Court freezes properties worth Ksh15M belonging to Wa Iria’s wife
The wife of the former Murang’a County governor Mwangi Wa Iria has suffered a major setback after the High Court froze her two properties valued at Ksh15 million which were purchased through proceeds of crime.
Justice Esther Maina issued the preservation orders for the assets belonging to the former county boss's wife Jane Waigwe Kimani and her associates Jane Wanjiru Mbuthia, Director of Top Image Media Consultants pending the conclusion of the ongoing suit for recovery of the full amount that Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) is pursuing being Ksh542,610,615.
The commission is seeking to recover over Ksh542 million from the former governor, his wife and their associates.
The two properties the court has barred Waigwe and her associates through her agents from interfering with include a parcel of land at Umoja Innercore valued at Ksh7.5 Million and Mweiga Thungare/Block II/Therange Parcel Number 762 valued at Ksh8.8 million.
The orders were issued after the EACC lodged a suit before the High Court Anti-Corruption Court seeking to have the same properties forfeited to the state as they are proceeds of crime.
In its court papers, the commission claims it had investigated allegations of procurement irregularities and conflict of interest amongst public officials in the County Government of Murang’a.
"Investigations revealed that Top Image Media Consultants, a company associated with the then Governor Francis Mwangi Wa Iria had been solely awarded media buying tenders worth Sh 542,610,615.15 out of all companies prequalified between financial years 2013/2014 and 2016/2017," the EACC informed the judged.
The court also heard that investigation revealed that the Director of Top Image Media Consultants Limited, Jane Wanjiru Mbuthia, was a close associate of the Governor of Murangá County.
Consequently, the Governor and his wife benefitted directly from the contract amounts paid to Top Image Media Consultants Limited.
The Commission’s investigations further revealed that the Director of Top Image Media Consultants transferred part of the funds to the Governor himself and his wife, Jane Waigwe Kimani.
In addition, Value View Limited, a company belonging to the Governor’s wife, was also a direct recipient of the funds paid to Top Image Media Consultants.
The Commission also claims it established that Top Image Media Consultants and its Director also made payments for loans on behalf of the Governor as well as flight expenses and hotel accommodation costs.
"The Company also made a payment of Ksh500,000 to the Mwangi Wa Iria Foundation which is co-owned by the Governor and his wife. Cumulatively the Governor and his wife received in excess of Ksh28,000,000 from funds that had been paid by the County Government," EACC stated.
The commission further reveals that the Company also purchased the earlier mentioned two properties for the Governor’s wife.
"EACC is in court seeking to recover the entire contract sum of Sh 542,610,615 paid to Top Image Media Consultants Limited for having been paid out of an illegal contract tainted with procurement irregularities and conflict of interest," the court papers read.
The Commission also seeks to recover a deposit of Ksh9.5 million that had been paid to Mlima Kenya Holiday Homes to purchase holiday homes for the Governor’s wife Jane Waigwe Kimani and Jane Wanjiru Mbuthia, Director of Top Image Media Consultants.