Kenya: My Arrest Was Politically Instigated, Says MP Rigathi Gachagua

27 October 2020

Mathira Member of Parliament Rigathi Gachagua has dared the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to prefer criminal charges against him, claiming his arrest on Monday was politically instigated.

The MP, who was grilled at DCI headquarters, now claims he was arrested over poor turnout at a function President Uhuru Kenyatta attended in Tumutumu, Nyeri County.

Speaking to the Nation shortly after his release from the DCI headquarters along Kiambu Road, he accused police of bias and alleged that the order for his arrest came from top ranks in the government.

"I have intelligence from my sources that there was a lot of pressure to have me arrested over the meeting that took place at Giagatika trading centre, where residents of Mathira kept off. It is alleged that I incited them not to turn up," he said.

Poor mobilisation

The turnout was low when President Kenyatta made a stopover at Giagatika following a church service at PCEA Tumutumu on Sunday afternoon.

The area is not populous but some viewed the small number of people as an embarrassment to the Head of State and a show of poor mobilisation.

The first-time MP won the position in the 2017 General Election on a Jubilee Party ticket, unseating Peter Weru.

He has maintained his political allegiance to Deputy President William Ruto.

"I cannot be blamed for poor mobilisation. The people of Mathira are proud so they kept off to protest the organisation of a meeting in their area by outsiders. Any meeting in Mathira, without the involvement of elected leaders, will fail," he said.

Graft probe

However, the lawmaker has been the subject of corruption investigations following allegations that he was involved in the laundering of Sh12.4 billion through illegal tendering processes in the last seven years.

The Assets Recovery Agency has had three of his bank accounts frozen this year.

"I have never seen a billion shillings in my lifetime. They claim I did business with the government by influencing the award of tenders to myself and my associates. I have done clean business for the last 20 years, hence it is only natural that I have some little money," he said.

Mr Gachagua, who is expected back at the DCI headquarters on Tuesday to record a statement, says he is ready to defend himself in court.

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