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Harambee Annex citadel of vicious graft networks

By Amos Kareithi | Feb 15th 2020 | 4 min read
Harambee House Annex which houses the Office of the Deputy President. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

Harambee Annex, the imposing Office of Deputy President, has over the years transformed into unwitting theater of multi-million shillings worth of con acts staged by conniving wheeler dealers and state bureaucrats.  

Facilitating the dealings is a cabal absentee tenants, officers with amorphous roles and shady politicos who routinely bestride the heavily carpeted corridors, chasing one deal or the other. Occasionally they cross-pollinate their deals to Office of the President’s Harambee House.

There are also reports that some insiders working in the offices have been “renting out” their bosses offices to criminals so as to meet their victims and validate their offers.

Yesterday, Saturday Standard was told how a Swiss National jetted into the country, was picked at the airport in a limousine and booked into a furnished apartment in Lavington.

After the gold dealer had freshened up, he was then taken to an office inside Harambee Annex where he was handed some documents and certification to facilitate his stay in the country.

An investigator familiar with the case explained that the Zurich investor had been made to believe that after getting certification in Kenya, he would then be led to Uganda where he was scheduled to attend a conference for East African Gold dealers.

Powerful officers

“His handlers have already pocketed 50,000 dollars (Sh5 million) for facilitation. He has been made to believe that he has met with very powerful government officers but this is just a scam. In Uganda he will be confronted by fake gold dealers from Kenya,” the investigator explained.

We also learnt that some of the biggest crooks have been paying deposits of millions of shillings to corrupt public officers so as to be allowed access into the government offices. In some instances, millions of shillings were paid to pliable public officers so that they could allow government offices to be used in fleecing unsuspecting Kenyans. 

This week, some individuals are reported to have collected Sh483,000 from Isiolo County residents after promising them they would facilitate a meeting with the DP in Nairobi.

Each person was supposed to contribute Sh2,300, out of which Sh1,100 was to secure a-branded T-shirt while the balance was to cater for transport. They had been told that after meeting the DP on Monday, each would be given Sh10,000 allowance.

In October 18 last year, DCI arrested a woman they said was a mastermind of a tenders supply racket allegedly involving State House and Department of Defense (DoD).

Joy Wangari Kamau aka Patricia Mareka had allegedly masterminded a deal that saw a businessman lose Sh168 million in a fake tender for supply of laptops to State House and DoD and had taken one of her victims, Charles Gathii, to State House and Harambee House Annex. After the trip, Gathii claimed he lost Sh116 million. He claimed that he met Wangari at State House and Harambee House Annex.

Wangari was also accused of defrauding Makueni businessman Stephen Ngei Sh180 million in 2018 in computer tender.

At the same time four men have been charged with conspiring to defraud the government of Sh180 million using a fake tender allegedly in the name of the Office of the Deputy President.

On October 4, last year four men were arraigned in court for conspiring to defraud the government of Sh180 million with a fake tender in the name of the Office of the Deputy President. Allan Chesang, Teddy Awiti, Kevin Mutinda and Johan Ochieng are said to have offered a tender document for the supply of 2,800 HP pavilion eighth-generation laptops valued at Sh180 million. 

The suspects made a Local Purchase Order purporting it to be a genuine document and signed by a procurement officer in the DP’s office. They allegedly obtained 2,800 laptops, property of Makindu Motors Limited, purporting that they had a genuine tender document from the DP’s office.

The country was shocked in February last year when seven men were arraigned in court for impersonating President Uhuru Kenyatta to swindle a businessman out of Sh10 million.

The suspects were accused of swindling Sameer Africa boss Naushad Merali and his finance director Akif Butt pretending to be the president and asking to sell them land.

One of the suspects Joseph Waswa who denied the charges was alleged to have impersonated Kenyatta’s voice, while the others arrived in fancy vehicles and suits to collect the money.

On lesser scale, some imposters have been on the rampage in the country side where they collect money by pretending that they could ferry victims to Harambee Annex to meet Ruto.

“Annex is an extortionate palace...I said this last year.  It was worse when the well-oiled sky team ruled,” former Mukurweini MP Kabando wa Kabando said yesterday.

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