Mathira Member of Parliament (MP) Rigathi Gachagua was today charged in Court over corruption related to Kshs. 7.4 Billion.
The MP who was arrested last week is facing six counts of corruption involving fraudulent acquisition of public property, money laundering, conflict of interest and conspiracy to defraud Nyeri County government of Kshs.27 million. He was released on a cash bail of Kshs.12 million or a bond of Kshs.25 million.
The billionaire MP, will be battling to clear his name after investigations by detectives from the Serious Fraud Unit of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) linked him to companies associated with the alleged corruption and money laundering in transactions worth over Kshs.12 billion.
The MP was also ordered to deposit his passport with the court and not interfere with any witnesses. He appeared before Milimani Anti-Corruption Court Chief Magistrate Lawrence Mugambi where he denied the charges. The offences are alleged to have been committed between the years 2013 and 2020. The MP was charged alongside nine others who were not present in court.
Investigations by the Serious Fraud Unit into tenders involving companies associated with MP Gachagua, have put the legislator into trouble after unravelling transactions involving over 40 companies associated with him and his proxies.
The investigations revealed a complex web of transfer of funds using his companies and proxies to fraudulently procure multibillion-shillings worth of health tenders in the counties and the national government. Previously, the detectives had questioned the MP and later released him without charges.
The eight months long investigations revealed that funds from the corruption and money laundering activities were received through Wamunyoro Investments Limited, a company owned by the MP and his wife.
Investigations revealed an intricate web whereby companies not directly associated with him, would be awarded lucrative tenders, paid, then channel the funds to his company Wamunyoro I. Ltd.
The legislator is also suspected of money laundering through bank loans and suspense/clearing accounts, as well as using companies listed under the youth category, to channel funds to himself.
The Asset Recovery Agency (ARA) had gone to court to question his billionaire status and the source of money following suspicions over Kshs. 12.5 billion which flowed through his bank accounts. His bank accounts were frozen in October last year by the court to allow for investigations.
The DCI is reported to have recorded statements from about 102 people, including two Senators and a former Cabinet Secretary whose accounts received payments from some of the companies.
In the investigation, DCI unveiled a total of 66 bank accounts associated with the scheme to steal public funds for personal enrichment, ten (10) belonging to Mathira MP.
Following his arrest, the MP took to his social media to express hope that the courts would clear him.
Many corruption suspects often allege political victimisation, loudly echoed by their supporters, in a bid to escape the consequences of their ill-advised actions. This should not deter anti-graft bodies in their quest to protect and recover public resources for the good of all Kenyans.