Don Bosco Gichana returns home in style after five years in Tanzanian jail

From left Wiper Leader Kalonzo Musyoka,Politician Don Bosco Gichana and Kapseret Member of parliament Osca Sudi arrive at the memorial service of Dons;s mother Celine Nyaboke at their Marani home in Kisii County on 26/10/2018.(Sammy Omingo/standard)

Flamboyant Kisii businessman-cum-politician, Don Bosco Gichana returned home yesterday after spending five years in a Tanzanian jail.

Mr Gichana, flanked by former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka, Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi and a dozen of security guards arrived in his sleepy Magonga village in three helicopters, bringing business to a standstill.

He has been in Tanzania where he was held over alleged money laundering and was released two weeks ago.

Yesterday, Gichana landed at the Magonga playground and drove straight to the grave of his late mother, Seine Nyaboke who died and was buried in 2016 while he was in jail.

At the graveside, an emotional Gichana laid a wreath of flowers. He then removed his shoes and stood on his mother’s grave as a group of Catholic nuns prayed.

The 40-year-old Gichana and his entourage including his wife Fash Oaga and children later held mass - conducted by Kisii Catholic Parish Priest Lawrence Nyaanga - in their rural home at the front side of his unfinished bungalow. His ailing father, John Gichana was excited to see him.

Bosco arrived in Kenya on October 2 and has been spending time with family and friends in Nairobi and has kept everybody guessing his next move.

Kisii town residents take to the streets on September 09,2015 to protest the sluggishness of a case in Tanzania involving an influential youth Don-Bosco Gichana.He was arrested in April 2013 by Tanzanian security agents in Arusha and later transferred to Dar es Salaam where he is being held for money laundering. (Denish Ochieng/ Standard)

A week earlier, an Arusha court fined Gichana Tsh300,000,000 (Sh15 million) after pleading guilty to charges of money laundering and fraud.

He was sentenced in a plea-bargain deal where he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit crime related to money laundering. Gichana negotiated for lesser sentence of five years in prison, which he served.

Gichana is said to have committed the crime between 2008 and 2010, when he filed false tax returns electronically to the US State Department of Treasury internal revenue service.

In three weeks Gichana has met with who is who in the country’s political scene. On Thursday, he met Deputy President William Ruto. He has also met Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang'ula and Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko, including several Kisii leaders and his former political rival now current Kitutu Chache South MP Richard Onyonka.

Gichana said the experience behind bars is his worst yet. “I dedicated my life to God while behind bars and I believe God’s time is the best time. I have no regrets because I had the opportunity to reflect on my life.”

Gichana rose into limelight in 2007 when he donated a new Hummer vehicle worth millions of shillings to opposition leader Raila Odinga, who was then campaigning for the Presidency.

Yesterday, Gichana said Raila was one of his greatest friends. He said while in prison, he told Raila’s son - the late Fidel not to visit him.

“Fidel always wanted to visit me but I stopped him because it would have created a bad image since his father is a senior person, he said.

He said Raila tried on several occasions to have him released. "Those peddling lies that the former premier was not concerned should keep off,” said Gichana.

The former altar boy said several Kisii leaders neglected him during his trying moments.

He said he was neither involved in theft nor money laundering but was forced to plead guilty. “They said they had more than 40 witnesses but only two appeared in court.” Gichana said he is a genuine and hardworking businessman, and that he made his first million shillings when he was only 20.

On political ambitions, Gichana said only time will tell and that he was waiting on God's guidance. "We must be ready to serve the community. Let us laugh and share the little we have now,” he said.  

[email protected]