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Rich and powerful dominate anti-graft list

Wednesday March 4 2015

From left: Samuel Bundotich, Chris Obure, Francis Chahonyo, Sammy Kyungu, David Lumumba, Joseph Magari and Dave Mwangi when they appeared in a Nairobi court to answer corruption charges on March 4, 2015. PHOTO | BILLY MUTAI

From left: Samuel Bundotich, Chris Obure, Francis Chahonyo, Sammy Kyungu, David Lumumba, Joseph Magari and Dave Mwangi when they appeared in a Nairobi court to answer corruption charges on March 4, 2015. PHOTO | BILLY MUTAI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

BERNARD NAMUNANE
By BERNARD NAMUNANE
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Key politicians, former career civil servants and prominent personalities have been listed by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission as the main suspects in the multi-billion shilling Anglo Leasing scandal which scarred both the Mwai Kibaki and Daniel arap Moi regimes.

On Wednesday, two of them who held the Treasury docket were among seven suspects paraded in court over 18 Anglo Leasing type projects, among them the police security equipment and data network and rural internet service projects.

They are charged alongside three former permanent secretaries and key civil servants for abusing their powers to initiate and award contracts to either ghost companies or firms which never delivered the services.

Two more foreigners are also being sought by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission through the Mutual Legal Assistance law over the scandal which, from the charge sheets presented in court on Wednesday, cost the country Sh7 billion.

It also ropes in giant international investment Bank HSBC, which was mentioned in the Swiss Leaks, to have held accounts where key African leaders and businessmen held accounts.

The move to take the suspects to court followed a demand by President Uhuru Kenyatta that agencies fighting corruption up their game and nip in the bud the vice that is steadily rising in official ranks.

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This marks the second time that the EACC has attempted to unravel the complex web of money movement which was used to siphon billions from the Treasury to overseas accounts of companies for services which were never delivered.

However, the anti-graft commission claims to have pieced evidence together showing how the projects were initiated, awarded, how money was released by the Treasury to foreign accounts and how it was wired back to benefit a few individuals.

Three files relating to the scandal have been cleared while two are awaiting final review by a team from the Office of the Director of Prosecutions and the anti-graft agency.

David Mwiraria

Served as Finance Minister after the 2002 General Elections. The Anglo Leasing payments were made when he was in office before being transferred to the Environment docket.

He previously served for long as a public servant before joining politics in 2002 when he was elected MP for North Imenti.

Chris Obure

Was the Minister for Finance in 2002 when the Anglo Leasing deals were initiated. He was first elected to parliament in 1988.

He is the Kisii County Senator, elected on an ODM ticket. He has served as a minister in various portfolios. Mr Obure is a successful businessman. He faces abuse of office charges.

Dave Mwangi

He rose to the crème of the public service to become Permanent Secretary in the powerful Internal Security docket.

He joined the public service as a district officer in the 80s and rose through the ranks to become PS when Mr Mwai Kibaki became the president following the defeat of Kanu.

Joseph Magari

He was the PS in the Finance Ministry when payments for Anglo Leasing contracts were made. He oversaw most of the transactions.

He is facing abuse of office charges after being accused of conferring benefit on Infotalent Ltd by signing a supplier financing agreement for the Kenya E-Cops security project for the police.

Francis Chahonyo

He was the Postmaster-General when the VSAT deal was signed under Anglo Leasing type contracts.

He also served as the Managing Director at Kenya Sugar Board.

The 68-year-old businessman is facing abuse of office charges in connection with the procurement of VSAT products from M/s Spacenet.

Samuel Bundotich

He was the Financial Secretary at the Treasury in 2002 when the Anglo Leasing deals were initiated.

He is facing various charges including one related to abuse of office and breach of trust in relation to various deals valued at millions of shillings.

He is accused of having abused his authority by executing a deferred payment agreement.

Sammy Kyungu

He was the Moi regime’s last PS for Transport and Communications.

Being the Accounting Officer in the ministry when the scandal was initiated, he is been accused of having abused office and breaching trust against the public against the laws of Kenya.

His ministry was involved in procuring VSAT products.

Deepak Kumar Kamani

He is the owner of several local and international companies with connections within and outside Kenya. His investments range from the oil to mining, land to large-scale supplies of various products.

He is facing economic crimes charges. Companies linked to him participated in some of the jinxed deals.

David Lumumba

He was the former Director of Dept Management at the Ministry of Finance in 2003 when payment for some of the Anglo Leasing deals began.

Together with others, he is accused of conspiring to commit economic crimes between July 2003 and June 2004.

Rashmi Chamanlal Kamani

He is a brother of Deepal Kumanar Kamani and is co-director in several companies owned by Deepak Kumar Kamani. Like Depaak, he faces similar charges.

Bradley Birkenfeld

He is said to be living in the United States though his business engagements are unknown.

On Wednesday the court issued an international warrant of arrest against Birkenfeld.

He is accused of having conspired with the other accused persons to commit economic crimes by defrauding the Kenyan Government 40 million Euros.

Mr Birkenfeld, 50 was a prosecution witness who helped expose widespread tax fraud by wealthy Americans using Swiss bank accounts.

He is a former employee at the Swiss bank UBS and was later jailed for two years for helping a rich American in California dodge federal taxes.

Rashmi Kamani

He is one of the Deepak Kamani relatives also facing charges similar to those faced by Mr Deepak.

Mr Rashmi, together with Mr Deepak and Mr Chamanlal are business partners.

They own property and investments valued at millions in Nairobi and other parts of the world.