Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua arraigned over Ksh12 billion scandal

By , K24 Digital
On Mon, 26 Jul, 2021 10:32 | 2 mins read
Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua PHOTO/Courtesy
Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua PHOTO/(@Rigathi Gachagua)/Twitter

Mathira Member of Parliament Rigathi Gachagua is now at Milimani Law courts where he is expected to face corruption charges in relation to over Ksh12 billion scandal

The lawmaker who spent the weekend in police custody following his arrest on Friday was escorted to the court premises a few minutes to 9 am Monday under tight security by detectives from Gigiri police station.

He is being held at the court's police cells before he is arraigned in a magistrate for plea taking.

Gachagua, an ardent supporter of Deputy President William Ruto, was on Friday morning arrested from his Nyeri home by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations headquarters in Nairobi where he was grilled for close to six hours before being locked up in a police cell.

The MP has since denied the state allegations and termed his prosecution as politically instigated.

Gachagua's bank accounts have since been frozen by the High Anti-Corruption court in October last year allowing the government to investigate the source of the Ksh12.5 billion that flowed through the accounts.

This is after Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) informed the High Court the lawmaker received more than Ksh12.5 billion through three accounts in Rafiki Micro Finance Bank, in seven years, payments that have been labelled suspicious.

The three accounts have over Ksh 200,773,000 held at Rafiki Microfinance. According to the court order, Kshs. 165,000,000 million, Kshs. 35,000,000 and Ksh. 773,228.33 are held in the bank accounts held in name of Gachagua at Rafiki Microfinance.

The agency told the court that it traced Ksh 7.3 billion withdrawals through bank statements in accounts that were lef with a balance of Sh200 million.

But the agency says there are no bank statements to show how the balance of Sh 5.1 billion was withdrawn from the fixed deposit account in what it has termed “a complex scheme of money laundering”.

Gachagua is suspected to have used proxies to fraudulently secure tenders through 22 companies.

In October 2020 justice Joseph Onyiego frozen more than Sh200 million belonging to the MP, offering a rare peek of his financial war chest and cash dealings from his three accounts in the microlender not publicly known for mega transactions
One savings account had a balance of KSh 773,228 after receiving Ksh 5.8 billion and a fixed deposit account was left with Ksh 35 million after receiving about Ksh 877 million.

A second fixed account received Sh5.87 billion of which Sh705.1 million had been withdrawn, but with a Sh165 million balance, leaving some unexplained Sh5.1 billion, according to the ARA’s court documents.

ARA said on March 30, this year, it received information into suspected complex money laundering schemes and proceeds of crime involving public funds 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.

The agency says that preliminary investigations established that Gachagua and Jenne Enterprises limited were involved in a suspected complex scheme of money laundering involving several companies which initially received funds from government ministries and state agencies.