Mathira Member of Parliament (MP) Rigathi Gachagua, who was arrested last week, was today charged in court with six (6) counts of corruption and economic crimes involving a total of Kshs. 7.4 Billion.
The charges include conspiracy to commit fraud, money laundering, conflict of interest and receiving proceeds of crime.
They are as follows; on Count 1, the MP was charged with conspiracy to commit an offence of corruption contravening the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act, 2003 (ACECA) with 9 others. In particular, that between May 2015 and December 2016, he, jointly with others, conspired to commit an offence of corruption namely to defraud County Government of Nyeri a sum of Kshs. 27,493,860.
On Count 2, he was charged with fraudulent acquisition of public property worth Kshs. 6million for supply of Dialysis machines to Nyeri Provincial General Hospital, contrary to ACECA. That on 9th December 2014, with others, he fraudulently acquired public property worth Kshs.6 million being part of the payment purportedly paid for supply of Dialysis machines to Nyeri Provincial General Hospital.
On Count 3, he was charged with money laundering contrary to the Proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2009 (POCAMLA). That between January 2015 and June 2019, jointly with others, with intent to defraud, he indirectly received Kshs.104, 821,205 and engaged in transactions to conceal movement of the said amount while having reasons to believe that the said monies were proceeds of crime.
On Count 4, the MP was was charged with money laundering contrary to POCAMLA. The particulars of the offence stated that between September 2015 and September 2016, jointly with others, with intent to unlawfully dispose of monies received from Kwale county government, he indirectly received Kshs.7,583,505.85, and engaged in transactions to conceal movement of the said amount while having reasons to believe that the said monies were proceeds of crime.
On Count 5, the MP was charged with acquisition of proceeds of crime contrary to POCAMLA. The particulars stated that in 2013 and 2020 being an account holder and signatory, received into three bank accounts at Rafiki Micro-Finance Bank Kshs. 7,330,011,265.80 while knowing the monies were fraudulently acquired property part of proceeds of crime.
Count 6, he was a charged with Conflict of Interest contrary to ACECA. In particular, that in Nyeri county, being a public officer, as Member of Parliament for Mathira Constituency, he acquired an indirect private interest in a contract connected with a public body, being Construction of Njathaini Primary school funded by Mathira Constituency Development Fund in the contract awarded to Skytop Agencies, a company owned by Julianne Jahenda Makaa, who is his close associate.
Count 1-4 were committed in Nairobi.
The MP, who was also ordered to deposit his passport with the court and not interfere with any witnesses, appeared before Milimani Anti-Corruption Court Chief Magistrate Lawrence Mugambi. He denied the charges. The MP was charged jointly with nine others, including one company. The others were not present.
Investigations were conducted by the Director of Criminal Investigations’ Serious Fraud Unit.
The public will be waiting to hear how the eight months long investigations by the CID revealed a complex corruption web and the extent to which Mr.Gachagua went to conceal the transactions involving billions of public funds.
Courts froze his bank accounts in October last year to allow for investigations after the Asset Recovery Agency flagged a suspicions flow of Kshs. 12.5 billion.
The MP was charged jointly with nine others, including one company. The others were not present. He was released on a cash bail of Kshs.12 million or a bond of Kshs.25 million.