WestonOn December 2, 2022, President William Ruto appointed Mary Wambui Mungai as the new chairperson of the Communications Authority of Kenya for a period of three years.
The appointment followed the revocation of the appointment of Gilbert Kibe who had been appointed to the position by former president Uhuru Kenyatta. Mary Wambui gained national fame in late 2021 when he was declared fugitive by the government.
In December 2021, Wambui was reported to have been hiding at the Weston Hotel which is owned by President Ruto.
It is at this hotel that she escaped a police dragnet. According to the Kenya Revenue Authority, Wambui and her daughter Purity Njoki Mungai escaped from Weston Hotel just a few minutes before a police raid.
“Upon searching the hotel premises, KRA officers and the police found personal belongings of the two including cash, bank cards and car keys; a clear indication that the two were residing at the hotel,” KRA had said in a statement in December.
It was not immediately clear who tipped Wambui and her daughter, with KRA officials and officers from the Rapid Deployment Unit blaming each other over the failed arrest.
Mary Wambui Mungai was wanted over a Sh. 2.2 billion tax demand by the KRA. She accumulated the taxes from multi-billion deals she did with the Jubilee government. These deals include tenders in agencies like the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (Kemsa) and the military.
In a border point alert, the KRA had instructed that Ms. Wambui be prevented from exiting Kenya through all border points including the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
This was after she missed a court hearing in which she was expected to answer to charges of failing to remit taxes for the deals she took from the Jubilee government between 2014 and 2020.
She was a member of the Friends of Jubilee Foundation, a lobby which raised millions of shillings for President Uhuru Kenyatta’s re-election campaign in 2017 in a record two hours.
The taxman was pursuing Wambui over alleged unpaid taxes for the billions of shillings earned from government tenders for supplying boots, uniforms and cereals to the military, among other State departments. The charges included the non-payment of Sh. 2.2 billion and failure to submit tax returns for 2018 and 2019.