Saturday, April 13, 2024

How Ekeza Sacco Boss David ‘Gakuyo’ defrauded members over Sh1 billion

Ekeza Sacco founder David Kariuki Ngare, alias Gakuyo was on Wednesday arrested at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) as he was attempting to flee the country.

The controversial televangelist who was preparing to leave the country for a business trip to Zambia claimed not to be aware of the motive behind the arrest.

“They say I cannot leave the country. I’m at JKIA. I just think there is some revenge somewhere. I’m happy I might get an opportunity to see the judge and be told on what case I have. Right now I’m at the DCI airport,” he said in a video.

The businessman has been on police radar over allegations of embezzling over Sh1 billion from members of his Ekeza Sacco.

In the 2019 scandal which affected 78,000 members, Gakuyo was accused of unlawfully transferring an estimated Sh1.5 billion from Ekeza Sacco to the Sacco’s sister company, Gakuyo Real Estate, without members’ approval.

According to an audit by the Commissioner of Co-operatives’ office, the money was irregularly transferred between 2015 and 2017.

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Sh88 million of the total was transferred from the Sacco’s Equity Bank account in 2015, Sh850 million in 2016, Sh454 million in 2017, and Sh27 million in 2018.

Some of the monies were allegedly withdrawn through cash by two of the Sacco’s leaders “for activities of Gakuyo Real Estate and its directors” under the preacher’s instructions. He was further accused of using members’ savings to purchase personal properties.

Gakuyo however disputed the claims arguing that Gakuyo Real Estate borrowed the money from Ekeza to buy land and build houses for members at a cheaper price.

The Bishop of Calvary Chosen Centre in Thika was on Thursday, February 22, 2024, arraigned at Milimani Law Courts for questioning.

Police are further seeking to detain him at Muthaiga police station for four more days pending further probe into the fraud allegations.

In an application filed at the Milimani Law Courts, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) said they are investigating a case of conspiracy to commit a felony, obtaining money by false pretences, stealing, and money laundering involving over  Sh1 billion.

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