Lifestyle Audit: Billions Recovered in Cash and Assets

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By Kenya Confidential Corruption Awareness Editor, Nairobi – May 7, 2019

Nairobi County Government Chief Finance Officer Jimmy Mutuku Kiamba accumulated assets worth Ksh1.3 billion corruptly between August 2009 and February 2015 – five and half years.

In that short period of less than six years, investigations have revealed that he made bank deposits totalling Ksh 1, 383,468,402 against a total net salary of Ksh 5,821,309 at Ksh 90,833 per month. Kiamba, is now battling several corruption-related charges, will not just lose the Runda residence but assets worth  Ksh 1.3 billion illegally acquired

Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) and the Assets Recovery Authority are pursuing properties valued over Ksh10 billion for recovery as proceeds of corruption. Targeted in the recovery dragnet are government officials and well-connected individuals caught in the Lifestyle Audit ordered by President Uhuru Kenyatta two years ago.

The Lifestyle Audit was dismissed by Deputy President William Ruto and his allies as witch hunt  intended to block his bid for presidency in 2022. Over 500 Central and County government accounts and procurement-related departments officers have subsequently been unearthed to have acquired assets far beyond their means and a large number are facing corruption charges while others have lost billions of shillings worth of assets recovered as corruption proceeds.

Migori Governor Okoth Obado Ksh 2.6 Billion properties

The best example that being a close associate of a governor is a lucrative position is none other than Jared Kwaga and Ernest Omondi, who through their companies, were awarded contracts worth over Ksh 1.6 billion and Ksh 732 million respectively, according to investigators.

Migori Governor Okoth Obado’s house. Most Governors have spared no expense in public funds putting up palatial homes

Investigators believe that these funds were used to acquire and construct properties worth over Sh1 billion, registered in Obado and Kwaga’s names.

In total, the state is at various stages of recovering 59 properties which belong to Obado and his associates. The properties include Obado’s palatial home at Uriri in Migori that was constructed by Mbingo Enterprises Ltd, a company owned by Omondi. The splendid home lies on over 10 acres of land.

Other properties targeted include Obado’s house located along the Kisii-Migori road on a three-acre piece of land, a building under construction at Kaduka Estate, four-storey building under construction at Namba, his building estimated at Ksh 300 million at Fairview Hotel, a storeyed apartment in Nairobi’s Umoja estate and Luanda Complex Academy located adjacent to Obado’s palatial home.

There are also residential flats located in Migori town, the Twin Breeze Hotel believed to be owned through proxy by Omondi and Orange House in Migori town.

Asset recovery officials also have their eyes trained on Mr Kwagwa’s properties which include his palatial home located at Kanyamkago area of Uriri, a town residence at Onyalo, rental apartments near Rongo Central SDA church, Sunrise Centre and the Premacy Petrol Station located along the Kisii-Migori road.

Omondi’s properties on the radar include Oil Libya Migori, Blue Shine Academy located at Onyalo and rental apartments constructed near the Governor’s Annex Office in Migori town.

Other properties targeted include those of Moses Ouma, the governor’s Chief of Protocol, who investigators claim lives above his means.

Nairobi County Officer was banking Ksh 900 million daily

In one of his houses located in the exclusive Runda Grove, former Nairobi County Chief Officer Jimmy Kiamba maintains the opulence and elegance that is associated with the neighbourhood, which is a favourite for the rich and famous.

The property is in close proximity to the UN offices, Two Rivers Mall, Ridgeways Mall, Village Market, Brookhouse School and Potterhouse School.

Nonetheless, if a vicious on-going process of asset-recovery for property suspected to have been illegally acquired by public officials is finalised, this splendid piece of architecture will be forfeited to the Nairobi County government.

Kiamba is among over 100 individuals whom the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) and the Assets Recovery Authority are pursuing their property valued over Ksh 10 billion for recovery. They include government officials and well-connected individuals.

Last February, EACC records indicated that there were 78 cases of illegally acquired assets in court. As from 2013 to December 2018, EACC records that illegally acquired assets worth Ksh 3.6 billion were recovered.

These included land in Mombasa mainland worth Ksh 250 million, Mombasa island – Ksh 620 million, Ksh107 milion and Ksh 90 million, Milimani court land Ksh 400 million amd Karatina municipality among others.

“We don’t just want to take people to court and jail them. We also want recover the properties that they have acquired through the proceeds of corruption,” EACC CEO Twalib Mbarak stressed.

The EACC boss says dozens of cases have been filed in court in which the anti-corruption body intends to recover illegally obtained property worth billions of shillings.

We also want recover the properties that they have acquired through the proceeds of corruption, EACC CEO Mbarak

“We are now focusing on recovery of stolen assets and assets that were irregularly acquired. We have identified some of the suspects through lifestyle audit reports,” he added.

Assets Recovery Agency director Muthoni Kimani says the State has recovered over Ksh 3 billion from proceeds of corruption and money laundering in the past two years.

“These properties include cars, houses and land. We have managed to obtain restriction orders on dozens of properties and we have moved to get forfeiture instructions on a number of them. These are properties connected with corruption networks or obtained through corruption of proceeds of corruption,” she said.

Ksh 420 million empire built by Nairobi County official

The property portfolio of Stephen Osiro, former head of Treasury in Nairobi County Government, includes 16 properties in Nairobi and Kisumu some of which fetch a fortune in rent. Investigators are recovering the properties valued at Ksh 420 million convinced that the former public officer is a man with unexplained wealth.

The properties include three bedroomed apartments located at various high-end estates in Nairobi among them Riara Apartments, Millennium Gardens, Bellaway Apartments and Laikipia Gardens.

There is also a two-bedroom apartment at Lynx Apartments, Mbagathi Road, and a maisonette under construction in Runda.

Ksh 115m estate of accountant who deposited Sh900,000 daily

During his days as a senior accountant in the national government, Thomas Gitau Njogu made a fortune by trading with the ministries of Interior Security and Industrialisation through his companies: Njegit Investments Ltd, Njetash Enterprises, Golden Eleven Self Help Group and Wangmug Enterprises.

But hawk-eyed detectives spotted him after a red flag was raised over the massive deposits of up to Ksh 900,000 per day in his personal account. This funds were believed to be from the Ministry of Interior’s confidential vote.

By the time he was arrested, he had acquired four properties worth Sh115 million in Nairobi and Kajiado. Assets recovery officials are on the verge of recovering the investments which they believe were acquired fraudulently.

Trans Nzoia County Director’s Ksh 280 million fortune

Holding the strings of Trans Nzoia County purse, Andrew Biketi as the Director of Finance gross salary was about Ksh 144,000. But in less than five years, he made investments in properties amounting to Ksh 280 million, some of which have already been recovered.

The properties include storey residential buildings in Mtwapa, Mombasa and Kitale as well as a fleet of high end vehicles and a petrol station in Mukuyu.

Between January 1, 2013 and by the time of his arrest on October 31, 2018, he had deposited Ksh 45.5 million in his bank accounts. In this period, his net salary was Ksh 5.8 million.

Traffic police with Ksh 47 million fortune

Constable Jamal Bare Mohamed is a legend among traffic cops for his riches given his low rank in the force.

By the time EACC detectives caught up with him, the motorbike rider had managed to deposit Ksh 33 million in his bank accounts and managed to invest in assets worth Ksh 47 million, between the periods January 2013 to August 2016. The former police officer based at Thika Police Station also owned a plot in Makongeni Estate, Thika, valued at Ksh 4 million believed to be proceeds of crime.

Nyandarua County Chief Finance Officer registered Mother and wife beneficiaries as of Ksh 115m loot

Michael Kuria  the former Nyandarua County Chief Finance Officer registered companies in the names of his wife and mother and subsequently used them to siphon funds from public coffers, according to prosecutors. EACC is in the process of instituting recovery of assets worth Ksh 115 million which the companies acquired.

Ksh 615 million former KRA manager estate he cannot explain

Joseph Gikonyo  a former KRA manager is poised to lose assets worth Ksh 615 million if a case for the recovery of the properties alleged to have been obtained through corrupt deals succeeds.

Gikonyo business profile includes blocks of apartments in Nyali estate and Shanzu town.

Former NYS Chief went on land buying spree with looted cash

Richard Ndubai a former National Youth Service Director-General seems to have been a lover of investing in parcels of land. It is a pity that Kenyans do not or choose not to learn from other corrupt magnates caught.

Swearing in God’s name in vain

Ndubai had an encounter with former Managing Director of Kenya Power and Lighting Corporation Samuel Gichuru who snatched his wife and gave him Ksh 20 million as an out of Court divorce settlement. Ndubai ploughed the cash into horticultural farming but the vagaries of weather ruined the entire crop.

By the time he got his job at NYS, Gichuru was fighting a extradition case to Jersey where he and former Finance Minister Chris Okemo are wanted to face two dozen corruption cases. Ndubai appears to have thought that corruption arrests only happen to others not the corrupt one – and many Kenyans behave the same way. It is not clear why the EACC and Assets Recovery body have not recovered any assets as assets as proceeds of corruption from Gichuru and Okemo when the Jersey authorities are holding over a billion shillings in cash as they await their extradition.

When Ndubai was arrested and arraigned in court over the Ksh 9 billion NYS 2 scandal, detectives discovered that he had acquired 30 parcels of land measuring between one to five acres at his home county of Kirinyaga. The parcels of land were acquired in the financial year 2016/2017 when the scandal was at its helm. Recently, the Assets Recovery Authority obtained restriction orders on the properties and has instituted a forfeiture suit.

Ndubai was a generous spender when it came to women and personal lifestyle. During his weekly visit to a Westlands Massage Parlour, he would give the lady massaging him a tip of Ksh 20,000. Others on his way out who cared to smile and bow at him would each receive Ksh 5,000 – they could be as many as five. His meal and drinks would average Ksh 30,000 – parting with an average of Ksh 75,000 per visit.

When in remand in Industrial Area Prison, a desperate Ndubai called a friend he thought could get him released but the friend asked him where he got the mobile phone. He told the friend one could make calls as long as he had cash there.

The friend told Ndubai; “Please,  please, let me tell you something and don’t tell anybody else. I am told you will be the first batch of Kenyans to be executed at Uhuru Park the way the corrupt are executed in China.”

The friend heard the phone clattering on the ground and going silent after Ndubai crashed it to the ground ending the chat.

Suppliers compromised NYS officers with multi-million-shilling investments

The former NYS head of the Mechanical and Transport department, Evans Kundu went to buy a piece of land in Nakuru some time in 2016. The individual who sold him the land, Wachira Wahome, would later tell EACC investigators that, he only negotiated and agreed on a selling price with Kundu but the purchase agreement was written in the name of Kundu’s daughter.

However, the person who paid for the parcel of land was Lucy Ngirita, a regular supplier to NYS. That was money that had inflated her payment for the merchandise she off-loaded on NYS.

Assets recovery officers are on the process of repossessing that piece of land alongside other properties valued over a billion shillings belonging to Kundu located in various towns among them Kitale, Nakuru and Nairobi.

Principal Secretary Lilian Omollo losing property worth millions of shillings

The process of repossessing property worth millions of shillings belonging to former Youth Affairs Principal Secretary Lillian Mbogo Omollo is in the final stage. The Assets Recovery Authority has already filed a forfeiture suit for the properties which include residential houses – one of them built for her mother in Embu.

The Assets Recovery Agency then says it has reasonable grounds to believe that the Ksh 33 million in question was stolen from the National Youth Service.

Omollo is pleading with the High Court to change the orders freezing her accounts so that she can pay pending commitments. Omolo, the husband, is allegedly someone very close to State House tenants – a fact that has remained closely guarded secret from the days of “Kapenguria Six”.

Lilian: I wish I knew

The authority, through its lawyer Mohammed Adow, says Omollo can service her loans and pay her bills because “as far as we are concerned, she is a farmer in Siaya County”.

“Ms Omollo is still earning half her Principal Secretary salary, which is about Ksh 340,000 a month,” Adow said.

Other NYS-related properties include those belonging to NYS 1 suspects Josephine Kabura and Ben Gethi as well as various other NYS 2 suspects notably the Ngirita family.

ICT Authority officials Anthony Mwangi and Peter Mwangi who built apartments from the Ksh 151m looted from the Jubilee laptop project kitty will also lose their properties. The laptops were supposed to be given to primary school pupils when Jubilee came to power in 2013.

Multi-million properties belonging to Samburu governor Moses Kasaine Lenolkulal, including his palatial residence in Karen, are also targeted for recovery. His other properties earmarked for seizure are located in Samburu County. Corruption transforms ordinary mortals into demigods who do not care about fellow citizens as money deludes them about their superiority in life as untouchable.