Inside Politics

Former DG Maangi taken to task over Sh2b, housing saga

Friday, April 5th, 2024 05:00 | By
Former Kisii Deputy Governor Joash Maangi being vetted for the position of High Commissioner to Uganda by the committee of defence, intelligence and foreign relations. PHOTO/Kenna Claude
Former Kisii Deputy Governor Joash Maangi being vetted for the position of High Commissioner to Uganda by the committee of defence, intelligence and foreign relations. PHOTO/Kenna Claude

A Sh2 billion, one-off payment, returned to haunt former Kisii Deputy Governor Joash Maangi when he appeared before MPs for vetting following his appointment to head the Kenyan mission in Uganda.

 MPs who sit in the departmental committee on Intelligence and Foreign Relations Committee chaired by Belgut lawmaker Nelson Koech demanded that Maangi explains his source of wealth following inconsistencies in the documents he had tabled before the committee showing his declared wealth.

 Trouble started after Maangi declared that his net worth stands at Sh693 million yet the documents he submitted showed that his income for last year stood at Sh2 billion.

 The situation was further aggravated by Maangi’s confession that he earns between Sh800 million to Sh900 million annually.

 Said Lagdera MP Mohammed Abdikadir: “These documents show that in one year you earned Sh2 billion. Please explain the inconsistencies in your income because you also told us that you earn Sh693 million.”

But in his explanation, Maangi attributed the inconsistencies in the documents to the one-off payment of Sh2 billion which had been pending since 2014.

He explained that despite his high earnings, some of the properties that he had listed were not income generating.

He said: “Last year, I received a little bit of a hike because of a one-off payment, a company associated with me had not paid me for about six to seven years. And when they paid me including my allowances and out of pocket change the money was quite substantial because it was a lump sum. This is a one-off payment and will not happen again.”

 He added: “Some of these properties I own are not income generating. They include three homes I own, one in Kisii, one in Nairobi and one in Minnesota, America where my children live.”

 Maangi’s woes were compounded by a letter from the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) informing the committee that it was investigating the former Deputy Governor.

 Maangi, it emerged is among two other nominees whom EACC has said are under investigations over graft related issues.

Housing project

 The EACC in the recommendation said that Maangi was being investigated over a National Housing Corporation (NHC) housing project in Lang’ata, Nairobi where the commission recommended that he be charged but the same was rejected by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), which called for further investigations.

 Reads the EACC recommendations: “A recommendation to charge Joash Arthur Maangi and other persons was made in a matter relating to the NHC housing project to the Director of Public Prosecutions. The DPP returned the file to EACC for further investigations which are ongoing.”

Following the move, the committee, while allowing him to continue with the vetting exercise on grounds that he had not been charged in a court of law, sought to know whether he will be able to perform his duties yet he has a cloud hanging over his head.

 “We will allow the nominee to continue because he is not an accused persona and no charges have been preferred on him,” said Koech.

 “You have a dark cloud hanging over you. Would it not be better for you to step aside to clear your name before taking this passion?” Added Kamukunji MP Yusuf Hassan.

But in his defense, Maangi, while admitting that he is a director in the company facing EACC investigations since 2010, protested his innocence in the saga.

 In his submission before the committee, Maangi explained that if anyone is found culpable, then the company’s Chief Executive Office and the Managing Director should be held culpable.

He said: “I don’t think I need to defend myself because I have not been charged in court. I am not the chair of this corporation; I am just a director. Ideally if anybody is accused of any wrongdoing then it is the corporation. This matter has gone through arbitration all the way up to the high court and was settled.”

He added: “ I believe that anybody dissatisfied is free to appeal this matter. I am 100 percent innocent and my company is innocent and that is why the DPP has not preferred charges against me. This is about witch-hunting. I am confident I am a good citizen and ready to take up my assignment.”

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