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Gachagua speaks out over his arrest

By Njange Maina
Tuesday, October 27th, 2020
Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua. Photo/PD/File
In summary
    • MP Gachagua was arrested on Monday by officers from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) over alleged tender scandals amounting to Sh12.4 billion that was deposited to his accounts.

Mathira Member of Parliament (MP) Rigathi Gachagua has associated his yesterday's arrest with the "low turnout of residents" during President Uhuru Kenyatta's visit to his constituency on Sunday.

The MP was arrested by officers from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) over alleged tender scandals amounting to Sh12.4 billion that was deposited to his accounts.

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"I have learnt that there was a lot of pressure to have me arrested over the meeting that took place at Giagatika Trading Center where residents of Mathira kept off and it is alleged that I incited Mathira residents not to turn up," Rigathi Gachagua posted on his Facebook page on Monday evening.

The parliamentarian claimed Sunday's mobilisation of residents was conducted by two neigbouring MPs.

Amid his claims, the MP has been on sleuths radar over Sh12.5 billion allegedly banked into his accounts and siphoned from taxpayer's funds.

He is suspected to have used proxies to fraudulently win tenders from the National and County governments. Some of the accounts associated with the lawmaker have been frozen.

The Asset Recovery Agency (ARA) in October filed an application seeking to have Sh200 million held in three bank accounts of the MP forfeited to the State.

Through lawyer Mohammed Adow, ARA wanted the court to declare that Gachagua acquired the Sh200,773,228.3 through crime and looting of public funds.

“The court be pleased to issue an order declaring that the funds are proceeds of crime, and, therefore liable for forfeiture to the State,” argued ARA.

Funds at Rafiki Micro Finance Bank are held in three accounts, with one holding Sh165 million, a second account holds Sh35 million while the other holds Sh773,228. All the three are registered in the MP’s name.

A fourth account, holding Sh1,138,142, is registered in the name of Jenne Enterprises.

Documents filed in court showed the funds are suspected to be proceeds of crime because they are payments to companies associated with the legislator, and which emanated from a government agency.

In affidavits filed in court by investigating officer Fredrick Musyoki, the agency wants the money forfeited to the State on grounds that preliminary investigations have established that Gachagua and Jenne Enterprises Limited were involved in suspected complex scheme of money laundering involving several companies, which initially received funds from government ministries and agencies.

The MP is, however, to be charged for graft.

Additional reporting from Nancy Gitonga

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