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Economy

Jimi Wanjigi gets two-day reprieve

Businessman Jimi Wanjigi. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Businessman Jimi Wanjigi. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Embattled businessman Jimi Wanjigi and his wife, Irene Nzisa, Tuesday obtained reprieve when the High Court ordered the police to refrain from destroying his assets or having him arrested.

Justice Enoch Chacha Mwita also granted Mr Wanjigi an anticipatory bail of Sh50,000 while ordering the police to cease from threatening him with arrest.

The judge, however, directed that this temporary reprieve remain in place until Thursday 11.00 am when the court will hear the case.

“Having considered the issues raised, I am satisfied that this case has substantial constitutional legal issues which ought to be considered. In the meantime, Mr Wanjigi deserves protection of the court,” said Justice Mwita.

Detectives searching Mr Wanjigi’s Muthaiga home said they found seven guns including six Glock Pistols and a Shotgun, which reports indicate the tycoon is licensed to hold.

Earlier on Tuesday, officers from the General Service Unit’s elite Recce Squad broke into the Muthaiga home with the aim of arresting Mr Wanjigi.

He is said to have locked himself up in the house on Monday to avoid arrest after police officers said they recovered a cache of weapons at another home in Malindi suspected to belong to him.

Video footages have surfaced online showing armed police officers demolishing sections of Mr Wanjigi’s posh house in Muthaiga. They can be seen destroying CCTV cameras before forcibly gaining entry.

In another clip inside the house, an officer can be seen swinging an axe and hitting a door. Mr Wanjigi through lawyers claimed that the officers did not have a warrant in all the raids.

He also denied knowledge of the cache of firearms allegedly found in his Malindi home on Monday. According to the couple, those allegations were conveniently framed by the police and other State agents to embarrass him to settle a political score.

The businessman alleged that there is no legitimate ground for searching his premises or preferring a criminal charge against him.

On Tuesday police raided the lavish Caramel restaurant and Lodge at the ABC Place in Westlands, Nairobi, hours after they obtained search warrants.

The restaurant, which was the nerve centre for opposition National Super Alliance (Nasa) operations, is associated with the tycoon; it remained shut.

Police were also allowed access to his Kwacha offices located on General Mathenge Road in Westlands, Nairobi.

Mr Wanjigi has been a key financier and strategist for Raila Odinga’s Nasa. This was after he fell out with President Uhuru Kenyatta’s and Deputy President Willliam Ruto’s Jubilee Party.

The businessman was Jubilee’s main sponsor in 2013. He has been associated with the Anglo Leasing scandal.

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