Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has been haunting former Nairobi County Governor Dr Evans Kidero since his exit from the office. Kidero has been arrested several times by the Anti-graft agency detectives on graft related cases. But is he the sole conduit in all these graft cases he has been accused of?
Well, Nairobi lawyer Stephen Kariuki Mburu, who died mysteriously in a guest house in Oloitokitok on July 27, 2018, is at the centre of the Sh68 million graft case facing Kidero.
Detectives suspect the death was linked to the Sh68 million transactions.
According to a local Daily, Mburu played a key role in getting the cash from City Hall. The matter led to the arrest of Kidero and former Mayor John Ndirangu Kariuki.
Reports in the daily indicate that the late lawyer’s law firm- Wachira Mburu Mwangi and Company Advocates was the sole conduit for the loot before it was wired to various people including Kidero.
The scam was hatched before the advent of devolution but the final deal and payment were done by Nairobi County.
In 2011, the City Council paid Sh10 million to Mburu’s law firm which was shared in cash withdrawals to unknown persons.
With the onset of devolution, and Kidero as the first governor, another suspicious payment authorisation of Sh58 million by the county government was made and the money wired to the same lawyer on January 7, 2014.
The same money ended up in private bank accounts in a complex transaction that has taken EACC sleuths months to crack.
The dichotomy of the transactions shows Kidero as the highest beneficiary of the loot which has also implicated former Nairobi City Council acting director of legal affairs Aduma Owuor. Aduma is the sitting Nyakach MP.
After receiving the Sh58 million, Mburu wired Sh15 million to Cups Limited- a company co-owned by Kidero’s former Chief of Staff George Wainana and his Son John Ngari Wainana.
The flow of the transactions reveals that Wainana and his son only retained Sh1 million with the rest (Sh14 million) landing in Kidero’s pocket.
In a cartel-like network involving officers both from the county and the defunct City Council, Mburu paid Ndirangu (former mayor) Sh7 million.
Mburu also wired Sh10 million to Runa Insurance Agency, which later also received Sh7 million from Ndirangu.
The insurance agency is owned by Ndirangu. It later purchased a Sh17 million property (LR. No 10874/1160) from Francis Ng’ang’a Kiarie, Stephen Kiarie, Moses and Eliud Ng’ang’a Moses.
Former Nairobi councillor Paul Mutunga Mutungi was paid Sh6.4 million and a further Sh2 million through Mwamuye, Kimathi, Kimani and Company Advocates. The law firm used the money to offset a Sh2 million debt incurred by Mutunga for a property (block 72/989) in Nairobi.
Mburu did not walk out of this deal empty-handed as documents show he wired Sh5.5 million to his wife Hannah Muthoni.
The Nyakach MP, who is at large, said the case is a witch-hunt and denied any involvement in the transaction. But investigations show it’s him who instructed Mburu to act on behalf of the City Council.
Aduma told a funeral in his constituency on Friday that he is not worried and exuded confidence that he will soon be vindicated.
The MP and others have been directed to appear in person at EACC headquarters in Nairobi.
Kidero, Wainana, and Mutunga spent their weekend at Kilimani police station after they were arrested on Friday morning. They spent the day at EACC police station before they were transferred to Kilimani.
The EACC detectives at the weekend arrested Alice Njeri Mundia, Elizabeth Wanjiru Nderitu and James Mimi Mbugua. The three are accountants at Nairobi City County.
This morning the six in police custody including Ndirangu, who is admitted to a city hospital, are expected in court. Ndirangu, according to investigators, will be wheeled to the courtroom in a stretcher.
The Director of Public Prosecutions has approved five charges among them money laundering, abuse of office and unlawful acquisition of public property against the 16.
According to EACC investigations, Mburu acted in HCC No 875 case of 2010 Kyavee Holdings Limited versus City Council of Nairobi.