EACC officers raid Tharaka-Nithi Deputy Governor Muriithi's other homes; seize fake cash at ally's home

Tharaka-Nithi Deputy Governor Eliud Muriithi Mate. Two million shillings in fake currency and a money printing machine are said to have been recovered by the anti-graft agency officers when they raided the homes of Mate and a retired chief. (PHOTO: COURTESY)

Two million shillings in fake currency and a money printing machine are said to have been recovered by EACC officers when they raided the homes of Tharaka-Nithi Deputy Governor Eliud Murithi Mate and a retired chief.

The anti-graft team which on Friday night raided the two homes belonging to Mr Mate in Tunyai and Kinoru are said to have acted on tip-offs that the county deputy boss is highly involved in graft.

Police told the Standard that the fake currency was found in Deputy Governor's close ally's house who is also the Tunyai location former chief.

Tharaka-Nithi Police Boss Mary Maina said though the anti-graft team did not involve the local police, there are reports that the fake currency was retrieved from a former Chief, Mr Benson Ngochi's house.

"EACC act independently. They did not involve us but we know they retrieved Sh 2 million from the retired Chief's house. We cannot verify wether they retrieved the said machine there. If we talk about the matter we will infringe their investigations," she told the standard on phone.

Sources from the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission hinted that the team also raided Mr Mate's businesses in Meru town and recovered a huge amount of money.

Two weeks ago the Deputy governor came into limelight after he disclosed that his bodyguard Josphat Kipyegon had robbed him Sh 3.5 million at gunpoint as he was disembarking from his vehicles at his Kinoru home.

Since the incident Mate appeared in public during the Mashujaa Day fete at Marimanti but he seemed unpurtubed.
The robbery case involving his bodyguard and his girlfriend is still in court.

The Administration Policeman Josphat Kipyegon, and Ms Rose Kajira were on Friday released on Sh2 million bond or Sh500,000 cash bail each after they denied the charge.

EACC officers disclosed to the media that the county deputy boss co-operated with the team, despite allegations that the official tried to run away but hindered by the long motorcade by the police and the the anti-graft team.
County leaders had earlier called on EACC to probe the deputy county boss questioning his sudden source of wealth that had made him switch to an extravagant lifestyle.

A section of leaders in the county have called on the Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission to investigate the deputy governor, citing that county officials have a tendency of pocketing millions of taxpayers money.

Chuka/ Igambang'ombe MP Muthomi Njuki and Nominated MCA’s Stephanina Ciamati, James Mutembei, Faith Njeri and Ruth Karea speculated that taxpayers’ money was being swindled at the expense of developments. 

On August 9 police thwarted a planned robbery at his Tunyai home in Tharaka, where goons armed with machetes had planned to break into his residence where they allegedly wanted to steal Sh20 million stored in sacks.
Additionally he also has another case in Meru courts where he has accused a contractor of swindling him of Sh480, 000.

Residents have raised concern over the sudden source of cash which has made him abruptly change to an extravagant lifestyle many wondering why he could walk around with millions in the pocket when he could have written cheques or do the electronic money transfers.

Senate Public Accounts Committee earlier this year while grilling Governor Samuel Ragwa revealed that some Sh 112 million was banked into the personal account of Chief Officer in health docket without clear clarification.