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Rigathi Launders Money from the Government of Thieves, by Thieves for Thieves

14 mins read
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If you thought money laundering after you steal the money from the Kenyan government was a serious crime, imagine you have a new boss running the Kenya government who orders the Asset Recovery Authority (ARA), working with the Court of Appeal, telling you we are giving you back the money you were caught with after your theft and you can launder it all over again.

That is heaven for any thief and now we can understand why these people pray so hard every day and drown in their tears of glory. Your God is in State House now fellas and it s a good thing. I am talking about the God of Kenyan big thieves who rob public money every day. Your heaven has come down to Jamhuri. Enjoy it when you can.

You rob the money from the Kenyan public which is a favour to them because they have no clue what to do with the money and some cops come and arrest you for that? How dare they? That is state capture and now you have to capture the state all over and put all that money back in the hands of the thieves who now run the government of Kenya. Hallelujah.

According to news reports, here is what led to ARA freezing Shs. 202 million from the alleged thief and money launderer.

It was on July 26, 2021 when then Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua was charged with acquiring more than Sh7.3 billion suspected to be proceeds of crime.

Chief magistrate Lawrence Mugambi heard that Mr. Gachagua received Sh7.3 billion in his three bank accounts at Rafiki Micro-Finance Bank. The funds were allegedly deposited between 2013 and 2020.

Mr. Gachagua was charged with nine other people and companies, but who were not in court. He was ordered to deposit cash bail of Sh12 million or a bond of Sh25 million to secure his release.

Among the charges is that he and Rapid Medical Suppliers Ltd acquired Sh6 million from the Nyeri county government on December 29, 2014 for the supply of Dialysis machines to Nyeri Provincial General Hospital.

He is also alleged to have received Sh104 million from the Bungoma county government suspected to be proceeds of crime between January 2015 and June 2019.

On conflict of interest, the MP allegedly acquired an indirect interest in a contract for the construction of Njathaini primary school, which was funded by Mathira CDF. The contract, according to the prosecution, was awarded to Skytop Agencies owned by Julianne Jahenda Makaa, a close associate.

The prosecution alleged that the transactions were meant to conceal the movements of the money because it is believed to be proceeds of crime.

Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) obtained orders freezing the three accounts, which held Shs. 201 million in June last year over claims that they are proceeds of crime.

The first-term MP allegedly received more than Sh12.5 billion through three accounts in Rafiki Micro Finance Bank but ARA says it could not trace more than Sh5 billion that had been deposited in the MP’s bank accounts.

The agency says there is no evidence of any work he did or performed on behalf the government, counties and State corporations, such as certificates of work completion hence the funds are proceeds of crime.

Mr. Gachugua has defended himself saying he is an astute businessman, with several companies which won several tenders with the government, ministries, and state departments, over the years.

According to ARA, Mr. Gachagua and his companies benefited from illegitimately sourced funds directly by depositing and keeping them in their bank accounts and in the accounts of entities he fully controlled.

ARA says failing to forfeit the funds to the government will amount to granting permission to a party to benefit from the proceeds of crime

Today the same Asset Recovery Authority under instructions has changed its mind about the theft and laundering of money by now DP Gachagua. I am surprised the ARA did not sue the government for grabbing Gachagua’s money so that he can be given his stolen money plus compensation for the government detaining the money.

“The Asset Recovery Agency has asked the Court of Appeal to vacate a High Court decision which seized Sh200 million from Rigathi as proceeds of crime.”

Justice Esther Maina had on July 28, 2022, ruled that the money was proceeds of crime.

The Agency has now taken an about-turn and asked the Court of Appeal to allow an application by the DP that seeks to reverse Justice Maina’s decision.

The Agency claims the evidence they currently have ‘satisfactorily explains the source and legitimacy of the funds in issue and it is satisfied that the same is not proceeds of crime as was initially perceived.’

It is quite telling that the ARA told the Court of Appeal that they now have evidence to prove that the money actually belonged to Gachagua. Did the ARA provide that evidence to the Court of Appeal and to the Kenyan public? No. Why?

Because the only evidence ARA has to give Gachagua back the money he stole from Kenyans is that he is now the Deputy President in a government that loves big thieves and that is why he is the DP. You can’t beat that. Can you? Well, you have five years to go with this wezi in charge of politics and you better be ready because a lot more is coming.

When Gachagua was found guilty all the evidence against him was clearly provided and they are endless. So Kenyans know the truth.

DP Gachagua of course is a man on a mission to be the Kikuyu kingpin today, never mind that he was involved in the mass killing of the same Kikuyus in Molo in 1992 when his then boss, President Moi, was walking a tightrope in the first multi-party election in Kenya. Gachagua did such a good job he was awarded a promotion by none other than President Moi himself.

The next case in the Court of Appeal which will be dropped even before the hearing is the one where the big boy himself, President Ruto is accused of stealing land worth billions from the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) and building his grand Weston Hotel on that stolen land.

In fact Deputy President, William Ruto’s admitted publicly that Weston, sits on land that was acquired illegally by the person who sold it to him. That admission was greeted with an uproar from Kenyans who demanded that must surrender the property to the State.

By any law, in any country when you are found in possession of stolen property, it is taken from you and any problems you have about that is between you and whoever gave you the stolen property. That is natural justice but not in Kenya if you are a big politician.

At that time, the then minority Leader in the National Assembly John Mbadi said the DP should surrender the property since he had admitted that it was illegally acquired. Mr. Mbadi said it was an offense to handle stolen property, thus Dr. Ruto should be held accountable. 

“Ruto should stop feigning ignorance about the matter. Anybody acquiring a property are required to carry out due diligence. His admission confirms the kind of person he is. He should surrender the property as a matter of principle.”

Nominated MP Godfrey Osotsi said while the admission was welcome, the DP should go further and surrender the property to the Government.

“The confession by the DP is a positive step, but he should now hand it over to the Government to demonstrate good faith and integrity. But again, why did he have to take this long to make the confession? How many other properties in his possession were acquired in a similar manner? How many other leaders are enjoying illicit properties which they haven’t declared? In other jurisdictions, Chapter 6 (on leadership and integrity) would have been invoked.”

Speaking during BBC’s HARDtalk show with Stephen Sackur, Ruto for the first time admitted that the multi-million-shilling hotel was on land that belonged to the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA)

But Ruto defended Weston as an innocent buyer, arguing that it was the seller who had initially got the land illegally.

“Weston Hotel is a big story,” he said when asked about it by Mr. Sackur.

That was then and now the matter is before the Court of Appeal because Ruto asked that he be allowed to make some token payment for the stolen land.

KCAA refused to accept that and the matter is now awaiting a ruling. Before the matter went to the Court of Appeal, Ruto tried his usual tricks when he got the National Land Commission (NLC) to give him land after he stole it and the NLC, as corrupt as they are, was ready to help the land thief but the courts ruled that NLC has no jurisdiction over the matter and the NLC actually conceded they have no authority to handle the matter.

Now the big thief is facing a Court of Appeal hearing which could kick him out of the hotel altogether if they follow the law. There is no way on earth that is going to happen and quite frankly that was one of the biggest reasons William Ruto was so desperate to be Kenya’s president. Now that is going to get cleaned up and the matter thrown out of court altogether.

Having supreme thieves running your country has some very serious consequences. That is next. Ruto is probably going to try to get this matter settled in his favour quietly behind the scenes if Chief Justice Martha Koome can cooperate. We will see. In fact, the first step Ruto is going to take is to go to the KCAA which is now under his control, and order them to withdraw from the case and the directors of KCAA can pick up a few billion from him for personal use. Watch this space.

Adongo Ogony is a Kenyan Human Rights Activist and a Writer who lives in Toronto, Canada

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