Junior accountant with Sh21m dowry account wants court to unfreeze funds

Junior accountant says his dowry ceremony was put on hold after his dowry account was frozen by EACC.

Photo credit: Pool

A junior accountant with Kenya Rural Roads Authority (KeRRA), whose Sh21 million dowry account was frozen, has been suspended, a judge has been told.

The account was frozen by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) as investigations were carried out.

Justice Esther Maina of the High Court’s Anti-Corruption Division was informed by lawyer Danstan Omari, that Daniel Munywoki Wambua was suspended in August 2023 immediately after the freezing of his bank accounts.

Omari further informed the judge that Wambua is undergoing immense psychological torture, trauma and stress following the frustration of his dowry payment event that was slotted for August 7 and 8, 2023.

Urging Justice Maina to set aside the orders freezing the accounts, Mr Omari told the judge there was non-disclosure of evidence by EACC officers who obtained the freeze orders.

Justice Maina heard the freeze orders were motivated by malice, which was entrenched further “through the suspension.”

Omari told the judge that Wambua is an employee with KeRRA as well as an established businessman operating agri-business within Ngengi Village in Yatta, Machakos County.

The judge heard that the money held at Equity Bank is “not proceeds of crime but genuinely earned money from business transactions, salaries earned and monies raised by friends who convened to assist him pay for the dowry.”

The judge heard that since the seizure of the accounts, the defendant has been suffering.

“I am experiencing undue hardships and suffering as service providers for the event ought to have been paid,” Wambua states in an affidavit.

He has furnished the judge with the budget for the dowry event – the Ntheo and Ngasya – which stands at Sh20,290,750.

The defendant is urging the judge to vacate the freeze orders, saying “the freezing of the accounts is vexatious, malicious, ill informed, ill willed and unfounded.”

Justice Maina did not vacate the orders granted to EACC but ordered it the commission to respond to the issues raised by Wambua within seven days.

She directed the case to be heard on October 12, 2023.

In the mean-time the freeze orders subsists.

Wambua has listed several friends who comprised the committee which raised a colossal sum of money that was deposited in the dowry account.

He has moved to court asking for the funds to be unfrozen so that he can proceed to pay dowry for his wife-to-be.

According to court papers, the account in question was not a personal one but was registered as Daniel Wambua Dowry Payment and it was to run for a period of four months awaiting the couple’s big day.

The defendant has attached the bank opening form and also the WhatsApp group that was used to collect the funds for the dowry.

At least 800 people have contributed towards the dowry, which now lies in limbo due to the freezing of the account. He said people are still send money running over Sh1.7million towards his dowry payment.

“The amount in the DANIEL WAMBUA DOWRY PAYMENT Account number 0840184059257 was specifically for the purpose of collecting funds from friends and well-wishers for the purposes of dowry payment for my intended marriage to my wife of choice,” Wambua says in his evidence to the court.

“There was an online platform group created by those who wished to contribute and pledge to my cause whereas a WhatsApp group was duly formed and contributions began to be channelled virtually via M-Pesa pay bill number 247247.”

Wambua further says he is well known in his community and that’s why he got that much money as a contribution towards his dowry payment.

He has attached the WhatsApp group with the contribution lists stating what each person contributed towards the wedding.

He says EACC should tell the court the interest it has in his marriage, which led them to halt his ceremony without any justifiable reasons thereby causing him embarrassment.