EACC goes after roads official who amassed Sh21 million in 4 months

Daniel Munywoki Wambua deposited more than Sh21 million in his account without disclosing the source of the funds. [iStockphoto]

On March 15 this year, Daniel Munywoki Wambua, an accountant at the Kenya Rural Roads Authority (KeRRA) opened an account at Equity Bank.

Within four months, Wambua, who had a net monthly salary of Sh55,607, deposited more than Sh21 million in the account without disclosing the source of the funds.

His sudden wealth caught the attention of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) which has filed a suit at the High Court to freeze Wambua’s accounts over suspicion that he is siphoning public funds from KeRRA.

“Preliminary investigation has established that he opened the account on March 15, 2023 and within a period of four months received Sh21,189,125 which we suspect are proceeds of corruption and not from his legitimate income,” said EACC in the suit filed through lawyer Culent Simiyu.

The commission claimed that in a bid to conceal the funds, Wambua opened another account at Equity Bank on June 16 and transferred Sh5 million on the same day, while a third account at the same bank was credited with Sh1.7 million between April and June.

EACC wants the court to freeze the three accounts to enable it complete investigations into the allegations of embezzlement of public funds, conflict of interest and abuse of office against the accountant.

“We believe that due to his corrupt conduct, Wambua has acquired and accumulated illicit wealth which ought to be preserved to enable the commission to establish the veracity of whether the assets are disproportionate to his known source of income which is Sh55,607 per month,” said Simiyu.

According to Simiyu, the amounts deposited in Wambua’s accounts are way above what he earns in a year. He said the money was being directly deposited by Wambua and people suspected to be his proxies who he alleged collected bribes on his behalf from road contractors.

“There is a likelihood of the suspect withdrawing and wasting away the money unless the court intervenes and stops him and his associates from dealing with the money in any manner,” said Simiyu.

Hide his identity

EACC lead investigator Mathew Ong’ondo said Wambua cannot explain the source of his sudden wealth and that they suspect he has registered other acquired properties in the names of his associates to hide his identity as the actual owner.

Mr Ong’ondo stated that the investigations are still at an early stage to establish whether the KeRRA official has a case to answer and be charged in court as well as file a formal suit to have the assets forfeited to the government.

“An analysis of his bank details showed that he repeatedly deposited amounts below the threshold of Sh1 million, some in person while others were deposited by one James Kivuva who is believed to be his associate,” said the investigator.