Kenya: Curtains Fall On Gideon Mwiti, the Controversial Former MP

The mention of the name of Gideon Mwiti, the former Imenti Central MP who died yesterday, brings about a lot of memories but one thing stands out: controversy.

Mwiti's life was synonymous with controversy, with the most infamous being when the former MP was charged in court over several accusations, among them rape.

Mwiti, who was nicknamed 'Livondo' due to his flashy lifestyle in Meru, was accused of raping a woman in Nairobi, allegations which he denied.

On April 26 this year, the accused man said he wanted the case, which had been ongoing for six years, to be heard in open court as opposed to virtual proceedings.

Earlier, the former legislator, who was charged alongside a medical practitioner David Muchiri, had denied three counts of rape, intimidation and assault of the woman.

It was not the first time the MP was finding himself in soup. In July 2013, he denied he was behind the Kenya Business Community Sacco which the government shut down for engaging in illegal banking business.

Case of 'cheating'

The MP was defending himself before a magistrate's court in a case of "cheating" where 12 complainants claimed he swindled them of millions of shillings while acting as the sacco general manager.

"My role was purely consultancy... I was a businessman in Nairobi in 2004 running a company called Kenya Akiba Micro Finance Limited, I was only consulted on regulatory by-laws being a lobbyist for a law seeking to regulate micro-finance institutions and this climaxed with the enactment of the Micro-Finance Act 2006," Mr Mwiti told a trial court in Milimani, Nairobi.

In the case, the prosecution said that between January 12 and July 26, 2007, Mr Mwiti cheated and induced 12 complainants to deposit their money under the guise that they would earn a monthly interest at the rate of 16 per cent.

A government task force formed to investigate the scam in 2007 linked the MP to Kenya Business Community Sacco, Kenya Multi-Purpose and Kenya Akiba Micro Finance which had been awarded Sh2 billion for wrongful closure after the MP went to court seeking damages.

The prosecution claimed that the MP was "feigning ignorance" about the operations of the Kenya Business Community Sacco but he objected saying the only contact he had with it was when he was consulted during its formative days.

His recent project was dubbed Live Again Mwananchi in which he persuaded people to register in the organisation "aimed at promoting social economic development, social justice, capacity building and activism activities among various social driven functions," according to a recent post on Facebook.

Battle with diabetes

The MP died at the Kenyatta Teaching and Referral Hospital Sunday at 4am, according to his personal assistant Frank Muturi.

The former MP has been battling diabetes for a couple of years, Mr Muturi added.

The former Alliance Party of Kenya (APK) MP was rushed to hospital at 2am after he developed complications, and succumbed as he was being attended to, he said.

Mwiti served as MP from 2013 to 2017, retired from active politics in 2017 to venture into private business.

Yesterday, Mr Mwenda Nchamba, who is vying for the Kiagu Ward seat in Central Imenti, said the late MP "was a mentor for many youth in the constituency and would be remembered for educating hundreds of needy children.

"Even when he lost his seat he did not forget his people since he was close to the electorate. He continued paying fees for the needy children," said Mr Nchamba.

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