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Unmasking the 40 companies used by Rigathi to win lucrative tenders



Embattled Mathira Mp Hon. Rigathi Gachagua [p/courtesy]

Detectives from the Serious Fraud Unit of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) have unearthed how Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua used at least  40 companies to win lucrative tenders from the central government and county governments worth over Sh12 billion.

Rigathi won most of the tenders from the county government of Nyeri  when his late brother Nderitu Gachagua when was the governor, putting him under the DCI radar after it was found that his bank accounts handled more than Sh12 billion in seven years.

All the suspect companies were operated as proxies but had a common convergence point, Wamunyoro Investments Limited, where Rigathi Gachagua and his wife, preacher Dorcas Wanjiku are listed as the major shareholders.

Rigathi used Upperdeck Agencies which is registered under Gerald Waema Mbatha and Moses Otieno to win a Ksh9.4 million tender to supply linen to Nyeri County hospitals but when the payment was made on February 18, 2015, the whole amount was wired to Wamunyoro Investments Limited.  The company has one Sammy Cheborgey, an employee of Mathira CDF committee listed as a signatory.

The embattled lawmaker also used another company identified as Rapid Medical Supplies, which was awarded a Ksh47 million tender to supply medical supplies to Nyeri County. But the detectives are still struggling to find out if the supplies were made or not.

“Accounts held at Rafiki Deposit-taking Microfinance have been used to source for loans (and) these loans have been used to cover up for funds received from government departments or inter-company transfers in a bid to conceal the ultimate beneficiary or beneficiaries of the funds,” DCI report read in part.

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Detectives also found that some of the companies used by Hon. Rigathi had no physical offices and were registered under proprietors who had no knowledge of how the contracts were done.

“They appeared clueless, naïve, unprofessional and (as) persons who had no idea what their companies had done. The tenders won involved construction of roads, water pans and others but they did not have any idea how it is done. They had no known office space, staff and both were operating from Gachagua’s office,” detectives noted.

Meru Senator Mithika Linturi, he received part of Rigathi’s loot [p/courtesy]

Rigathi would later distribute his loot to Meru Senator Mithika Linturi, former Agriculture CS Mwangi Kiunjuri and Laikipia Senator John Kinyua who are among the 102 suspects who have recorded statements with the DCI.

His personal secretary Julienda Jahenda Makaa was also in his ring of cartel as she received millions from the accounts despite being a mere M-Pesa attendant at Buruburu area of Nairobi. Skytop Agencies, which received multi-million tenders from Rigathi’s Mathira Constituency was also registered under Ms Makaa’s name.

She was paid Sh15 million by Stecol Corporation which won tenders in Nyeri County while Endrem Agencies paid Ksh34 million to Machine Centre Limited. All the two companies are linked to Hon. Rigathi Gachagua.

Machine Centre Limited was paid Sh314 million by the Ministry of Water and Sanitation for Sagana River Restoration Project, which was being undertaken by an Israeli company, Baran International. Detectives also found that Machine Centre Limited is owned by Mathira CDF chairman William Wahome and Elizabeth Wachera but has a joint account with Rigathi’s Wamunyoro Investments Limited.

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Investigations had earlier showed that  Rigathi was paid Sh12.5 billion through three accounts in Rafiki Micro Finance Bank, in seven years, and the Asset Recovery Agency (ARA) managed to trace withdrawals worth Sh7.3 billion but could not explain the disappearance of over Sh5 billion from Rigathi’s accounts.

The first-term MP allied to the Deputy President Dr. William Ruto has been at the centre of controversies following the suspicious payments made to his accounts at the Rafiki Micro Finance Bank and abuse of power to acquire property.

In February 2021, a retired civil servant also went to court seeking the revocation of a deed to a parcel of land in Nairobi worth Sh1.5 billion owned by Rigathi Gachagua.

The former director of physical planning at the Lands ministry claimed that the title was fraudulently registered in the name of Rigathi’s Wamunyoro Investment Ltd.



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