Long serving former Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) boss Samuel Gichuru would long have been extradited to the Island of Jersey to face charges of corruption and money laundering if Kenya was keen on fighting corruption. Mr Gichuru siphoned millions through foreign companies that had been awarded tenders by Kenya Power. These companies would pay a “consultancy fee”-euphemism for bribes-to Mr Gichuru’s Windward Trading Company. The loot was stashed in an offshore account in Jersey. Former Finance Minister Mr Chris Okemo-who was also in the quick money making scheme- would receive his cut from Gichuru.
In 2011, the United Kingdom issued a warrant of arrest against the two. The former Nambale MP and former KPLC MD are still free men as their extradition to Island of Jersey remains in the balance.
So far, over kes520 million has been seized from Gichuru’s Windward Trading company after its directors pleaded guilty of money laundering in a Jersey court.
Court records attested how Mr Gichuru-through Windward-received payments on diverse dates between 1986 and 2002 amounting to $5.4 million (Sh540 million), £5.3 million, £4.4 million, $3.3 million, and 6.8 million Danish Kroners from companies that had won tenders with Kenya Power. Mr Gichuru, who disguised himself as a broker and consultant, used sh2.1 billion for personal expenditure whereas Mr Okemo invested the loot he had stashed in Jersey accounts in recognized financial institutions.
So what is the net worth of Samuel Gichuru?
Gichuru wealth would have remained a subject of conjecture until his wife (now deceased) spilled the beans during a divorce case filed by the ex-MD. Salome Njeri was not ready to be disinherited prompting her to file a case seeking equal share of the matrimonial property.
Ms Njeri claimed Mr Gichuru owned a multi-million dollar estate, information that was not in the public domain.
“The properties, shares and bank accounts I disclose herein are a fraction of the properties…….The properties I know and which I list in this case (are) in my humble view less than 10 per cent of what we acquired.”
Her claims helped British sleuths with the ammunition to pin Mr Gichuru. Ms Salome in affidavit sworn on November 22, 2006 claimed:
“… during my marriage to the respondent, the respondent used to operate various bank accounts both locally and internationally and used to update me on our financial worth and investments………since the respondent has petitioned for divorce he has started to alienate, sale or transfer the matrimonial properties to the name of his girlfriend with the sole aim of disentitling me and cheating me of my rightful share of the matrimonial properties.”
Here are the properties Ms Njeri claimed belonged to Mr Gichuru
71 prime properties
Buildings and land in Nairobi, Mombasa, Nakuru, Kitale, Kiambu, Naivasha, Nyahururu, Kitengela and Mavoko.
Five acres in Karen
Five acres along Mombasa Road
Dolphins Palms in Mombasa
Kileleshwa-three town houses each worth kes30 million
Two flats in Hurligham
House in Kyuna Estate
House in Dam Estate in Nairobi
House in Spring Valley
Tracts of agriculture land and plots
Gichuru’s ex-flame produced evidence showing the 23 companies he had shares.
Some of these companies are:
Kenya Power And Lighting Company
Kenya Bus Services Ltd
Kenya Seed Company
Sasini Tea and Coffee Ltd
Lord Errol restaurant in Runda
Accounts in Kenya and abroad
Ms Njeri who was married to Gichuru for 39 years and had four children with him, claimed her husband operated 7 accounts.
Ms Njeri claimed Gichuru held $10 million (Shs860million at that time exchange rate) at HSBC Bank Jersey Island, Sort Code 40-25-34, Account Number 42767791, P.O. Box 14 St. Helier, Jersey Channel Islands.
Nation newspaper interviewed Mr Gichuru friends and associates who put his wealth at between kes20 billion and his assets at kes50 billion.
According to senior counsel Ahmednasir Abdullahi who represented Ms Njeri, her client estimated their matrimonial property at between kes70 billion and sh100 billion.
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