DPP withdraws Sh7.3 billion fraud charges against Gachagua


Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji has applied to withdraw the Sh7.3 billion corruption charges against Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua.

Mr Haji applied to withdraw the charges under section 87A of the criminal procedure code saying investigations into the matter were not complete.

The investigating officer Obadiah Kuria told anti-corruption court magistrate Victor Wakumile that there are some areas in the case that were not adequately covered because he was not given sufficient time to complete the probe.

Mr Gachagua was charged in July with nine other people and companies and was released after depositing cash bail of Sh12 million.

Among the charges is that he and Rapid Medical Suppliers Ltd acquired Sh6 million from Nyeri county government on December 29, 2014 for the supply of Dialysis machines to Nyeri Provincial General Hospital.

He is also alleged to have received Sh104 million from Bungoma county government suspected to be proceeds of crime between January 2015 and June 2019.

On conflict of interest, he was alleged to have acquired an indirect interest in a contract for the construction of Njathaini primary school, which was funded by Mathira CDF when he was the Mathira MP. The contract, according to the prosecution, was awarded to Skytop Agencies owned by Julianne Jahenda Makaa, a close associate.

The investigating officer said they investigated Mr Gachagua based on a letter from the Financial Reporting Centre over claims of embezzlement of funds at the National Irrigation Board and other entities.

He said the probe was hurried due to pressure. But when asked who was pressurising him, the officer said they work under intense pressure.

Mr Gachagua through his lawyer Kioko Kilukumi did not oppose the application adding that the evidence from witnesses that were set to testify does not meet the threshold required, for a successful prosecution.

The charges stated that Mr Gachagua received Sh7.3 billion in his three bank accounts at Rafiki Micro-Finance Bank, funds which were allegedly deposited between 2013 and 2020.

The prosecution alleged that the transactions were meant to conceal the movements of the money because it is believed to be proceeds of crime.

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