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Sh450 million seized from Gichuru, Okemo to be repatriated to Kenya

Former Kenya Power boss Samuel Gichuru and former Finance Minister Chris Okemo at a Nairobi law court in 2016. [File, Standard]

A total of Sh450 million seized from former Kenya Power Managing Director Samuel Gichuru and former Finance Minister Chris Okemo will be repatriated to Kenya from the United Kingdom following the signing of an Asset Recovery Agreement (ARA).

Okemo and Gichuru are facing charges of money laundering and misconduct in public office in the United Kingdom’s Jersey Island. It is alleged the two defrauded millions of shillings from Kenya Power and Lighting Company between 1998 and 2002 and hid proceeds in offshore accounts in the UK.

The recovered funds will be used to support Kenya’s Government in their ongoing response to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Ninety per cent of the funds will be allocated to the procurement of essential medical equipment while the remaining 10 per cent will support a community-based project with Amref Health Africa.

The ARA was signed by the Attorney General for Jersey, Mark Temple QC, and Kenya High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Manoah Esipisu.

After signing the agreement,  Temple said Jersey did not tolerate financial crime and monies associated with corruption would be returned for the benefit of the people who have suffered the effects of the vice.

"We have already prosecuted the Jersey company involved for money laundering offences, and continue to support the ongoing extradition proceedings by the prosecuting authority in Kenya to bring the individuals responsible to justice," Temple said.

On his part, Esipisu said the signing of the ARA signified Kenya’s Government unwavering commitment to fighting corruption in all its manifestation. 

According to Espisu, the repatriation of the money signified that there was nowhere in the world for corrupt individuals to hide their loot.

“As a state party to both the United Nations Convention against Corruption and the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption, Kenya is committed to working with partners in any part of the world in the war against corruption. 

"The utilisation of the repatriated funds will go a long way in hastening the realization of Universal Health care (UHC) programme which is one of the flagship areas under the Big 4 Agenda of the current Kenyan Government," he added.

The funds were confiscated by Jersey authorities in 2016, following the successful conviction of Windward Trading Limited for money laundering offences.