Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua’s bank accounts frozen as DCI probes Ksh. 12.5B tender scam


Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua's bank accounts frozen as DCI probes Ksh. 12.5B tender scam
Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua speaking in an interview with Citizen TV on October 24, 2020. PHOTO| COURTESY

In Summary

  • Rigathi is suspected to have used proxies to fraudulently secure tenders using 22 companies  with him as the sole beneficiary.
  • The DCI and Asset Recovery Agency have frozen accounts holding Ksh.202 million. One account had Ksh.35 million another Ksh.165 million and two more with Ksh.1.1 million and Ksh.700,000.
  • An investigation file seen by Citizen TV  shows that two hairdressers and a former mobile money transfer agent were awarded multimillion-shilling tenders
  • The Mathira member of parliament vehemently denies the allegations leveled against him terming it political witch hunt.

Detectives from the Serious Crimes Investigations Unit at the DCI headquarters have concluded a probe against Mathira Member of Parliament Rigathi Gachagua over alleged embezzlement of public funds.

Bank accounts belonging to the legislator have been frozen as detectives seek to know the source of some Ksh.12.5 billion that passed through his accounts.

Rigathi is suspected to have used proxies to fraudulently secure tenders using 22 companies  with him as the sole beneficiary.

Detectives have already visited 5 counties, government parastatals and his own National Government Constituency Development Fund where he is suspected to have fraudulently won tenders using 22 companies.

The legislator is also under investigation by the Asset Recovery Agency which seeks to know the source of some Ksh.12.5 billion that passed through his accounts.

An investigation file seen by Citizen TV  shows that two hairdressers and a former mobile money transfer agent were awarded multimillion-shilling tenders for the National Government and Mathira Constituency CDF. But Gachagua claims the deals are not fraudulent

“These people who are being accused of being nobodies and have done alot of business were my employees previously. I have empowered and mentored them and made them grow,” said Gachagua on Saturday.

Detectives say two companies, were paid Ksh.150 million and then a huge chunk of the money was transferred onwards to entities owned by the MP, with the DCI focusing on medical supplies to hospitals in five counties and transactions with government firms, including parastatals.

The DCI and Asset Recovery Agency have frozen accounts holding Ksh.202 million. One account had Ksh.35 million another Ksh.165 million and two more with Ksh.1.1 million and Ksh.700,000.

Over the past six months more than 100 people who have transacted business with the MP have recorded statements. They include Laikipia Senator John Nderitu who is said to have received Ksh.1.9 million, former Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri who allegedly received Ksh.5.9 million from the MP, Meru Senator Mithika Linturi who is said to have been paid Ksh.1.3 million and the biggest beneficiary Karanja Muriuki who is the MCA for Rugugu Ward in Nyeri County who is said to have received Ksh.11 million.

Police also want to establish if some of the companies owned by young people and which won tenders reserved for the youth were associated with the MP. When put to task most of the youth in question are reported to have had no clue on what was being procured.

The Mathira member of parliament vehemently denies the allegations leveled against him terming it political witch hunt.

“This is witch-hunt and a scheme meant to harass me because of my political stand… We cannot criminalise enterprise. We cannot criminalise hardwork. I have been in business for the last 20 years since I left the civil service. It is only natural that I have some little money,” added the MP.

Charges prefered against the legislator in the investigation file include abuse of office, conflict of interest, conspiracy to commit crime and money laundering.

Gachagua is expected to be summoned at the DCI for questioning before the file is forwarded to the DPP for action.

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Story By Hassan Mugambi
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