many more across the world. 

Salahuddin is a nephew of U.S.-based Fethullah Gulen, an authoritative mainstream Turkish Muslim scholar, thinker, author, poet, opinion leader and founder of the Gulen movement. The movement was officially classified as a terrorist organization by the Turkish government in 2016. 

The Gulen movement

The Gulen movement is a religiously inspired network engaged in business, media, arts, charities and education, with its own schools functioning worldwide. 

The movement drifted from a nationally-based organization in the 1970s to an international network with a presence in more than 110 countries. Education is at the center of the Gulen project, as the founder believes a lack of religious education creates atheism. In Kenya, the movement has built six schools four in Nairobi and two in Mombasa.

Estimates vary drastically, yet some media have claimed the Gulen family is worth upwards of $20 billion.

East Africa

Malagasy tycoon Hassanein Hiridjee says Africa needs to invest in clean energy transition

Hiridjee is one of Madagascar’s wealthiest and most powerful business leaders.



Malagasy tycoon Hassanein Hiridjee.

Malagasy multimillionaire businessman and AXIAN Group CEO Hassanein Hiridjee has stated that Africa must invest in a clean energy transition to bolster the continent’s renewable energy capacity.

“We must double our commitment within Africa to increase investments to shape our own energy destiny in order to meet long-term goals,” Hiridjee said.

Millions of Africans could be lifted out of energy poverty with the right strategy and investment in clean energy transition projects stimulated by collective action from the private and public sectors, he said.

His statement comes after U.S. billionaire Michael Bloomberg pledged $242 million to assist developing countries, including African nations, in transitioning away from non-renewables.

Hiridjee explained that such funding is needed to combat Africa’s continuing energy crisis, in which hundreds of millions lack access to basic electricity.

He added that the lack of access to basic electricity is only worsening as a result of the war in Ukraine and COVID-19, with 25 million more Africans living without electricity than before the pandemic.

Infinity Group, a leading renewable energy company led by Egyptian billionaire Mohamed Mansour, recently partnered with the Africa Finance Corporation to acquire Lekela Power, making Infinity the continent’s largest renewable energy company.

Hiridjee, one of Madagascar’s wealthiest and most powerful business leaders, has also played a formative role in developing commercially viable energy solutions that provide Africans with efficient, long-term access to energy resources.

Earlier this year, Axian Group completed the expansion of the Ambatolampy solar power plant in Madagascar, from 20 to 40 MWp.

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East Africa

Ugandan tycoon Charles Mbire to pocket $1.15-million interim dividend from MTN Uganda

Mbire owns a significant 3.98-percent stake in the Ugandan telecom outfit.



Charles Mbire.

Ugandan multimillionaire businessman Charles Mbire is on track to receive an interim dividend of Ush4.48 billion ($1.155 million) from his stake in MTN Uganda after the telecom group reported a double-digit percent increase in earnings in the first half of 2022.

MTN Uganda is Uganda’s leading telecom service operator.

Mbire, the chairman of MTN Uganda and one of Uganda’s wealthiest businessmen, owns a significant 3.98-percent stake in the Ugandan telecom outfit, which operates as the fourth operating subsidiary of the South African multinational mobile telecom company, MTN Group.

The interim dividend will be paid electronically into his bank account at a later date from the group’s retained earnings of Ush902 billion ($232.4 million) at the end of its 2022 fiscal year. It is his first dividend from the telecom company since its shares were listed more than eight months ago.

The dividend payment follows a significant rise in the group’s earnings in the first half of 2022 despite a 4.9-percent decline in voice revenue, as it looks set to replicate its stellar performance in 2021.

As a result of the company’s strong financial performance, the board of directors approved the payment of an interim dividend of Ush5 ($0.00128) per share for the six months ending June 30, totaling Ush11.95 billion ($28.9 million), which is subject to withholding taxes.

According to data retrieved from the company’s earnings report for the first six months of 2022, its profit increased by 48.1 percent to Ush193.6 billion ($50.2 million) in the first half of 2022, compared to Ush130.7 billion ($33.7 million) in the first half of 2021.

The double-digit increase in profit can be attributed to a 10-percent surge in the company’s service revenue, which was driven by a significant increase in data and fintech revenue, which were more than sufficient to offset the 4.9-percent decline in voice revenue.

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East Africa

Led by Kenyan founder Owen Sakawa, AI-powered startup Elloe acquires Flo by Saada

Elloe was founded in 2021 by Sakawa, Abhijay Rao, and Aaron Madolora.



Owen Sakawa.

Elloe, a U.S.-based conversational commerce startup led by Kenyan tech entrepreneur Owen Sakawa, has acquired Flo by Saada nearly three months after raising more than $1 million in a pre-seed funding round led by institutional investors.

Flo by Saada is a Kenyan social commerce startup founded by Gerishon Mwaniki.

The acquisition of the startup, which launched in 2019 to enable small and medium enterprises to build solutions and process payments through USSD and programmable SMS, was completed for an undisclosed fee.

Through the acquisition, Elloe will be able to accelerate its next phase of growth by scaling operations for its corporate clients and expanding its footprint beyond its current operations in Kenya and the Philippines.

Commenting on the transaction in a press release obtained by Billionaires.Africa, Elloe CEO and Founder Owen Sakawa said: “The addition of Flo by Saada technology is a natural extension of Elloe’s offerings and fits perfectly into Elloe’s strategy. It transforms customer interactions from simple communications to conversations across the entire spectrum of customer engagement points.”

He added that Elloe will be better positioned to meet customers’ evolving needs in the future as it continues to provide businesses with embedded commerce capabilities to simplify the way that they serve, connect with, and sell to their own customers from anywhere, on any channel.

Elloe was founded in 2021 by Sakawa, Abhijay Rao, and Aaron Madolora as a first-of-its-kind AI-powered, conversational commerce platform that allows small and medium enterprises to buy and sell products online across messaging platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Instagram.

With its proprietary technology that assists small businesses in managing their digital sales and customer service through an omnichannel platform that runs on messaging apps, the startup hopes to capitalize on opportunities in the $35-billion conversational commerce market, which has the potential to reach $130 billion by 2025 in emerging markets.

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