What you need to know:
- He was once a high-flying legislator whose future appeared so bright that he earned the moniker ‘crocodile eater’.
- His ortunes took a nosedive from April 9, 2009, the day he quit as Medical Services assistant minister in solidarity with Martha Karua.
- His Tuesday night’s arrest was the second in two years and for allegations bordering on fraud.
In case former Garsen MP Danson Mungatana is presented in court on Tuesday to answer to charges of making a false document and obtaining money by pretence, he will be walking into what is now becoming a familiar territory.
Once a high-flying legislator whose future appeared so bright that he earned the moniker ‘crocodile eater’ due to his Pokomo background and his astute debating skills in Parliament, Mr Mungatana’s fortunes seem to be sinking lower by the day.
A founding member of the Narc coalition that swept the independence party Kanu out of power, Mr Mungatana’s fortunes took a nosedive from April 9, 2009, the day he quit as Medical Services assistant minister in solidarity with Martha Karua, who had formed Narc Kenya. Ever since, life has never been the same.
A lawyer by profession, Mr Mungatana has served as assistant minister in six ministries, MP for two terms, vied for governorship and has a Master’s degree in International trade and investment law.
Senior military officer
However, he is now known for his court battles; cases of issuing bouncing cheques and his brushes with the law.
His Tuesday night’s arrest was the second in two years and for allegations bordering on fraud.
Police say a businesswoman by the name Everlyne Njoki had been approached by a Mr Collins Paul Waweru, who claimed he could help her secure a Sh70 million tender from the military.
To help the deal go through, Mr Waweru introduced Ms Njoki to Mr Mungatana who, according to police, presented himself as a senior official at the Department of Defence (DOD), who knew which buttons to press.
During the meeting, which took place sometime last month, a down payment of Sh1 million was asked for. The money was paid on July 14.
On receipt, Mr Waweru allegedly issued Ms Njoki with what she believed was a contract from DOD and a local purchase order (LPO) for the supply of cereals worth Sh70 million.
Met at Sagret Hotel
With a contract and tender in hand, Ms Njoki visited the DOD headquarters last week seeking to know where and when she would start delivering the cereals. To her shock, all the documents turned out to be fake.
The case was referred to the Military Police Unit at DOD. Since the victim and fraudsters were civilians, the Military Police Unit forwarded the case to the Nairobi Area Police Headquarters.
A plan was then hatched on how to arrest the former MP and his accomplices. Ms Njoki called Mr Waweru and asked him why there was a delay in determining when she could start supplying her cereals.
Without knowing that he was being trapped, Mr Waweru told Ms Njoki to meet him and Mr Mungatana at the Sagret Hotel.
“They asked the complainant to come with another Sh1 million which would be forwarded to bosses in the military in order to make things move faster,” a detective in the investigations told the Nation.
All this while, detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), who had tracked Mr Mungatana and his co-suspect using their mobile phones, were trailing them. The suspects arrived first at the hotel and after about half-an-hour, Ms Njoki arrived with two other women.
Detectives who were waiting at the parking lot and monitoring whatever was happening at the hotel pounced on Mr Mungatana and Mr Waweru shortly after 7pm as their meeting with the complainant was ongoing.
“DCI Detectives based at Kilimani have today arrested Hon Danson Mungatana and Mr Collins Paul Waweru for the offence of obtaining money by false pretenses, forgery and making of a false document,” said the DCI in a series of tweets after the arrest.
“The two with others who are still at large were arrested after their victim presented to a security agency tender documents purported to have originated from them but were found to be fake after scrutiny. Further Investigations are on course as search for the others continue,” said the DCI.
On being arrested, the suspects were first taken to Nairobi Area Police Headquarters before being transferred to the Kilimani Police Station where they were questioned for hours.
Fake notes scandal
They were released on a police bond as investigations continue but sources say they will be presented in court today. This is as the hunt for more suspects continues. It is not the first time that Mr Mungatana is finding himself in trouble over shady deals.
Last year, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) arrested and arraigned him over the alleged theft of Sh51.5 million from Kilifi County coffers.
At the time, the former MP, with six others, were accused of using a company belonging to another businesswoman as a conduit to illegally receive Sh9.1 million from the devolved unit.
According to EACC, Mungatana and his co-accused forged Local Purchase Orders (LPO's) belonging to the Kilifi County government to ask for payments.
Investigations revealed that none of the goods that were paid for were ever delivered.
In 2018, Mr Mungatana was linked to a fake notes scandal after detectives raided an apartment in Westlands and arrested three people, including two foreigners. Mr Mungatana, whose name featured prominently in the scam, was never charged.