Court Freezes Accounts of Ruto-allied Mathira MP Over “Complex Scheme of Money Laundering”

June 29, 2020

The High Court has frozen four bank accounts holding more than Ksh200 million belonging to Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua.

Mr Gachagua, a staunch supporter of DP Ruto, is said to be involved in a suspected complex scheme of money laundering in which he allegedly minted Ksh5.8 billion from various ministries and state agencies.

According to the Assets Recovery Agency (ARA), preliminary investigations established that Mr Gachagua, through a company identified as Jenne Enterprises Limited, received Ksh5.8 billion within 7 years.

“That within the said period, there were massive suspicious cash withdrawals, transfers, inter and intra-bank transfers from other accounts to the accounts under investigations and other bank accounts owned by Mr Gachagua in suspicious complex money-laundering schemes,” the agency said.

In documents filed in court, ARA added: “There are reasonable grounds to believe that the suspect’s bank accounts were used as a conduit for money laundering in efforts to conceal, disguise the nature, source, disposition and movement of illicit funds and should be preserved”.

Of the four frozen accounts, three are registered in the MP’s name whereas a fourth account, holding Ksh1,138,142, is registered in the name of Jenne Enterprises.

The other three accounts at Rafiki Micro Finance Bank hold Ksh165 million, Ksh 35 million, and Ksh773,228.

MP Gachagua is said to have received the funds from the Ministry of Lands (Kenya Informal Settlements Programme), State Department for Special Planning, Ministry of Health, Bungoma County government, Mathira Constituency Development Fund, Nyeri County government and the National Irrigation Board.

ARA argued that it was apprehensive that unless the court intervenes, the MP was likely to withdraw the funds and defeat the cause of justice.

Justice John Onyiego of the Anti-Corruption Division of the High Court barred the MP and Jenne Enterprises from dealing with or transferring the funds pending a petition for the money to be forfeited to the government.

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