Mathira Member of Parliament (MP) Rigathi Gachagua faces an epic battle to clear his name after investigations by detectives from the Serious Fraud Unit of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) linked him and companies associated him to alleged corruption and money laundering in transactions worth over Kshs.12billion.
Investigations by the Serious Fraud Unit into tenders involving companies associated with MP Gachagua, have put the legislator in trouble after unraveling 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 multi-billion-shillings worth of health tenders in the counties and the national government. Detectives questioned the MP eight months ago 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 whose sole shareholders are the MP and his wife. The heist is said to date back to the time his late brother was Nyeri County Governor.
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 Investments. Ltd.
Companies awarded tenders at Nyeri County or Mathira CDF, cited for either transferring funds to him, or being conduits of funds from others to himself include; Upperdeck Agencies-awarded Kshs.9.4 tender, linked to Gachagua through Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA); Rapid Medical Supplies-Kshs.47 million tender; Skytop Agencies, owned by his personal secretary, awarded CDF tenders worth millions; Stecol Corporation-Kshs.15 million channeled to Skytop Agencies; Endrem Agencies-Kshs.34 million channeled to Machine Centre Limited, which is associated with Mathira NG-CDF officials and also operated two joint savings accounts with the MP’s company.
Machine C. Ltd received a total of Kshs.314 million from the Ministry of Water and Sanitation’s Sagana River Restoration Project, from the foreign firm awarded the contract.
The legislator is accused of money laundering through bank loans and suspense/clearing accounts, to move funds to his accounts and his proxies’. Some transactions payments could have been received for works not done or goods not delivered.
The MP is also accused of using companies listing “clueless” youths as proprietors, and awarded tenders reserved for youths for construction of roads, water pans and others, to channel funds to himself.
The Asset Recovery Agency (ARA) has gone to court to question his billionaire status and the source of money held in his accounts. However, court records show that out of the Kshs7.3 billion targeted by the agency, Kshs.5.2 billion was located.
About 102 people recorded statements, 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 corruption to steal public funds for personal enrichment, with ten (10) belonging to the Mathira MP.