Popular Nairobi lawyer, Ahmednasir Abdullahi, has joined millions of Kenyans in reacting to a High Court ruling where it ordered the freezing of bank accounts of Kenya Rural Roads Authority (KERRA) Deputy Director of Supply Chain Management, Margaret Muthui.
In a case filed by Asset Recovery Agency (ARA), the agency asked the court to freeze the assets and bank accounts belonging to Margaret Wanja Muthui.
The agency says Muthui used Esther Wagio Njunge, Lighthouse Trading Company, Grace Ndiritu, Mercy Nyambura and Cynthia Nyambura who are her accomplices.
Justice James Wakiaga issued orders freezing a total of Sh93.4 million in three accounts – one belongs to Njunge and the other two are for Muthui and Lighthouse Trading Company.
The KERRA boss, who was found to have been worth Sh468 million, was accused of spending the cash between June and October 2019 when the Central Bank of Kenya was phasing out the old generation Sh1, 000 notes.
The prosecution told Justice Wakiaga that Wanja bought 11 apartments in Kileleshwa for Sh264 million in cash.
The court documents also said she spent another Sh15 million on 12 units in Ruaka.
Also frozen were several bank accounts with a total of Sh94 million, another house in Nairobi worth Sh55 million, and land in Dagoretti worth Sh25 million.
Reacting to the scandal, Ahmednasir said if President Uhuru Kenyatta is serious in fighting corruption, then he should order a probe into all KURA, KENHA and KERRA officers since they are the biggest beneficiaries of Chinese kickbacks.
“If we are serious about fighting corruption then we must go after EVERYONE who works in @KURAroads@KeNHAKenya and @KeRRA_Ke…Chinese contractors inflate Road tenders and give Kenyan officials up to 30% kickback!,” Ahmednasir wrote on his Twitter page.
KURA has been notorious for practising corruption and nepotism that has seen them influence tenders.
Two online journalists were abducted and tortured by officers from the Special Crimes Unit over an expose that detailed and uncovered alleged corruption at Kenya Rural Roads Authority (KURA). The expose unmasked various stalled road construction projects in the Nairobi metropolitan area granted to a company connected to an MP from Mandera County.
The journalists, Mr Jack Okinyi of Business Illustrated and Milton Were of Kenya Today were abducted by the police after they were lured to a hotel in Upper Hill. Okinyi was the first to be arrested from Upper Hill and driven to Mlolongo after being beaten up and wrapped in a trash paper before they traced Were and nabbed him. The two journalists are said to have been taken around the city before they were booked at the Capitol Hill police station.
According to the journalists, officers from the Special Crimes Unit were used in the kidnapping. They, however, insist that the story was indeed factual and it involves the contractors and officials from KURA.
Currently, there is trouble at Kenya Urban Roads Authority headquarters over key decision making in procurement department and the complaint has been sent to the DCI. Judy Mose, a junior clerical officer believed to be the Director General’s mistress, is said to be bitter after recent roads tender in which she had a direct interest was awarded to a different contractor even though the Director-General had assured her of the tender.
A source within KURA has confirmed that trouble started late last year when the authority floated tender number KURA/RMLF/CE/056/2020-2021 for the Periodic Maintenance of Lot 7 Roads Nanyuki/Sweet Waters Road /Ngoro/ Theru/ Nanyuki Road in Nanyuki Municipalityworth KShs 14.2 million. The tender was awarded to a contractor by the name Kaboi Building Contractors Ltd on October 12, 2020 to the chagrin of Judy, a married woman, who immediately stormed the Director General Engineer Silas Kinoti’s office to protest.
“She was overheard swearing aloud that she will teach Engineer Mwangi a lesson,”
Mwangi is the Acting Director, Urban Roads Planning and Design, who apparently is not happy with Judy’s shenanigans in the multibillion roads agency whose mandate is defined in the Kenya Roads Act, 2007 as management, development, rehabilitation and maintenance of national urban trunk roads. Mwangi is said to be the voice of reason in the agency insisting that public procurement laws must be followed to the letter, a fact that has earned him enemies from within and without KURA.
Just to demonstrate how Judy has grown iron horns in the agency that is headquartered in Barabara Plaza near Jomo Kenyatta International Airport off Airport South Road, she recently had an altercation with the senior engineer over a parking slot for her brand new car, a Toyota Fortuner KCZ 117Y, which she keeps boasting to her friends that she bought it on cash basis from a show room along Mombasa Road.
However, the senior engineer could not budge. He refused to remove his car, and Judy reported him to DG Kinoti for disciplinary action to be preferred against him. The engineers have now ganged up and are awaiting the outcome of the disciplinary process before mounting a go-slow, which is likely to expose the agency’s dark procurement and financial crimes.
Perhaps one of the other reasons why Judy is law unto herself in KURA is the fact that she is the younger sister of Reuben Mayienda, KURA’s Director for Corporate Services who also doubles as the agency’s Head of Finance. Talk of nepotism is at its loudest. In fact, word has it that Judy’s academic papers are fake and it is her brother who helpedsecure her employment.
“Even the DG is aware that her papers are fake. The diploma which she used to secure employment in KURA as a junior clerical officer is from River Road. She then used it to enroll for a degree programme at the University of Nairobi but took off and never completed when a confidant told her that the university had discovered that her papers are fake,” our source claimed adding that even her national ID was changed to reflect her fake names because her family name is Mayienda yet she has registered her Safaricom mobile number as Judy Mose.
In fact, unknown to her, members of staff from her department have reported this matter to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations, Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission and the Kenya National Qualifications Authority but are wondering why action is not being taken.
One staff member at KURA recently revealed that it is the likes of Judy that have brought hell to the roads agency whose vision is to have world-class urban road network for sustainable development.
“Because of her pride and bravado, KURA has attracted the attention of a forensic audit being conducted by the Financial Reporting Center (FRC) that is said to have revealed a number of financial irregularities in the agency that is supposed to provide and manage quality, safe, andadequate urban road network,” a worker said.
“If what FRC has unearthed is anything to go by, then Kenyans are yet to hear how impunity has been left for far too long when deserving Kenyans are suffering under poor roads infrastructure in many parts of Kenya. Indeed, a local daily publication and a popular weekly newspaper revealed recently that KURA is inappropriately engaged directly or indirectly with companies associated with staff.”
“It is evident that firms, directly or indirectly associated with employees of KURA and another roads agency have been engaging in financial and procurement malpractices,” states the FRC report.
Back to Judy, it is said that the FRC has found out that one of her companies with multiple accounts across the country has received funds from her employer. The report continues that another company with a sole director and registered on June 21, 2020, received KShs. 3.4 million from KURA.
“The documentation presented for the transaction seems inconsistent and there is no demonstration of financial muscle to support the tender. The KShs. 3.4 million is said to have been the only credit to the account so far and the debits on the account have been done in small bits over the counter at a bank in Kapsabet,” FRC reports.
In a clear case where Judy’s power and authority in KURAhas come out graphically, FRC reports that a company with two directors was incorporated on April 16 2019 and an account number opened on July 6 2019 at a bank in Mandera.
A KURA staff who requested anonymity confirmed thatJudy has an elaborate network in the roads Authority through which she even lodges fake per diem claims using phony names and she is paid. Despite massive staff complaints about these irregularities, back in 2018 no disciplinary action was taken against her. In fact, to the contrary, she was irregularly promoted. Word has it that her impunity levels are so bold that she was overheard saying “ You will take me nowhere” and affirmed that she is even earning additional salaries on fictitious names that she routinely forwards to Chinese roads contractors who win KURA tenders.
“My brother heads Finance in KURA and if the DG has approved, who are you to decline?” Judy once told a KURA employee from the Finance department who attempted to raise eyebrows about her fake claims.
As though that is not enough, despite being a junior officer, she bulldozed her way into being illegally allocated a double cab Toyota designated for senior engineers within the agency, which was withdrawn later due to staff grumbling and media reports. But in return, she bragged that she will soon drive a car in the range of the DG’s and true to her word, she recently bought a Toyota Fortuner from a showroom along Mombasa Road.
The FRC dossier says that on February 20 2020, the Mandera bank account started receiving funds from the county government. So far, the same bank account suspected to be Judy’s has received funds from KURA. On November 19 2020, for instance, the account received four cheques totalling KShs 7.6 million. Three withdrawals of KShs 980,500, KShs 945,000, and KShs 950,000 were made immediately after the funds were paid. The report says that the account holder would later transfer KShs3million to her account.
Apart from the KURA rot, lawyer Ahmednasir Abdullahi has also raised alarm on the term of Kenha boss.
Why is the term of Director General of @KeNHAKenya being amended from 3 to 5 years? Tweeted Ahmednasir on Kenha scandals.
The rot in Roads agencies is sickening and something must be done.