Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria’s character has been put to question with emerging allegations that he served two years in jail for defrauding his Arab employer 11 years ago.
The legislator, who is among eight MPs from both Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (Cord) and Jubilee who were cooling their heels in Nairobi police cells on incitement charges, had allegedly been initially sentenced to a seven-year jail term, but reportedly served only two years after being pardoned by his billionaire sheikh employer, multiple sources revealed.
To wipe the slate clean and give him a fresh start, the benevolent sheikh is said to have reinstated him to his previous position for a year before Kuria resigned and joined another company.
Our sources indicate that Kuria, whose skill was admired by the sheikh, had been promoted to a position of trust after his former boss, Chris Wingfield, left office. Kuria and Wingfield had been in charge of the sheikh’s investment portfolio.
It is in that position that Kuria allegedly ‘mismanaged’ the sheikh’s portfolio and led to huge ‘loses’ that got him in trouble with his boss and sent him behind bars.
“The boss trusted Kuria because he (Kuria) was very good with business process re-engineering. He is one of the best to have ever come out of Kenya. He could change business processes in any organisation, cut wastage and losses and turn the processes into simple and effective procedures. He was highly respected because of his skill and the boss trusted him so much,” reveals a source who worked with Kuria shortly before he was sentenced.
Our sources indicate that contrary to interviews in which Kuria claims he went to Saudi Arabia in 2002, he was actually in the birthplace of Islam in September 1999. That was after he left Standard Chartered Bank, where he worked as Head of Business Process Re-engineering for five years.
It is Chris Wingfield, his boss at Standard Chartered, who invited Kuria to join him in Saudi Arabia in June 1999. When Chris left the company, Kuria was promoted to his position.
“The reason why very few people know about the case is because after his promotion, Kuria invited and employed 12 other Kenyans in the company. They all feel that they owe him because he got them well-paying jobs in outside the country,” says another source who also worked with Kuria in the Arabian Peninsula state.
An impeccable source who is familiar with the case confirmed to The Nairobian that Kuria could have wasted away in jail for seven years had it not been for the kindness of his employer.
“Kenyans in Saudi Arabia felt that the two years he spent in jail was enough time to atone for his mistakes and negotiated for his release from his magnanimous employer,” says the highly-placed source.
A 1993 Bachelor of Commerce degree graduate of University of Nairobi, Kuria worked as an auditor at Githongo & Co before moving to Total Kenya as an accountant a year later. He briefly joined Family Finance before moving to Standard Chartered Bank.
The former altar boy at Gatundu Catholic Church and Member of Parliament of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Gatundu South Constituency, has lately found himself on the wrong side of the law following accusations of hate speech.
The latest incident involves allegations that he called for the assassination of Cord leader, Raila Odinga. He is also facing three charges of incitement to violence, hate speech and fanning ethnic hatred, including linking the Gikomba terrorist attack, which killed 10 people in 2015, to members of a community from western Kenya.
Less than a fortnight ago, he cancelled a trip to Mumias to ‘mentor youth’ when he was warned by a Kakamega MCA that he was not welcomed in Kakamega County because his “bad influence” could rub off on the youth in the area.
“Kakamega is not devoid of able mentors. We are not interested in the talk being fronted by Kuria who has on several occasions in the mainstream media been cited as an agent of tribal profiling and ethnic animosity,” said Cleophas Malala in a statement sent to newsrooms.
We were unable to reach Kuria for comment because he was still in police custody at the time of going to press.