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Governor Kananu Names Kidero-Era Looter Mutungi Her Deputy

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Paul Mutunga Mutungi

Nairobi Governor Ann Kananu nominates County Chief of Staff Paul Mutunga Mutungi as Deputy Governor a day after she was sworn in.

Mutunga himself has a murky past that saw him put under investigations in the looting spree during the Kidero era that saw the county lose billions.

While picking Mutungi, Kananu has highlighted she considered leadership qualities and competence among other issues.

“In considering this nomination, I have taken into account his professional qualifications, leadership qualities, gender balance and competencies necessary for the Deputy Governor’s seat,” she noted in a letter seen by Kenya Insights.

Mutungi made a come back to city politics early this year after being appointed as Chief of Staff by Speaker Mutura when he was Acting Governor.

In 2017, he was an Embakasi South MP aspirant under the Jubilee Party but lost to ODM’s Julius Mawathe

Following the new development, it is likely Speaker Mutura will table the name in the assembly on Thursday and commit it to the appointment committee.

The 10-member Select committee on the Appointments team is led by the Speaker as its chairperson and Majority Leader as the vice-chair.

The Clerk of the County Assembly will then through a notice published in the local dailies will the communicate the vetting date and time of the Deputy Governor nominee.

After vetting, the appointment committee will then table a report in chambers for the house to either adopt or reject.

Murky Past

Mutungi is amongst many City Hall cartels from the Kidero reign who’ve been battling fraud charges in which he’s accused of having looted millions from the county.

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In the case, Mutungi was mentioned alongside others in the heist that Kidero and accomplices defrauded the county Sh68M.

At the center of the case was lawyer Stephen Kariuki Mburu whose firm Wachira Mburu Mwangi and Company Advocates was used to handle the money before it was wired to various people including Kidero.

Mburu died mysteriously in a guest house in Oloitokitok on July 27, 2018.

A post-mortem examination report on Mburu did not show any foul play. His family had raised concerns after the lawyer’s phone, which went missing, kept being switched on and off.

Chief Government pathologist Johansen Oduor declared that Mburu could have died of heart-related complication, with detailed histology and toxicological report awaited to ascertain if the lawyer was poisoned.

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.

According to paper trail, the late lawyer’s law firm- Wachira Mburu Mwangi and Company Advocates was used to handle the money before it was wired to various people including Kidero.

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.

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The dichotomy of the transactions shows Kidero as the highest beneficiary of the money 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 money trail.

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.

Obituary of lawyer Steven Kariuki.

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 (now Deputy Governor) 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.

One wonders if the Governor did her due diligence as Mutungi has a pending case raising questions on his integrity to hold public office. According to the president’s directive and morally, anyone facing a fraud charge in any law court shouldn’t be allowed to hold a public office. It will be interesting to see if the County Assembly will rise to the occasion and question the integrity matters or overlook and allow a tainted Mutungi to continue with his ways in City Hall by approving him as the Deputy Governor.

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Kenya West is a trained investigative independent journalist and a socio-political commentator on matters Kenya and Africa. Do you have a story, Scandal you want me to write on? Send me tips to [[email protected]]

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