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Senior officer ordered to return more than Sh100m worth of unexplained wealth



The Anti-Corruption Court in Nairobi has ordered a senior Interior ministry officer to return more than Sh100m worth of unexplained wealth.

Thomas Njogu is accused by the anti-graft agency of siphoning Sh113m from public coffers in a span of one year and eight months.

Justice John Onyiego in his decree in favour of Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), ordered Mr Gitau who is a senior assistant accountant, to surrender Sh48 million in cash and properties worth Sh67 million as he could not explain how he amassed the same within a short period of time.

“The burden of proof lay on the defendant (Gitau) to explain how he acquired the wealth after the plaintiff (EACC) questioned its source,” said Justice Onyiego.

It emerged that Gitau earned at least Sh155,000 gross pay. However, his accounts had Sh111 million cash, which excluded his salary.

The anti-graft watchdog started investigating Gitau sometime in 2017 after a tip-off that he was making explained cash deposits in several intervals in a day.

Grace Maina, EACC lawyer, told the court that the accountant would deposit cash in his bank accounts multiple times in a day and would ensure that the amount would not surpass Sh1 million to avoid questions on his source of money.

During investigations, the commission netted $3,500 and a further Sh6.9 million in his office at Harambee House.

Gitau explained that the Sh6.9m was petty cash, but could not provide supporting documents. He is said to have volunteered to return Sh200,000 from the Sh350,000 during the probe.

According to Maina, EACC also found Sh1.2m in his house located at Marurui estate, Nairobi County.

The probe established that he had bought a house at Thome Estate worth Sh27m and another one in Kajiado worth Sh26m. He had also purchased a Toyota Hilux car at Sh624,000.

EACC added that he had another property at Kabete which is valued at Sh17.5m and another one at Euaso Nyiro worth Sh1.7m.

“Your Lordship, the litigants are in agreement that one way or another, the defendant came to be in possession of assets worth over Sh100m between January 2016 and August 2017. The only point of departure is the source of that income. The plaintiff alleges it was acquired through corrupt conduct and has demonstrated facts giving rise to its reasonable suspicion,” argued Maina.

The man had five accounts at Equity Bank, two at Co-operative Bank, two at Family Bank and one at Barclays Bank.

In the case where Gitau’s wife Teresiah Njeri had also been named as a defendant, he explained that cash deposits were mostly made up of friendly loans, family savings, rental income and proceeds of sale of land.

According to Gitau, he had two friendly loans from two friends

— Ann Wathatu Ngururi and Francis Mureithi — which amounted to Sh40m in cash.

However, Ngururi and Mureithi could not provide collateral he had used to secure the massive loan. They could not also provide an agreement on how Gitau would pay the loan.

The court heard that Ngururi and Mureithi could not provide bank statements to show their source of the money.

Annual turnover

Ngururi explained that she had a supermarket with a Sh100,000 turnover and rentals with an annual turnover of about Sh10m. She could not provide supporting documents to prove her argument that she had loaned Gitau Sh20 million.

Mureithi, who is also said to have given Gitau Sh20m, told the court that he had known latter for only five years and he was to buy his (Gitau’s) land in Kajiado at Sh55m. Gitau had bought the same property five months before floating it for sale at Sh55m.

The saga unveiled another puzzle as Mureithi told investigators that he was 20 years old. How he got huge amounts led to the conclusion he was dealing in suspicious transactions.

by Standard

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Grace Wakhungu: Family raises Sh800 million fine




The larger Awori family has raised a whopping Sh800 million in a bid to secure the freedom of one of their own, Grace Wakhungu, who is serving time in jail over corruption.

Wakhungu, was handed 69 years in jail or a Sh707,725,562 million fine.

Wakhungu alongside Sirisia MP John Waluke were handed the hefty sentences for their role in a maize import scandal which saw the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) lose Sh297 million in 2009.

A source from the Wakhungu family said despite some challenges, they were on course to secure her freedom.

“The sentencing of granny is not something that was taken lightly by Wakhungu’s siblings, both here in Kenya and Uganda,” said the source.

Due to the robust family network, a system was quickly put in place to have money raised without delay.

“In fact, we outdid ourselves by raising close to Sh800 million, being contributions from family members through the sale of assets locally and abroad, personal savings and ‘silent’ funds drives by friends.

“However, we are somehow stuck, because we have the amount ready but the DPP, EACC and KRA are sending threats our way,” the source added.

He disclosed that Wakhungu’s immediate family had raised Sh197 million.

The immediate family consists of the former CS Judy Wakhungu and her siblings Ben Wakhungu and Susan Wakhungu-Githuku.

A nephew of the jailed granny gave a donation of Sh100 million while her brother, former Vice President Moody Awori is said to have given his family’s and personal contribution of Sh135 million.

Wakhungu’s sister, Dr Mary Okello, the founding director of Makini Schools, is said to have donated Sh28 million.

The family and friends of Dennis Awori, a former Kenya ambassador to Japan and who has headed several blue chip companies, are said to have raised Sh15 million.

The family of former Ugandan MP Aggrey Awori contributed Sh41 million, our sources disclosed.

The families of Wakhungu’s deceased brothers Hannington Awori and Prof Nelson Awori are said to have contributed Sh93 million for their kin.

Others who are said to have given contributions include family members Christine Hayanga, Henry Awori, Willis Awori and Ernest Awori who are reported to have raised a total of Sh54 million.

A funds-drive organised by Wakhungu’s family members locally and abroad separately raised Sh236 million.

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Police officer arrested in Sh124,000 M-Pesa fraud 




Detectives in Thika town, Kiambu county, have arrested a notorious police officer accused of defrauding three M-Pesa agents KSh 124,000 in a single day.

Police constable Isaiah Monda Ontita attached to Matasia Police Station in Ngong, Kajiado county, was arrested on Sunday, August 02, after officers were tipped off by the affected M-Pesa agents.

According to a police report filed at Thika Police Station, it was alleged that the officer who is currently on interdiction had approached an M-Pesa agent in Thika town while wearing a full police jungle fatigue.

The officer told M-Pesa operator Jane Wanjiru to deposit KSh 58,000 to his M-Pesa account.

“It was reported by one Jane Wanjiru, an M-Pesa agent Maizama Con Bidii Shop that today a customer approached her in full police jungle fatigue uniform and requested for a deposit of KSh 58,000 to his M-Pesa account,” read the police report.

After receiving the money on his phone, the officer claimed he had not seen the M-Pesa SMS and could not pay the cash.

However, according to police investigations the suspect had received the SMS and deleted it immediately.

He later moved to Jomarg Network M-Pesa shop and applied the same trick where he defrauded the business owner KSh 17,000.

The suspect did not stop there. He then visited Mermay Thika Communication and stole an additional KSh 49,000 using the same trick.

Upon realising they had been defrauded by the police officer, the second and third victims arrested the man with the help of the public and escorted him to Thika Police Station where they recorded statements.

It was then established that he was a police officer attached at Matasia Police Post but had been interdicted.

Notably, it was not the first time for such a case given three suspects were recently arrested in Kiambu and Nakuru counties for defrauding M-Pesa agents.

To execute their alleged fraud, the suspects approached M-Pesa agents as dealers in pretext of selling SIM cards and other products at discounted prices.

They then switched the agents’ M-Pesa phones before stealing their float in the process.

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Uhuru warns Kang’ata over statement on BBI  




President Uhuru Kenyatta has called out his right-hand man in the Senate, Irungu Kang’ata, over his recent remarks in which he threatened to sabotage the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI).

The Senator told the Opposition senators to pass the controversial revenue sharing formula and that failure to do so would lead to rejection of the handshake by Mt Kenya region.

According to a report by Taifa Leo, the president was reported to have issued ‘gag orders’ against Irungu asking him to desist from making such sentiments and instead to leave the matter to him.

The president’s action against Irungu came after senators voted against formula which was in turn blamed on the chief whip over his remarks threatening the handshake partners.

Confirming the president’s action, Kang’ata said he had been in talks with the head of state and had decided to stop commenting on the matter.

“I have been in talks with the president severally, and I have now decided to stop addressing this matter in public until we solve the standoff,” said Kang’ata.

The president is reported to have taken control of the matter and instructed Treasury CS Ukur Yattani to organise for meeting with governors to find an alternative way to share the money.

The money to be released is meant for paying salaries and in the fight against COVID-19 while waiting for senators to end the stalemate over the revenue formula.

The meeting will be attended by Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka, chairman Council of Governors Wycliffe Oparanya, Senate majority leader Samuel Poghisio, chief whip Kang’ata and chairman for CoG’s Finance Committee Wycliffe Wangamati.

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