Mathira MP who is also William Ruto’s running mate in the coming general elections Rigathi Gachagua was on Thursday ordered to forfeit Kshs200 million to the state in a ruling by High Court Judge Esther Maina after he failed to explain how he acquired the mentioned amount of money from county governments and state agencies.
DCI has however provided in-depth details of how Rigathi filled his pockets through corrupt deals with the money being channeled to Rafiki Micro Finance Sacco, in which he is the owner.
According to the directorate, Rigathi used different companies to fraudulently secure government tenders
“Using proxies who had registered over 20 companies, Rigathi obtained over Sh 1.7 Billion from close to 10 government ministries, state departments, parastatals and county governments paid through Rafiki microfinance,” part of the DCI report read.
“The MP and two of his trusted female associates approached youths and women to register companies and open accounts at Rafiki micro-finance, then used his influence and blackmail to secure tenders for the companies,” DCI added.
One of the lawmaker’s confidants and Personal assistant identified as Julianne Jahenda, was then made a signatory in all the accounts opened by the suppliers at the micro-finance.
The well calculated move saw the youths get loans from the microfinance and were helped to supply goods, most of which were of poor quality and did not last long after delivery leading to losses of hundreds of millions of taxpayers money.
“Hospitals were the most targeted by the crooked thugs who took advantage of efforts by County Governments to equip their health facilities and offer specialized health services to the public,” DCI revealed.
The Directorate cited an incident in 2014 that involved a county based in central Kenya. DCI said that the county in question received medical equipment worth Sh27.4 million shillings for supply of dialysis machines and a water treatment plant.
The tender for supply of the equipment was awarded to 13 companies all allied to Rigathi. However, the payment was made in a single voucher through Rafiki Microfinance, then transferred to Rigathi’s personal accounts.
“This is despite the fact that one of the dialysis machines and the water treatment plant supplied were not functional, prompting the national government through Managed Equipment Scheme (MES) to come through by supplying eight dialysis machines and a water treatment plant that are currently in use at the hospital,” DCI said.
The same year, one of Rigathi’s associates supplied a hospital at the South Coast with a faulty incinerator worth Kshs12.7 million. The incinerator has never been used since.
Still in 2014, Rigathi, through proxies entered into a Kshs123.1 million deal to supply medical equipment in Western Kenya.
“Shockingly, after the tenders were paid to the proxies’ accounts at Rafiki Microfinance, Jahenda would immediately transfer the money to other accounts belonging to Rigathi, who would then deposit the monies in other different accounts to avoid detection by our hawk eyed sleuths,” DCI further revealed.
In some cases, the poor youths would be compelled to sign blank cheques that would later be cashed and the money deposited to Rigathi’s personal accounts.
“The seasoned sleuths also established that there were funds going into Rigathi’s accounts from loans and inter-company transfers, indicating that he was the ultimate beneficiary of the funds received from the counties,”
“The poor suppliers were then left paying for the loans that they acquired at the micro finance and supplied junks to county hospitals.
It is through the painstaking investigations by sleuths from the Serious Crimes unit, that this high level fraud was detected, leading to the freezing of Sh201,911,371.28 belonging to the MP by the Assets Recovery Agency,” the report stated.
DCI also established that Jahenda used to operate an Mpesa shop in the city’s Eastlands suburbs before she was recruited as Rigathi’s Personal Assistant and another female associate, had received over Sh254 Million which they could not account for.