By Kenya Confidential Corruption Awareness Desk, Nairobi – July 30, 2022
The Directorate of criminal Investigations (DCI) has welcomed the ruling by High Court Judge Esther Maina, directing Mathira Member of Parliament Rigathi Gachagua, to forfeit Ksh200 million to the state, which he acquired fraudulently from government agencies through corrupt deals.
This is after the legislator failed to prove to the court how he obtained the money, after it was wired from different government agencies to Rafiki Micro Finance, owned by the legislator that received billions of shillings from Nyeri County government among other counties and government agencies.
A comprehensive investigation conducted by sleuths based at the Serious Crimes unit, unearthed details of how the MP used different companies to fraudulently secure government tenders.
That followed a sojourn as a brutal District Officer who aided Ruto-allied Youth for Kanu 1992 (YK’92) brutal repression of multi-party crusaders during 1992-1997 of dictator Daniel Moi dictatorship – in Kiambu and Molo among other hot spots.
Using proxies who had registered over 20 companies, Rigathi, in one of the many rackets, obtained over Ksh 1.7 Billion from close to 10 government ministries, state departments, parastatals and county governments paid through his Rafiki micro-finance.
The MP and two of his trusted female associates approached youths and women to register companies and open accounts at Rafiki micro-finance, then used his influence and blackmail to secure tenders for the companies.
However, one of Rigathi’s trusted confidants and Personal assistant Julianne Jahenda, was made a signatory in all the accounts opened by the suppliers at the micro-finance.
In a well orchestrated and executed plan, the youths were then given loans by the micro-finance and assisted to supply the required goods, most of which were substandard and broke down immediately after being delivered, leading to losses of hundreds of millions of tax payers money.
Hospitals were the most targeted by the crooked thugs who took advantage of efforts by County Governments to equip their health facilities and offer specialized health services to the public.
In one such deal in 2014, Nyeri county, where Rigathi’s brother was Governor, received medical equipment worth Ksh27.4 million shillings for supply of dialysis machines that never worked and a faulty water treatment plant.
The tender for supply of the equipment was awarded to 13 companies all allied to Rigathi. However, the payment was made in a single voucher through Rafiki Micro Finance, then transferred to Rigathi’s personal accounts.
This is despite the fact that one of the dialysis machines and the water treatment plant supplied were none functional mess, prompting the national government through Managed Equipment Scheme (MES) to come through by supplying eight dialysis machines and a water treatment plant that are currently in use at the hospital.
At the South Coast, a hospital received an incinerator worth Ksh12.7 million shillings supplied by one of Rigathi’s associates in 2014. The incinerator has never been put to use since it was a faulty junk, yet the county government had paid Ksh10 million for it.
During the same year, a county in Western Kenya also traded with the crooked Member of Parliament through proxies, for supply of medical equipment to a tune of Ksh123.1 million.
Shockingly, after the tenders were paid to the proxies’ accounts at Rafiki Micro Finance, Jahenda would immediately transfer the money to other accounts belonging to Rigathi, who would then deposit the monies in other different accounts to avoid detection by our hawk eyed sleuths. The fraudulent theft is what Rigathi sold to Ruto as bottom-up economic model.
In some cases, the poor youths would be compelled to sign blank cheques that would later be cashed and the money deposited to Rigathi’s personal accounts.
The seasoned sleuths also established that there were funds going into Rigathi’s accounts from loans and inter-company transfers, indicating that he was the ultimate beneficiary of the funds received from the counties.
The poor suppliers were then left paying for the loans that they acquired at the Micro finance and supplied junks to county hospitals.
Through painstaking investigations by sleuths from the Serious Crimes Unit, unmasked the high level fraud, leading to the freezing of Ksh201,911,371.28 belonging to the MP by the Assets Recovery Agency – forfeited to the government this week.
Additionally, the detectives who the MP recently alleged couldn’t do simple arithmetics, discovered that Jahenda who operated an MPesa shop in the city’s Eastlands suburbs prior to being recruited as Rigathi’s Personal Assistant and another female associate, had received over Ksh254 Million which they could not account for.
The Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti and the entire Directorate celebrates the detectives for a job well done, in a hostile environment. The Directorate encourages the sleuths to continue smoking out criminals out to milk the country dry and deny our future generations a country to inherit.