15 April 2019

Kenya: Ngiritas Fight to Keep Their Land, Property

The Ngirita family has dismissed accusations of money laundering, stating that they are genuine entrepreneurs.

In an application filed in response to a move by the government to seize some of their property, the family described themselves as hard working Kenyans "who have supplied various government agencies with goods and services for over 20 years".

Further, the Ngiritas said they supplied the goods after successful application for government tenders.

In an affidavit filed in court, Ms Phyllis Njeri Ngirita said the Assets Recovery Agency (ARA), which has applied for three vehicles and parcels of land to be forfeited to the government, has not demonstrated how they are linked to the National Youth Service (NYS) scandal.

The statement says in part: "That the respondents indeed supplied goods to the National Youth Service in the period they were advanced the amount in question and the proceeds are entirely premised on a legitimate business enterprise."

She further said that investigations against them were conducted in bad faith, premised on a family dispute between them and former Chief Investigations Officer Julius King'oo Muya, who allegedly used to be a business partner.

She claimed that Mr Muya owes them Sh3 million and after they differed, he vowed to teach them a lesson. She further accused the police of raiding their homes on May 23 and June 4 last year and confiscating documents they used to buy goods allegedly supplied to NYS.

The documents, she said, include payment vouchers and delivery receipts.

Ms Njeri further said that the application to confiscate their property was meant to circumvent the course of justice since they have a court order directing the police to release the vehicles.

She said the prosecution had not appealed against the decision.

On Monday, Justice Daniel Ogembo directed the parties to file their submissions within 21 days. The case will be mentioned on June 3.

The ARA application said they suspect that the vehicles and parcels of land are proceeds of crime. The property is linked to Ms Njeri, her brother Jeremiah Gichini Ngirita and their mother Lucy Wambui Ngitira.

They include a 0.7 hectare parcel of land in Waitaluk in Kitale, another piece in Naivasha town, an acre in Nakuru East, and another parcel of land in Kiamunyi area of Nakuru town.

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