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Ex-city money man in trouble after court throws out his appeal

By Kamau Muthoni | September 29th 2020 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

Former Nairobi County chief finance officer Jimmy Kiamba has lost a bid to stop the hearing of two appeals he had filed challenging forfeiture of his wealth and blocking the anti-graft agency from investigating his source of income.

Kiamba (pictured), his wife Tracy Mbinya, and their two companies - Jimbise Limited and Muthaiga Green Acres - have asked the appeals court to halt their appeal to await the Supreme Court’s decision on whether investigative agencies could probe a person without giving them notice.

Equity Bank supported his case, arguing that the Supreme Court case pitting the Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji and senior lawyer Tom Ojienda had a bearing on Kiamba’s appeal.

However, Justices Martha Koome, Kathurima M’inoti and Sankale ole Kantai dismissed the application, saying it was in the interest of parties that the appeals be disposed of.

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“The appeals involve allegations of corruption and theft of public resources which are matters of great public importance and interest. Furthermore, we are satisfied that this court is capable of determining the issues of interpretation and application of the Constitution raised in the appeal,” the judges ruled.

The Kiambas moved to the appeals court after the anti-corruption court allowed the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission to go after his wealth worth more than Sh341 million as it was illicit wealth. The court found that he could not explain how he obtained wealth.

The anti-graft agency had asked the court to allow it to sell 15 properties and seven vehicles owned by Kiamba, claiming they do not tally with his legitimate earnings.

EACC, in its submissions before corruption court judge Hedwig Ongundi, also wanted to cart away Sh800 million held in eight bank accounts owned by Kiamba.

According to the anti-graft agency, there was no proof that Kiamba earned Sh341 million as he had claimed in his court papers.

At the heart of the legal battle between EACC and the former county officer are two apartments on Dennis Pritt Road in Nairobi estimated to be worth Sh30.2 million.

At the same time, the anti-graft agency wants to recover a townhouse in Kileleshwa worth Sh25.5 million. His Runda house, worth Sh23 million, is also targeted.

“Cumulatively, the defendant (Kiamba) acquired these six high-value assets worth over Sh100 million within a very short period of time,” EACC lawyer Phillip Kagucia said.

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