Court hands Gachagua's Sh202 million to State over fraud

UDA deputy Presidential candidate Rigathi Gachagua. PHOTO | SILA KIPLAGAT | NMG

Mathira MP and UDA's deputy presidential candidate Rigathi Gachagua has lost Sh202 million to the State after the High Court ruled that the money held in four accounts at Rafiki Microfinance is proceeds of corruption.  

Justice Esther Maina ruled that the MP, who is also William Ruto’s running mate admitted that he received the funds form government agencies but there was no evidence that he supplied any services or goods to the government.

The funds, at Rafiki Microfiinance Bank, are held in three accounts with one holding Sh165 million, a second account holds Sh35 million and the other holding Sh773,228.

All three are registered in the MP’s names. A fourth account, holding Sh1,138,142, is registered in the name of Jenne Enterprises.

“I have carefully considered the evidence on record including affidavits, annexures and submissions by all parties and I am satisfied that the funds are liable for forfeiture to the government,” the judge said.

Justice Maina said the Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) had proved that the MP and his companies benefitted from funds yet did not deliver any goods or provided any services to the ministries or agencies, which gave tenders to him.

The court also dismissed claims by Mr Gachagua that he put the money in fixed deposit accounts and loaned to some of his companies to earn interest.  

The MP claimed that he moved the funds between his savings and fixed deposit account and vice versa, to earn interest.

Mr Gachagua had claimed that the money was in a fixed revolving fund rotating between three accounts for seven years. And upon maturing- quarterly- the principal amount plus interest earned are rolled back to the savings account, at his request.

ARA reckoned that the first-term MP allegedly received more than Sh12.5 billion through three accounts in Rafiki Micro Finance Bank but ARA says it could not trace more than Sh5 billion that had been deposited in the MP’s bank accounts.

ARA submitted that the funds are suspected to be proceeds of crime because they are payments to companies associated with the legislator and which emanated from government agencies. 

“We are saying certain amounts in the accounts are proceeds of crime but they are saying that’s not the case. Let the court decide,” he submitted.

The funds were received from the Ministry of Lands (Kenya Informal Settlements Programme),  State Department for Special Planning, Ministry of Health, Bungoma county government, Mathira constituency development funds, Nyeri county government and the National Irrigation Board.

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