Detectives to prefer criminal charges against Rigathi Gachagua

Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua (left) at a past function. Firms linked to him and his personal assistant are being investigated for corruption. 

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • The lawmaker who is also under investigations by Asset Recovery Agency, which wants to know the source of the Sh12.5 billion that passed through his accounts.
  • 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. 

Police are investigating 22 firms linked to Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua, and which were used to transact multibillion-shilling tenders in various counties. 

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

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).

Detectives want to know why their companies, Asoma Enterprises and Jenne Enterprises later transferred some of the money to entities owned by the MP. For the two companies, police have narrowed investigations on tenders valued at Sh150 million.

While ARA has filed a suit against the MP, detectives are focusing on medical supplies to hospitals in five counties and transactions with government firms, including parastatals.

Voters being incited

Mr Gachagua attributes his woes to his association with Deputy President William Ruto.

“If supporting the Deputy President will result in more cases, I am ready because I know I am clean. Voters being incited against us are not fools,” he told the Nation yesterday.

Directorate of Criminal Investigations and ARA have preserved Sh202 million which was in the MP’s account. They have also recorded statements from 102 people, include Meru Senator Mithika Linturi, former Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri and Laikipia Senator John Kinyua.

Police also want to establish if some of the companies owned by young people and which won tenders reserved for the youth were associated with the MP.

“During the recording of the statements, they appeared clueless, naïve, unprofessional and (as) persons who had no idea what their companies had done,” says a preliminary inquiry report.

“The tenders won involved construction of roads, water pans and others and they did not have any idea as to how it is done. They had no known office space, staff and both were operating from the office of Gachagua.”

In his signed statement, Mr Kinyua admitted to have helped one of the firms and received Sh1.93 million as “interest.”

In these companies owned by hairdressers, Mr Gachagua’s PA Jahenda Makaa was a common signatory. Ms Makaa told police before she became a tenderpreneur, she was an M-Pesa attendant in Buruburu, Nairobi. She is the proprietor of Skytop Agencies, which received tenders valued at millions of shillings from Mathira CDF.

An integrated financial management information system (Ifmis) analysis on the firm shows that it was awarded tenders valued at more than Sh151 million by Nyeri and Vihiga devolved units, the Lands Ministry and other entities.

Police have questioned Kwale health officials about an incinerator that was supplied by Encartar Diagnostic and which broke down after installation. They say the incinerator, installed six years ago, is not in use.

Sh123 million tender

The company was also awarded a Sh123 million tender in Bungoma for the supply of medical equipment.

While the MP does not own the firm, it transferred the bulk of the money, first paid to Rafiki Micro Finance Account, to Mr Gachagua’s personal account.

It has also emerged that when Mr Gachagua’s brother, Nderitu Gachagua, was the Nyeri governor, a company in which the MPs PA was a bank signatory – though not a shareholder – was awarded tenders by the county government to establish the renal unit.

However, one of the dialysis machine was not functional. It was replaced with another model but did not also work. Payment had already been made.

While a water treatment plant to supply 20 hemodialysis machines was part of that tender, it is no longer is use. The county relies on a plant supplied through the Managed Equipment Service.

Detectives also want to know why the MP was disbursing millions of shillings as “loans” to Encarter Diagnostics Ltd.

Sh72 million

In a summary report, detectives say the “total transfers to the MP indicate that he was the ultimate beneficiary of the funds. They are focusing on Sh72 million received from Tharaka Nithi, Kisii, Nyeri, Nairobi and Bungoma counties.

In total, police are looking at 66 bank accounts, include 10 belonging to the MP.

Mr Gachagua says the cases “will be determined on merit, not by directives of some dynastic sympathisers who are hellbent to curtail our democratic choices and attached liberties to speech and association”.

Mr Linturi says he received Sh1.34 million from Encarter Diagnostics and that it was a loan the company director was given by the senator.

“I do remember I got two postdated cheques from him as a guarantee for payment,” he said.

Mr Kiunjuri said he got Sh5.8 million from a company associated with Mathira CDF chairman William Wahome, who is said to have imported several Track Shovels which Mr Kiunjuri wanted to buy.

jkamau@ke.nationmedia.com

Welcome!

You're all set to enjoy unlimited Prime content.