By Monica Kagia
A Mombasa herbalist facing money laundering charges caused after asking the court to explain why the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Noordin Haji has never been called on to testify in his case, despite informing the court that the DPP "diverted Sh2 million, being part of the money he is being accused of illegitimately obtaining.
The herbalist, Stephen Mangira, told a Shanzu court that he was arrested by DPP Haji, who was then an intelligence officer with the National Intelligence Service, in a joint operation with the Hamisi Masa who headed the Anti-Narcotic Drug Unit.
During the raid, Mangira claimed that the officers seized Sh20.5 million from him and only declared Sh18.5 million in court.
The suspect said he wants the DPP to give an account of the Sh2 million he claims is missing from the exhibit.
Mangira was testifying in a case in which he is charged with money laundering after the prosecution dropped a drug-trafficking case against him for lack of evidence.
However, his co-accused Nabil Loo and Bakari Kila Bakari were charged with trafficking in narcotics and money laundering.
Mangira was arrested with Sh18.5 million stashed in his car and 540 grams of heroin of market value of Sh1.6 million in their hotel room.
The herbalist told the court that his clients in his “uganga” business pay him well which justifies his expensive lifestyle.
“My first client paid me Sh55 million for a single service. Again, I had a South African client who gifted me with a new BMW and gave me US$10,000 in cash for tax clearance,” said Mangira.
Mangira had been asked by his lawyer, Kinyua Kamunde, to tell the court how he acquired his fleet of 10 luxury vehicles estimated to be worth Sh30 million that security officers found and impounded from his compound.
Loo and Bakari were charged that on February 11, 2017, at Reef Hotel in Nyali, Mombasa County, they jointly with others not before the court, trafficked narcotic drugs heroin worth Sh 1,622,640.
Meanwhile, Mangira is facing money laundering charges after he was found in possession of Sh18.5 million when he was arrested on the same day at the same hotel.
His lawyer asked the court to drop the charges against him and order the prosecution to give back his Sh18.5 million and 10 vehicles.
“Your honour, the High Court ruled that police caused damage on my compound when they raided my home and the court awarded me Sh1 million. This is an indication I was able to prove to the High Court my money and vehicles are not proceeds of crime,” said Mangira
The matter is coming up for cross-examination on Sept 3.