Kenya Kwanza presidential running mate Rigathi Gachagua has suffered a huge blow after the Anti-Corruption High Court ordered that he forfeits Ksh200 million to the State.
Justice Esther Maina said that the funds held in his accounts at Rafiki Micro Finance bank amounting to Ksh200, are proceeds of crime and therefore liable for forfeiture to the state.
The funds at Rafiki Micro Finance Bank, are held in three accounts with one holding Ksh165 million, a second account holding Ksh35 million and the other holding Ksh773,228. All the three are registered in Gachagu's name. A fourth account, holding Ksh1,138,142, is registered in the name of Jenne Enterprises.
"The court finds the funds are liable to forfeiture as ARA has discharged its burden of proof that the funds were received by Gachagua, "
While issuing the orders for forfeiture, the judge said Gachagua failed to show a legitimate source of the funds deposited in the said accounts.
The orders follow an application by Assets Recovery Agency(ARA) urging the court to have the funds forfeited to the state on grounds that Gachagua and Jenne Enterprises Limited were involved in a suspected complex scheme of money laundering.
The agency told the court that they have amassed more than Ksh5.8 billion within seven years, amounts that included funds from companies or business entities, providing services to ministries, state agencies and county governments.
The funds emanate from the Ministry of Lands (Kenya Informal Settlements Programme), state department for Special Planning, Ministry of Health, Bungoma county government, Mathira constituency development funds, Nyeri county government and National Irrigation Board.
ARA further informed the court that after being transferred to companies or business entities, the funds were ultimately moved to a fixed deposit account, which is Gachagua’s personal account.
“That within the said period, there were massive suspicious cash withdrawals, transfers, inter and intra bank transfers from other accounts to the accounts under investigations and other bank accounts owned by MP Gachagua in suspicious complex money laundering schemes,” the agency said.
In his defence, Gachangua says that the monies held in the bank accounts which has been frozen are not proceeds of crime but are legit earned from businesses with his company trading as Jennes enterprises.
"I wish to state that the sum of Ksh1,138,142 held at Jenne Enterprises accounts domiciled at Rafiki Microfinance bank limited are not proceeds of crime but rather of legit and verifiable business done by him while trading as Jennes enterprises," Gachagua argued.