Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua on Tuesday opened up on the behind-the-scenes intrigues that led to him being arrested and constantly being harassed by the previous government.
Addressing accountants during the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (ICPAK) meeting in Mombasa on Tuesday, Gachagua claimed that his Ksh12.4 billion graft case stemmed from what he described as misinterpretation of his accrued bank balance by a corporal from the National Police Service which culminated in his arraignment in court.
Gachagua thus seized the opportunity to highlight the dangers of the government hiring untrained investigators.
“I had put some money in a microfinance bank for eight years, a fixed deposit account, money I had earned through hard work, saved, so I was living on the interest, Ksh1.9 million,” Gachagua noted.
How I was caught up in Ksh12.4 billion corruption saga – DP Gachagua pic.twitter.com/ON98tAZSTI
— Kenyans.co.ke (@Kenyans) November 21, 2023
Giving his account of events, Gachagua revealed at the time, that he used to transfer the money from his fixed deposit account to a suspense account every three months. He would then return the money to the fixed deposit account to garner profits.
“That movement back and forth, a corporal said I had Ksh800 million every year coming to my account. So they calculated it with 8 years and said I had received Ksh12.4 billion. I tried to explain to him, but that fool could not understand, but if we had an accountant?” Gachagua posed.
DP Gachagua further described the whole episode as a political witch-hunt by the previous regime geared at blackmailing him to change his political stand at the time.
“The previous government targeted me for persecution, because of my political stand which was very firm, they sent CID officers all over my life,” Gachagua noted.
The DP in his address urged the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and the Ethics And Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) to hire qualified personnel, especially from fields of accounting to help in conducting investigations relating to economic crimes.
“Sometimes police officers are assigned to investigate complex issues that they cannot comprehend like financial accounting. EACC should hire professionals in every field as investigators like bankers and accountants to deal with financial crimes because such areas are complex,” said Gachagua.
While making his speech, the DP said the Kenya Kwanza administration will continue exposing the economic mess President William Ruto’s administration inherited from the former government.
During the event, Gachagua also revealed that the government had moved in to initiate police reforms which he said were partly informed by the perennial problem of poor investigations conducted by police officers.
He pointed out the establishment of a Taskforce on Police Reforms led by Chief Justice David Maraga which recommended the recruitment of professionals as inspectors.
He asked members of professional bodies to apply for the jobs once the recommendations were implemented.
The DP further welcomed a request by ICPAK to advise the government on public debt management.
“We appreciate that ICPAK has pronounced itself on a number of issues related to revenue collection, especially what you term as double taxation and capping on maximum tax. This is an important aspect of protecting public interests,” the DP noted.
Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua speaking during the 40th Annual Seminar of the ICPAK in Mombasa on November 21, 2023