Corruption at KRA: A former Kenya Revenue Authority manager accused by the anti-graft commission of living large on a meagre salary has defended his multi-million shilling wealth.
According to The Standard newspaper, Joseph Chege Gikonyo accused the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission of engaging in a witch-hunt, in response to claims that he illegally acquired properties worth Sh. 615 million.
Gikonyo, who was interdicted by his employer to allow for investigations, said he was unapologetic for being wealthy and could explain the source of his properties spread across Nairobi, Mombasa, Kilifi and Kwale counties.
“I am not to blame for the rise in prices and value of my properties, which cannot be attributed to corruption. They (EACC) previously sought to have me forfeit the properties to the Government in 2016 but the court overruled them after I satisfactorily explained the source of my wealth,” Gikonyo swore in an affidavit.
The EACC last week obtained orders freezing Gikonyo’s properties on suspicion that he was engaged in economic crimes and money laundering.
According to the commission, it was not possible for a civil servant earning a monthly salary of Sh. 119, 000 to live like a king beyond his known sources of income, with Sh. 615 million in unexplained wealth.
Among property EACC suspects was illegally acquired are two plots in Nyali, Mombasa, valued at Sh. 125 million, two parcels of land in Shanzu, Mombasa, valued at Sh. 26 million and a farm house in Kilifi town valued at Sh. 27 million.
Gikonyo accused EACC of lying in court by presenting skewed materials and using unethical practices, which convinced the judge to stop him from disposing of some of the property.
He said EACC failed to disclose that it sent several officers to search his Mombasa residence and in the process several documents were taken, including six title deeds.
“There are a lot of inconsistencies in the materials filed in court by EACC as their case is based on skewed valuation of my properties. Instead of carrying out a dispassionate and objective analysis, they submitted ridiculous and illogical valuations of what I have acquired,” said Gikonyo.
He said he acquired the Nyali property in 2005 for Sh. 4 million. He also claimed some of the valuations were inflated to malign his name and wanted the case dismissed on preliminary grounds.