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EACC seeks order to seize former KPA boss James Mulewa's assets

Former Kenya Ports Authority managing director James Mulewa (left) in a Mombasa court. EACC is seeking a order to have his “unexplained assets” totalling Sh80.6 million forfeited to the government. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Former Kenya Ports Authority managing director James Mulewa (left) in a Mombasa court. EACC is seeking a order to have his “unexplained assets” totalling Sh80.6 million forfeited to the government. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) wants an order seeking to have former Kenya Ports Authority managing director James Mulewa's “unexplained assets”, totalling Sh80.6 million, forfeited to the government.

EACC, which has sued the former managing director, is seeking to have Mr Mulewa compelled to pay Sh63.6 million.

The Sh63.6 million relates to cumulative banks deposits he made between August 31, 2008 and May 20, 2010.

The anti-corruption agency is also seeking forfeiture of Sh17 million, being value of landed properties that are part of the unexplained assets, which may be forfeited to the government in order to realise EACC's claim against him.

In its submissions to a Mombasa court through lawyer Phillip Kagucia, the EACC told Justice Eric Ogola that it is irrelevant that Mr Mulewa was acquitted of corruption charges.

Mr Kagucia further argued that the acquittal of Mr Mulewa in the criminal case strengthens the need for civil forfeiture.

“There may not have been enough evidence to convict on a criminal case, it does not mean you don’t have to seek civil forfeiture,” said Mr Kagucia.

Worked for them

He added: “Once EACC has demonstrated that there are unexplained assets and we believe the source is corruption, it is up to him to tell the court he worked for them.”

Mr Kagucia said EACC gave Mr Mulewa an opportunity, through writing to him, to give an explanation on how got his assets. He said the commission followed the law.

He further told the court that the explanation given to the commission was not satisfactory.

However, through lawyer Ernest Mokaya, the former managing director told the court that he was opposed to the case, saying the continued reference of corruption against him is wrong.

“Any reference of him as being corrupt is uncalled for, in the absence of an appeal (of a decision acquitting him) any other reference as corrupt is uncalled for,” said Mr Mokaya.

Mr Mokaya said the KPA managing director was earning Sh1,050,000 million gross salary and operates a ranch in Kilifi.

Genuine income

The court was further told that Mr Mulewa is an administrator of his father’s 3,000-acre land and that his wife owns a guesthouse, which are all sources of genuine income.

Mr Mokaya added that Mr Mulewa worked for KPA since 1981 and that nothing has been questioned about his investment abilities.

He urged the court to dismiss the application.

Justice Ogola has fixed the case for judgment on July 25.

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