In Summary
  • Targeted in the investigations are public officers who have multi-million-shilling empires that do not match their salaries.

  • Most of those on the radar are county government officials, Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) staff, police officers and ministry officials.

  • Others are directors of companies that are paid millions of shillings for supplying nothing.

The landmark Court of Appeal ruling recently which held that all unexplained funds and assets belong to the State is among the latest wins in the war on corruption as agencies intensify a crackdown on suspects with rags-to-riches stories.

UNEXPLAINED WEALTH

According to anti-corruption agencies, the May 10 ruling by three appellate judges — Phillip Waki, Gatembu Kairu and Otieno Odek, will open the floodgates for the seizure of assets whose owners will be unable to effectively explain how they acquired them.

On Friday, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) said that the ruling will boost their efforts to seize unexplained wealth of various officers who are facing corruption allegations in court.

The list of targeted “secret millionaires” include junior and senior county officers, members of county assemblies and other senior public officials who have amassed unexplainable wealth since 2013.

The list also include police officers whose rags to riches stories despite earning meagre salaries have drawn the interest of anti-corruption detectives.

The latest investigations involves relatives of Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu and some company directors.

EACC Chief Executive Officer Twalib Mbarak told the Sunday Nation the investigation of suspicious transactions involving Sh588 million was complex and included unmasking several persons of interest.

Focus will be on bank accounts and property linked to the governor’s family and associates.

Most of those on the radar are county government officials, Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) staff, police officers and ministry officials.

Others are directors of companies that are paid millions of shillings for supplying nothing.

IMMOVABLE PROPERTY

In February, EACC records indicated that there were 78 cases of illegally acquired assets in court with other investigations ongoing. The Directorate of Criminal Invesigations (DCI) and the Assets Recovery Agency are also involved in the process.

Recently, Mr Twalib told the Sunday Nation: “We don’t just want to take people to court and jail them. We also want to recover the properties that they have acquired through the proceeds of corruption. We have identified some of the suspects through lifestyle audit reports which pointed out to individuals living beyond their means,” he added.

The Sunday Nation has also learnt that EACC and DCI detectives have compiled a list of property and account details of junior KRA officials who were recently charged in court after a surprise raid targeting more than 70 junior staff.

Some of the high-profile targets in court are officials who have multi-million-shillings empires that do not match their salaries.

For example, efforts to recover the properties of former KRA official Joseph Chege are in progress. By the time of his arrest, Mr Chege who used to earn a monthly salary of Sh119,000 had properties estimated to be more than Sh615 million.

Mr Chege had declared that he held assets estimated at only Sh61 million but investigators unearthed an empire that included cash deposits in various banks totalling Sh399 million and immovable property spread across Nairobi, Mombasa, Kilifi and Kwale counties valued at Sh355 million.

REVAMP IAU

The purge has also turned the spotlight on the National Police Service where the Internal Affairs Unit (IAU) has been asked to act on a number of complaints touching on corruption.

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