The name Ben Gethi hit the headlines in 2015 after he was linked to the Ksh 719 million National Youth Service (NYS) theft. Most recently a court found him guilty for using forged papers to win a tender with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and was sentenced for five years imprisonment or a fine of Ksh 4 million.
Here is the profile of the tenderpreneur whose company is worth Ksh 3 billion as told by WoK.
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Ben Gethi was born on October 7th 1984 in Garissa County and was brought up in Tetu village, Nyeri County. He is the first born in a family of three and was raised by a single mother Charity Wangui Gethi. He attended Nyamachaki primary school where he scored 471 marks in the 1998 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE). He then joined Catholic-sponsored St Mary’s Boys School in Nyeri where he sat for the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) in 2002.
Immediately after clearing his secondary school education, Gethi worked as a casual laborer with Mount Kenya Bottlers. He tried his luck in several projects such as construction and supplies before relocating to Nairobi after his uncle who was working at the National Treasury invited him. Upon arriving in Nairobi he got into partnerships with senior government officials who introduced him to the lucrative world of tenders and state procurement business as reported by the Star Newspaper.
He went on to establish Horizon Limited which he used to participate in the Open Tender System (OTS) in 2010 winning a tender with the National Youth Service (NYS) that was worth Ksh 500,000. After gaining profits from the first tender he pumped back the money to the company and continued working with NYS for five years supplying them with fuel and food. During an exclusive interview with Jeff Koinange that aired on KTN TV in 2015, Gethi revealed that his company was worth over Ksh 3 billion.
“I have audited accounts showing the worth of my company. I did not start business today. My company is worth Ksh 3 billion,” he said.
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He continued doing business with NYS until in 2015 when he was accused of pocketing Ksh 585 million in the Ksh 791 million NYS Scandal. The corruption scandal was carried out within the Ministry of Devolution and Planning. Gethi was accused of fraudulently receiving payments through his companies Horizon Enterprise Limited and Ratego Technologies. In his defense, Gethi said that he never participated in the infrastructural projects of NYS and that the payments he received were for the supply of oil, lubricants and food commodities.
On 28th February 2022, Ben Gethi was yet again entangled in another scandal after a court found him and his relative, Joyce Makena, guilty for using forged documents to win Ksh 105 million tender. The tender involved the supply of solar lanterns to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) in the 2013 general elections. The two were sentenced for five years imprisonment or pay a Ksh 4 million fine.
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