Watchdogs reveal damning audit report of Gakuyo’s unstoppable slide

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A damning audit report by the government on Ekeza sacco’s operations has revealed irregular cash outflows to Gakuyo Real Estate.

About Sh1.419 billion was irregularly transferred from the sacco’s Equity Bank account, with Sh88,138,375 transferred in 2015; Sh850,463,877 in 2016; Sh454,097,630 in 2017; and Sh27,002,220 last year.

The home #EkezaSacco boss David Gakuyo built with stolen wealth. His daughter, Graicy Wanji calls it a palace. #TheLead— Robert Alai (@RobertAlai) April 3, 2017

Mr Kariuki is said to have used the money to upgrade his lifestyle by buying prime properties for his family and boosting his struggling real estate firm.

About Sh1.5 billion was unlawfully transferred to the accounts of Mr Kariuki’s Gakuyo Real Estate, where he is the managing director and his wife Hannah Wachu a co-director.

Some of the money was withdrawn using the sacco’s vice-chairman James Wanjuu and secretary Gladys Muriithi “for activities of Gakuyo Real Estate and its directors” under the preacher and politician’s instructions.

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Only an estimated third of the money — Sh507,900,374 — could be traced to members who took out loans from Ekeza to acquire properties from Gakuyo Real Estate, meaning an estimated Sh1 billion went to the “Man of God” and his accomplices.

In 2017 when Mr Kariuki was running for Kiambu governor, before withdrawing in favour of the eventual winner, Mr Ferdinand Waititu, Sh145, 529,691 was irregularly transferred from the Co-operative Bank, another Sh24,980,300 was transacted as petty cash and Sh543, 915 from branches.

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The audit was carried out by assistant director of co-operatives Stephen Njoroge and principal co-operative officer Philip Uluma, who were appointed by Commissioner of Co-operatives Mary Mungai on December 17 last year following complaints from members.

The probe released on Friday last week shows that, in one instance, Mr Kariuki worked with Susan Kahoya & Company Advocates to withdraw Sh227 million from Ekeza accounts between May 2016 and March 2018.

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The money, according to investigations, was not for services rendered to the sacco as the firm has never been instructed to act for the sacco.

After the withdrawals, the cash, according to bank statements seen by investigators, was disbursed to finance the activities of Mr Kariuki and those his real estate firm in actions that could amount to obtaining money by false pretence.

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Some Sh99 million was used in the purchase of a Sh200 million house — LR Number 12241/37 and 12241/38 — at the leafy Nyari Estate, near the United Nations offices in Gigiri, from former Machakos’s senator Johnson Muthama’s JNM Holdings Ltd.

The palatial home, which is where Mr Kariuki lives, sits on about one acre, and according to his friends who have visited the property, it is an eight-bedroom house with detached servant quarters, a swimming pool and a parking lot for at least five cars.

This is one of the properties the preacher is willing to sell so that he can refund the money that he fraudulently siphoned from the sacco through the probe described as misappropriation of funds.

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