Ekeza scandal: Gakuyo fights Sh1bn fine - Daily Nation

Ekeza Sacco scandal: Gakuyo fights Sh1 billion fine

Thursday March 14 2019

David Kariuki Ngare

Bishop David Kariuki Ngare. He wants the report by cooperatives regulator recommending that his real estate firm be surcharged Sh1 billion for Ekeza Sacco scandal suspended. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By MAUREEN KAKAH
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Controversial televangelist David Kariuki Ngare, popularly known as Gakuyo, wants the report by cooperatives regulator recommending that his real estate firm be surcharged Sh1 billion for Ekeza Sacco scandal suspended.

Mr Gakuyo on Thursday asked the High Court in Nairobi to ignore the report by the commissioner of co-operatives development.

The investigation report also recommended that Gakuyo pay the sacco Sh40 million.

Ekeza Sacco was permitted to take appropriate measures to recover all defaulted loans amounting to Sh564 million.

The preacher is also seeking to stop the commission from removing the management committee of the sacco.

BIASED

The embattled bishop and his real estate firm have sued the commissioner of co-operative development and the Attorney General in a case where Ekeza Sacco is listed as an interested party.

Through his lawyer Simon Mburu, Mr Ngare claims that the report is biased, unprocedural and premeditated.

He argues that if recommendations of the report are to be adhered to, his right to fair administrative action will be violated.

He alleges that the report is incomplete as it also recommends auditing of accounts of Ekeza Sacco within three months.

He further alleges that he was never served a notice to appear before the commission when the inquiry was being conducted.

PREJUDICE

“Such surcharge will greatly prejudice Mr Ngare’s constitutional rights and the right to fair administrative action that is lawful and reasonable,” said Mr Mburu.

He added: “The findings therein are adverse without having ventilated its case thus the findings are a gross violation of the Constitution as well as natural rules of justice.”

The commissioner of co-operatives moved to court last month and stopped the preacher from selling hotels and land belonging to his real estate company as the government probes Ekeza Sacco that is also linked to him.

According to the regulator, the planned sale of Lillies Hotel in Juja, Salama House and Swift Breeze Hardware on Garissa Road, a quarry in Murang’a and 250 acres of land in Murang’a could jeopardise the inquiry into the sacco which has deposits in excess of Sh2.56 billion.

DEFICIT

But he had claimed that the sale was aimed at offsetting a huge deficit in refunds to members.

He only managed to retain Leaky Auctioneers to dispose of the assets, slated for February 14, before the court suspended the move.

The televangelist is accused of running the sacco single handedly hence putting its over 50,000 members’ interests in danger.

Through a gazette notice published on March 23, 2018, commissioner of co-operatives cancelled the registration of the sacco stating that it had failed to meet its objectives, prompting Ekeza Sacco to move to court.