DCI cops arrest Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua

Rigathi Gachagua

Mathira Member of Parliament Rigathi Gachagua. 

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Detectives from the Serious Crimes Investigations Unit at DCI headquarters on Monday arrested Mathira Member of Parliament Rigathi Gachagua over alleged embezzlement of public funds.

His arrest comes after detectives completed a probe into how he used proxies to fraudulently secure tenders using 22 companies with him as the sole beneficiary.

Mr Gachagua was taken to DCI Headquarters along Kiambu road in Nairobi over the alleged embezzlement of billions of shillings of public funds.

The lawmaker is also under investigation by the Asset Recovery Agency (ARA) which wants to know the source of Sh12.5 billion that passed through his accounts.

Hairdressers, M-Pesa agent benefitted

Preliminary investigations show that two hairdressers and a former M-Pesa attendant-turned personal assistant were awarded multimillion-shilling tenders for the national government and Mathira Constituency Development Fund (CDF).

During investigations, detectives visited five counties, government parastatals and the Mathira Constituency Development Fund.

The DCI is focusing on medical supplies to hospitals in the five counties and transactions with government firms, including parastatals.

Youth who won tenders for their companies are also being probed as police want to find out if they have any connection with Mr Gachagua. 

The MP allegedly withdrew Sh7.3 billion, disbursed it to various companies and invested a portion in some assets. As a result, the agency could only locate Sh5.2 billion.

The three accounts are being held at Rafiki Microfinance Bank. The ARA has written to the lender seeking clarification on the money trail.

In one of the accounts, the MP allegedly received Sh5.83 billion and withdrew Sh5.831 billion, leaving a balance of Sh773,000.

In the second, a fixed deposit account, he allegedly received a total of Sh827 million and Sh792.9 million left the account, leaving a balance of Sh35 million. It is this money trail that is exciting ARA investigators.

In the third, also a fixed deposit account, the MP is alleged to have received Sh5.87 billion. It had a balance of Sh165 million when the account was frozen in May.

Court documents showed that Mr Gachagua received a total of Sh347 million from several companies, including Sh112 million from Encarta Diagnostics, Sh7.5 million from Wamunyoro Investments, Sh58 million from Rapid Medical Supplies and Sh103 million from Specific Supplies.

DCI and ARA have preserved Sh202 million which was in the MP’s account. They have also recorded statements from 102 people, including Meru Senator Mithika Linturi, former Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri and Laikipia Senator John Kinyua are among high profile figures who are among those who reportedly did business with the MP in the past six months.

DCI boss George Kinoti says the agency investigated a total of 33 accounts associated with the MP and his companies, including Wamunyoro Investments Ltd, Crystal Kenya Ltd, Machine Centre, Technical Supplies and Services Ltd, Skytop Agencies and Specific Supplies Ltd.

After the grilling, the file will be forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions for clearance to prosecute. 

Should the DPP approve the prosecution, Mr Gachagua will be charged with abuse of office, conflict of interest, conspiracy to commit crime and money laundering.

Additional reporting by Steven Otieno