Court allows DP Gachagua to get back Ksh200 million that government froze
By Joshua Cheloti
The government has been ordered to return Ksh200 million belonging to Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua that had been frozen.
A Court of Appeal issued the directive on February 1, 2023, reversing a High Court order that had allowed the Asset Recovery Agency (ARA) to freeze the funds that were in Gachagua’s bank account.
An order to freeze the money had been issued in 2020.
But following an agreement between the DP and the Asset Recovery Agency (ARA), the court has now allowed the money to be refunded back.
When issuing an order for the funds to be frozen, the High Court noted that they were proceeds of crime.
However, new evidence presented before the Court of Appeal indicated that the funds were legitimately acquired.
In its submissions in support of refunding the second in command, the Asset Recovery Agency (ARA) told the court that it never investigated allegations against the DP.
The allegations were labelled against Gachagua by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI).
The DCI had labelled the Ksh200 million as proceeds of fraudulent tenders from various state institutions and county governments.
However, ARA distanced itself from the matter, arguing that it never did its own investigations, but it depended on that done by DCI.
The three-judge bench made up of Justices Daniel Musinga, Imana Laibuta, and Ngenye Macharia has now given a green light for the DP to access his funds.
This is a second win for Gachagua who has also seen a Ksh7.3 billion graft charges against him dropped by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
The DP has been on record claiming the charges against him were politically instigated.
In past interviews and political rallies, he accused the government of making up charges against him – as a way of intimidating him for supporting President William Ruto.
“Our government decided along the way to use our criminal justice system to stifle dissent and force people to follow what the president wants. When I was intimidated to support the handshake and I refused, the criminal justice system was used against me and everybody knows,” Gachagua said during an interview in May 2022.