A Nairobi court froze accounts in a microfinance institution that is owned by Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua. This follows a successful application by the Assets Recovery Agency (ARA). According to a report that appeared in The Standard newspaper on Friday, Milimani Court Senior Resident Magistrate Muthoni Nzibe barred MP Rigathi and five companies associated with him and his close allies from transacting with the accounts at Rafiki Microfinance Bank for seven days. The order was given to allow ARA to probe money laundering and graft claims against Rigathi Gachagua.
“It is hereby ordered that warrants to restrict debits for a period of seven days on Microfinance Bank listed below is hereby issued,” Justice Muthoni.
“Rigathi has three accounts at Rafiki Microfinance Bank under his name. A firm by the name Wamunyoro Investment has two accounts while the third is Technical Supplies and Services Kenya Limited. All three accounts were frozen,” the report said.
The agency told the court that it was interested in Rigathi’s accounts for a period of six years. It stated that the probe will involve going through the account opening documents, statements of accounts from January 1, 2014, cheques and cash deposit slips, withdrawal slips, and RTGS transfers covering the same period.
According to ARA’s lawyer Stephen Githinji, the agency obtained information on March 30, 2020, the MP was receiving suspicious money transactions believed to be proceeds of crime.
Mr Githinji claimed the lawmaker was allegedly colluding with Nyeri County Government officials and the State’s department for irrigation to siphon taxpayers’ money through his companies. “There are reasonable grounds to believe that the accounts are used as conduits of money laundering contrary to sections three, four and seven as read with section 16 of Proceeds of Crime and Anti-Money Laundering Act,” argued Githinji.