September 24, 2022

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Court Freezes Property Worth Ksh 16M Linked to Governor

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The high court has frozen property worth Ksh16 million linked to Muranga Governor and Usawa Kwa Wote Party Leader, Mwangi wa Iria. 

In documents presented before Justice Esther Maina, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) stated that the property in Nyeri and Nairobi’s Umoja estate were acquired using kickbacks paid to a media company that won tenders in the county.

The 13-acre parcel of land in Nyeri was bought in 2015 at a cost of Ksh8.8 million while the property in Umoja estate was purchased at Ksh7.5 million in 2014.

EACC alleged that the media company bought the property on behalf of another firm where the governor’s wife acts as a director.

Additionally, the anti-graft agency claimed that the media company in question, owned by Iria’s proxies, received payments worth Ksh543 million from the county administration between 2013 and 2017.

Further, EACC accused the governor of influencing the award of tenders to the media company.

“The 4th defendant being a public officer and agent of Murang’a County knowingly held a private interest in the contracts for media buying services, entered between the 2nd defendant (the media company) and the county and which private interest was in conflict with his powers and functions of his public office,” read the court documents.

Consequently, the High Court judge issued temporary orders on freezing the property until the matter is heard and determined.

In 2021, Iria accused EACC of a witch-hunt after the agency launched investigations into the tenders awarded to the media company. 

Iria stated that he was not linked to the companies in any way, adding that the investigations were opened after he announced that he would vie for Presidency in the August 9 polls.

“Ownership of land is a matter of law that cannot be presumed and in the absence of any evidence of applicant’s ownership of the property, the interim orders were procured by misrepresentation of material facts and which, should therefore be set aside,” 

“The court will take judicial notice of the fact that curiously, the proceedings were instituted immediately after and upon my announcement that I would be a presidential candidate in the General Election scheduled via the Usawa Kwa Wote party,” he lamented. 

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