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Police arrest man who linked Ndambiri to theft of Sh138 million

Friday July 10 2020
ndambi

Kirinyaga Deputy Governor Peter Ndambiri. DCI is probing an alleged theft of Sh138 million from a donor-funded project in Kirinyaga County that has now entangled him. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By GEORGE MUNENE

A man accused of falsely linking Kirinyaga Deputy Governor Peter Ndambiri to the alleged theft of Sh138 million for e-learning has been arrested.

Offices from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) arrested the man along Garissa Road in Thika on Thursday evening and took him to Wang'uru Police Station for interrogation.

Mwea East Sub-county DCI officer, Peter Wahome, said the suspect will face forgery charges once investigations are completed. He claimed to have worked on the initiative with a non-governmental organisation known as Homeland Educational International.

The organisation is a subsidiary of DLAMS International that helps schools and students in low-income areas to use technology in improving their academic programmes.

The suspect will also be charged with operating an unregistered NGO.

"We have established the NGO he operates is illegal," Mr Wahome told journalists in his  office, describing the man as a most wanted suspect and saying he had been on the run for two months.

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“POLITICAL ENEMIES”

The arrest came two days after Mr Ndambiri asked police to arrest the suspect to shed light on the case involving a pilot e-learning project at Karoti Girls’ Secondary School, Mwea Constituency.

On Tuesday, Mr Ndambiri dismissed the allegations against him as falsehoods, saying his political enemies from the region had embarked on a smear campaign to tarnish his name.  He dismissed as untrue claims that the cash is stashed in his children's foreign accounts.

"My enemies are determined to ruin my good reputation but they would not succeed," he said, declaring he was ready for an investigation.

"I state clearly that my children have no foreign accounts and I challenge those propagating false claims to prove them.”

Mr Ndambiri said he was shocked to learn from the media that the DCI had taken up the matter.

"What is so surprising is that no official from the DCI had contacted me to record a statement in connection with the alleged scandal. What is being peddled against me is just propaganda, which should be ignored," he added.

The deputy governor further noted that he has never been implicated in corruption.

‘WHISTLEBLOWER’

However, Mr Ndambiri admitted that a man who identified himself as Prof Michael Mwachofi Mwachodzi and claimed to be from the donor organisation told him about the project.

"When the official explained it to me, I thought  it was a good idea. I even accommodated him and his two colleagues at my home. Later, I became suspicious and reported the matter to the Mwea DCI," he said.

He wondered how a whistleblower can be termed corrupt.

The DCI denied claims by the suspect that he reported the matter to the headquarters in Nairobi and recorded statements.

"He never reported the alleged loss of funds anywhere. We doubt whether there were such funds for e-learning," said Mr Wahome.

He said his office is also investigating claims that several secondary school headteachers were conned out of thousands of shillings by the suspect, who pretended that he would help their learning institutions start e-learning programmes.

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