The government has seized 35 houses and Sh95 million from Margaret Wanja Muthui, a former deputy director at the Kenya Rural Road Authority (KeRRA) employee, amid allegations of graft.
Woman accused of buying Sh500M houses in cash loses 35 units & Sh95M held in banks
A few months ago, the former KeRRA deputy director was accused by President Ruto of thwarting efforts to remove her from office
President William Ruto had previously accused Muthui of using legal maneuvers to block her transfer from the Roads ministry.
The High Court, in agreement with the Assets Recovery Agency (ARA), ruled that the properties were acquired through illicit means.
As a consequence, Muthui and her associates had to surrender various assets, including apartments and a building, which were deemed to have been acquired through proxies during the demonetization process in 2019.
At the time, Central Bank has launched the new generation currency notes and directed the removal from circulation of the old Sh1000 note.
According to the court documents, the apartments in Kileleshwa were acquired for Sh264 million in cash between July and September 2019.
Another apartment building with in Ruaka worth Sh180 million was also said to have been acquired in cash.
The court also ordered the forfeiture of a house in Nairobi worth Sh55 million and land in Dagoretti worth Sh25 million.
Not only did the court order the forfeiture of these properties, but it also directed that funds held in three bank accounts and the rental income generated from the houses be turned over to the state.
"Any rental income, benefit, profit accruing from various properties are proceeds of crime and therefore liable for forfeiture to the government. These assets will be transferred to the Agency," the judge said.
Despite Muthui's claims that her wealth accumulation was legitimate, sourced from salaries, allowances, and business ventures with multiple companies, the ARA received information suggesting that Muthui and her proxies had obtained assets using funds suspected to be the proceeds of criminal activities.
On August 1, Roads and Transport CS Kipchumba Murkomen announced that Muthui was let go from her job in May 2023.
“For the avoidance of doubt the officer mentioned by President Ruto was dismissed from the government agency on 29th of May 2023 after the due process was followed,” he stated.
Earlier that day, during the signing of performance contracts for Cabinet secretaries, principal secretaries and other senior government officials, President Ruto expressed displeasure with the lady’s performance.
Using her as an example, President Ruto warned his appointees that those involved in corruption would lose their jobs.
“For those who have engaged in corruption, incorrigibly…because I know for example the people in the procurement space, there was one lady in one of the roads departments, corrupt to the core.
“To the extent that she could not be transferred by anybody even by the minister because if she was transferred, she would go to court buy the court process and make sure that she's returned. That is where corruption has taken us. Kipchumba Murkomen hope that lady no longer works for the Government of Kenya,” President Ruto said.
The head of state also asked public servants to be servants rather than masters of the people.
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