The waters are getting murkier for the ‘man of God’ cum business man Bishop David Kariuki Ngare alias Gakuyo of Ekeza Sacco over Ksh2.5 billion owed to investors.
The authorities have ordered for the seizure of his assets in a bid to recover Ksh1.5 billion he withdrew from the Sacco’s account to his personal account.
This follows an investigation by the Co-operatives ministry which discovered that the Thika-based Calvary Chosen Centre bishop and his wife withdrew Ksh1.5 billion to their personal account. Part of this money was loaned to some members, who are yet to repay.
According to government auditors, Mr Kariuki started out with the aim of enriching himself and had no intention of helping members to buy land via his firm, Gakuyo Real Estate.
“All staff who irregularly loaned themselves monies from Ekeza must make arrangements to repay the monies or will have their properties seized to recover the same,” read the audit report.
In a bid to cover up his dirty deals, the man of cloth is said to have frustrated Ekeza’s internal audit teams from carrying out their work.
It is also reported that Gakuyo and his personal assistant Gladys Muriithi declined to furnish the liquidator-receiver managers with their bank statements.
According to a report by a team appointed by Commissioner for Cooperatives Mary Mungai last December to audit the sacco, the transactions happened between 2015 and 2017.
Gakuyo and his wife withdrew Ksh88 million in 2015, Ksh850 million in 2016 and Ksh625 million in 2017 according to the report which was presented to members yesterday.
“So we can say the money Gakuyo owes members is about Sh1 billion. This is the money he took illegally and without any approval of the members, and it is the money we want him to pay,” said Mr Stephen Njoroge, who prepared the report alongside Philip Ulluma.
The company, which Gakuyo used to fleece members, Gakuyo Real Estate, last month advertised properties it intended to dispose including a residential house in Nyari, Nairobi, a hotel in Juja Town and a house on half-an-acre along the Thika-Garissa road, near Makongeni Estate.
Gakuyo was one of the major players in Kiambu politics in the 2017 election campaigns and was said to be amongst the biggest financiers of Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu.
Ekeza’s downfall came in 2017 when members complained of failure to facilitate allocation and construction of low-cost houses for them.
The society had 85,000 clients who paid a membership and registration fee of Ksh2,000 before they could begin saving for a house.
Ekeza had offices in Nairobi, Kiambu, Murang’a, Embu, Nakuru and other towns. It had 26 branches and its deposits totaling Ksh3 billion.