Lead anti-graft agency Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has obtained court orders to freeze assets worth Kshs. 952,363,824.99 after instituting a forfeiture suit against Eng Benson Muteti Masila, the Coast regional manager at Kenya Rural Roads Authority (KeRRA), and six others.
The agency obtained interim orders freezing the assets in a bid to have the assets forfeited to the state if the manager fails to explain the wealth said to have been accumulated between February 2009 and December 2018.
The orders, issued by Justice James Wakiaga have stopped any dealings in the assets until the application is heard and determined.
EACC also got an order of injunction restraining the respondents, their agents, servants, and/or any other persons from selling, transferring, charging, or further charging, leasing, developing, subdividing, disposing of the properties in question.
The EACC said it is seeking to forfeit unexplained assets worth Sh952,363,824.99 acquired between February 2009 and December 2018.
The Manager is said to be holding the unexplained wealth in bank and Mpesa accounts, land, motor vehicles and insurance policies. The assets being sought include Kshs.597.4 million held by Masila, and Kshs.80.7 million held by his wife Zipporah Mwongeli Muteti.
The anti-graft agencies are also seeking assets held by companies associated with the senior official which include; Mumbe Junior Academy Limited- Kshs.174.8 million; Mumbe Boys High School Limited -Kshs.2,06 million, Mumbe Girls High School Limited-Kshs.17.8 million) and Mumbe Hardware and Suppliers Limited-Kshs.794 million.
EACC says that in total, the unexplained wealth held by the KeRRA official comprises of Kshs.567.6m in cash deposits, land properties valued at Kshs.347m, motor vehicles valued at Kshs.5.3m, shares valued at Kshs.2.2m and insurance policies with a value of Kshs.30.1m.
The Commission told the court that the official is reported to have been receiving kickbacks from suppliers awarded tenders for the supply of goods, and services in the Coast region.
In a case of unexplained wealth, the onus is upon the accused to prove the legality of the source of wealth. Increasingly, public officials holding wealth beyond their known source of income have had the wealth forfeited to the State.