The High Court of Kenya has ordered Kenya Kwanza Deputy Presidential aspirant Rigathi Gachagua to surrender Ksh 202 million to the state, saying the finances are proceeds of corruption.
Justice Esther Maina says while the aspirant and Mathira MP received the finances from government agencies for the provision of services, there is no proof that Gachagua supplied any goods to the state.
“I have carefully considered the evidence on record including affidavits, annexures and submissions by all parties and I am satisfied that the funds are liable for forfeiture to the government,” ruled the judge.
The Ksh 202 million is distributed across his three accounts at Rafiki Microfinance Bank holding Ksh 165 million, 35 million and another holding Ksh 700,000 respectively, all under his name. A separate account holds Ksh 1.1 under the name Jenne Enterprises.
The funds originate from the Ministry of Lands, State department for Special Planning, Ministry of Health, Mathira CDF, Nyeri County, Bungoma county and the national irrigation board.
The Asset Recovery Agency (ARA) says Gachagua received over Ksh 12.5 billion through his three accounts in Rafiki Microfinance Bank, frozen in 2020. However, the agency cannot trace Ksh 5 billion from the total.
On his part, Gachagua claims the funds were part of his fixed deposit accounts and loans to his companies which generated interest. Further, his lawyer argued that the ARA’s allegations were damning, calling upon the court to cross-examine ARA investigator Fredrick Musyoki.
However, the ARA lawyers say that the summoning is a plot to delay the hearing and determination of the case.
“There is no need to call a witness for cross-examination when parties have filed detailed affidavits and evidence to support their case. It is a tactic they are trying to employ to delay the case and should not be entertained by the court,” said Lawyer Mohamed Adow.
The court directed Gachagua to file any submission in response to the suit within three weeks.