Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua has been freed on Sh12 million or Sh25 million bond after pleading not guilty to the graft charges.
Appearing in court before Magistrate Lawrence Mugambi today, the lawmaker denied charges in all counts of the Sh7.4 billion graft case.
He was represented by 10 lawyers, Kioko Kilukumi, Alice Wahome, Gladys Sholei, Kipchumba Murkomen, Sylvanus Osoro, Irungu Kangata, Gibson Kimani, Wycliffe Nyabuto, Amos Kisiwi and Paul Gacheru.
He is set to be detained until 5PM today when he is expected to process the bail with the case set for mention on August 9, 2021.
Gachagua was arrested on Friday by detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) and has been in custody until today, Monday, 26, 2021.
Earlier in July, detectives revealed that Gachagua used at least 40 companies to win tenders from the central government and county government.
Most of the tenders discovered were awarded by the government of the late Nyeri governor Nderitu Gachagua, who is his brother.
Gerald Waema Mbatha and Moses Otieno were identified as the proprietors. However, when the money was paid on February 18, 2015, the whole amount was wired to Wamunyoro Investments Limited. The signatory was Sammy Cheborgey, an employee of Mathira CDF committee.
Another company, Rapid Medical Supplies, was awarded a Sh47 million tender to supply medical supplies to Nyeri County.
According to detectives, it was hard to ascertain whether the companies made any supplies to the county. The bank accounts made minimal or no payments to suppliers, which would be normal for any transaction.
“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 intercompany transfers in a bid to conceal the ultimate beneficiary or beneficiaries of the funds,” said the detectives’ report as quoted by the Daily Nation.
In previous revelations, the MP received Sh12.5 billion through three accounts in Rafiki Micro Finance Bank, in seven years, and the Asset Recovery Agency (ARA) was able to trace withdrawals worth Sh7.3 billion.
However, ARA said it is unable to explain the disappearance of over Sh5 billion, which cannot be traced even through bank statements.
As of October 2020, Rigathi’s savings account that received Sh5.8 billion remained with only Sh773,228, while another account that received Sh877 million remained with Sh35 million.
Another account at the centre of the mystery received Sh5.87 billion of which Sh705.1 million was withdrawn according to the bank statement. The account remained with Sh165 million balance, leaving some unexplained Sh5.1 billion