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Ketraco executive’s 40 homes, 8 cars linked to bribes

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Integrity Centre that hosts Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) offices in Nairobi. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NMG

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Summary

  • EACC says the multi-million shilling assets acquired by Peter Maina Njehia in the 11 years to 2021 were the proceeds of crime and do not match his known income.
  • The EACC did not disclose the value of the real estate empire that includes rental apartments, farms for commercial agriculture and townhouses.

A top procurement executive at the Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (Ketraco) risks losing 40 developed properties, eight cars and millions of shillings in bank accounts linked to bribes and kickbacks for State tenders.

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) says the multi-million shilling assets acquired by Peter Maina Njehia in the 11 years to 2021 were the proceeds of crime and do not match his known income.

The EACC did not disclose the value of the real estate empire that includes rental apartments, farms for commercial agriculture and townhouses spread in Nairobi, Nakuru and Nyandarua counties.

The anti-graft agency moved to court on Tuesday and obtained orders freezing about Sh58.5 million held in several SACCO accounts under Mr Njehia’s name and that of his spouse.

Justice Esther Maina granted the order freezing the money for six months pending the conclusion of investigations.

The money frozen includes Sh25.4 million worth of shares in two accounts at Stima Sacco, Sh10 million shares in Unaitas, another Sh8.2 million shares in a different account at Unaitas and Sh930,000 in a dividend account at Unaitas.

The EACC told the court it was seeking more assets linked to Mr Njehia, including savings in a number of commercial banks, pointing to the vast wealth that the Ketraco manager had accumulated over the past decade.

According to documents filed by the EACC in court, Mr Njehia’s salary between 2010 and March 2021 stood at Sh35.7 million-plus imprest amounting to Sh4.48 million.

It is alleged that Mr Njehia used his position to influence and award tenders at Ketraco and the Ministry of Transport, where he previously worked.

“The respondent has illegally and irregularly engaged in the influence and award of tenders, procurement and payment of goods and services, which has seen him abuse his office, receive bribes, embezzle public funds and engage in corrupt conduct,” the EACC said in the petition filed before the anti-corruption division of the High court.

“There are reasonable grounds to suspect that the respondent herein has accumulated assets disproportionate to his known legitimate source of income and money in the listed SACCO accounts should be preserved pending completion of the subject investigations,” the EACC told Justice Maina.

Mr Njehia allegedly made frequent deposits into his bank and SACCO accounts.

The commission said it was investigating his close family members, including his spouse Julie Hellen Matu and associated companies where he could have channelled the funds, and that it will soon be filing a petition to freeze the properties.

“An analysis of the preliminary investigations has raised reasonable suspicion that considering the respondent’s salary, large and frequent deposits into his bank accounts, shares and deposits in his SACCO account are disproportionate to his legitimate known sources of income and could have been obtained through corrupt conduct,” the EACC said.

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