Former Murang’a Governor Mwangi wa Iria Friday dismissed graft allegations leveled against him by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) and freeze orders issued by a court on two properties owned by his wife Jane Waigwe Kimani.
He claimed he was a victim of political fights.
“All this is political being pushed by some people from this region who want to be recognized as kingpins and making calls to EACC. We will resist,” he said.
He said those behind the move by EACC also had cases but they are now somehow dying off.
“They are asking me about a piece of land measuring 80 by 40 feet when those behind the schemes had cases worth billions. It’s a shame.”
He said he will not give in to the political demands and will fight on.
“I will be a Mt Kenya kingpin and I am warning the ones behind all these.”
The High Court on Thursday froze two properties associated with wa Iria’s wife pending the determination of a suit in which EACC is seeking to recover Sh542 million from the ex-county boss which it believes he acquired fraudulently during his tenure.
The two properties, jointly valued at Sh16 million are located in Umoja, Nairobi and Mweiga, Nyeri County.
According to EACC, in the period between 2013 and 2017, Wa Iria irregularly awarded tenders amounting to over Sh500 million to Top Image Media Consultants, a company that he allegedly has links to.
“Top Image Media Consultants had been solely awarded media buying tenders worth Sh542,610,615 out of all companies prequalified between financial years 2013/2014 and 2016/2017,” read court documents.
“The investigation revealed that the Director of Top Image Media Consultants Limited, Jane Wanjiru Mbuthia, was a close associate of the Governor of Murangá County. Consequently, the Governor and his wife benefitted directly from the contract amounts paid to Top Image Media Consultants Limited.”
EACC noted that Top Image directly remitted part of the funds to wa Iria and his wife while adding that Value View Limited, a company belonging to wa Iria’s wife, also received part of the alleged loot.
The top image also allegedly made a payment of Sh500,000,000 to the Mwangi wa Iria Foundation, which is co-owned by the former Governor and his wife.
According to the anti-graft commission, the company likewise brought the two frozen properties for the then Murang’a County boss’ spouse.
EACC believes that wa Iria and his wife received over Sh28 million from Top Image Media Consultants.
“The Commission also established that Top Image Media Consultants and its Director also made payments for loans on behalf of the Governor as well as flight expenses and hotel accommodation costs,” said EACC.