Property belonging to Bishop David Kariuki Ngare alias Gakuyo will not be sold to recover lost money, for now.
This is after the High Court stopped the sale of the property, to allow the government to finish investigation into issues leading to the collapse of Ekeza Sacco, which belongs to the preacher.
The Commissioner of Cooperatives had made the application to block the sale of the property, which would “jeopardise an ongoing inquiry into the sacco” which had deposits to the excess of Ksh2.5 billion.
Among the properties which were targeted in the auction included the Lillies Hotel in Juja, Salama House and Swift Breeze Hardware on Garissa Road, a quary in Murang’a, 250 acres of land in Machakos and Murang’a.
“An order of injunction is hereby issued restraining David Kariuki, Gakuyo Real Estate Ltd and Leaky Auctioneers Ltd from proceeding with the intended auction in respect of property owned by Gakuyo Real Estate Ltd,” ordered the Court.
The auction was set to be done by Leaky Auctioneers, and was meant to offset a deficit in refunding members their money, after Ekeza Sacco, where they had invested sunk.
Gakuyo Real Estate was the Bishop’s company that he was using to “construct low-cost housing” for the members.
The order now stands until March 7, when the suit will be heard inter-party.
Preliminary investigations by the Co-operatives ministry 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.
Ekeza had offices in Nairobi, Kiambu, Murang’a, Embu, Nakuru and other towns. It had 26 branches and its deposits totaling Ksh3 billion.