Former Nairobi Governor, Dr Evans Kidero

In 2015, Mike Mbuvi Sonko, then-Senator of Nairobi County graced the official opening of the Nairobi County Assembly where Dr. Evans Kidero, the Governor at the time was conspicuously missing.

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During his four-hour address, Mike Sonko to much applause tried to link cartels at City Hall to a cabal that ran down Mumias sugar company when Doctor Kidero called the shots, implicating individuals within the county and beneficiaries of tenders as co-conspirators.

Now, some of his seemingly off claims are checking in with Dr. Kidero facing twin probes at City Hall and Mumias sugar for billions of shillings fraud cases.

The Capital Markets Authority has instituted investigations into a Sh3.1 billion fraud at Mumias just days after the Financial Reporting Centre launched a Sh7.8 billion fraud investigation at City hall during Kidero’s reign with similar names coming up.

“It is accordingly alleged that you together with senior members of Mumias sugar company devised a scheme to fraudulently embezzle the company’s funds through under-billing specific customers who then made kickback deposits in specific bank accounts for distribution to yourself,” CMA said in a letter to Dr. Kidero.

The undoing of the bespectacled CEO who once said, smiling from the corner of his mouth laced with a moustache that at 29 he was already a director and was not being paid in bananas to justify his wealth, started this year when he lost the power to veil seven bank accounts which had been sought by investigators since 2016.

When Justice George Odunga, Chacha Mwita, and John Mativo ruled that EACC have the power to obtain search warrants to investigate private citizen’s accounts if they suspect the individual is implicated in unlawful swindling of public funds his goose was fried.

Names thrown around that February afternoon by Sonko including Mr. James Hongo for allegedly reaping County tenders through his Sifa Cleaning and Bins Services Limited have come back to haunt him.

Sifa at the time had won an exclusive right to collect garbage in Kileleshwa, Kangemi, and Lavington which according to Sonko the company was registered on July 22, 2014, although City hall officials had stated that it was prequalified to collect garbage at Dagoretti in 2013.

CMA now says that Mr. Hongo as the sales and marketing head between 2009 and 2014 oversaw the whole operation where suppliers were given massive discounts who then sent deposited kickbacks in management accounts.

CMA says that one particular supplier was given Sh1.6 billion in discounts which was against the approved rate of 10 percent.

“Together with other senior managers of the county you provided excessive discounts during the period of 2009 thereabouts to 2012,” CMA accused Kidero.

CMA tracked the suppliers who had benefited from this scheme and discovered that they were all depositing money to certain bank accounts which were then deposited to Mumias Sugar executives.

Under this scheme, Mr. Hongo’s account received Sh135 million.

Dr. Kidero keeps it in the family and his brother Symmon Kidero is never far off from his scandals.

In 2015 Dr. Kidero came under the spotlight over the overpriced repairs at City Hall annex where Schindler Company in which Symmon Kidero is a director clinched the tender.

CMA says that this a matter of habit since Symmon also got a Sh9.2 million tender for installation of lifts at Mumias and the former Nairobi Governor found it convenient not to disclose his relations to his brother.

While at the sugar miller which has been brought to its feet, Dr. Kidero priced his diversification strategy that saw the miller invest in a water bottling business.

This was merely a front to siphon money since the director Wilfred Madung, of Equitech limited, the firm that won the tender was a close buddy of Dr. Kidero.

Despite the evaluation committee disclosing that the firm did not meet pre-qualification requirements, it still clinched the Sh340 million tender which was actually overpriced and delayed to deliver the project.

Another ploy was Sh423 million administration bloc tender where Kungu & Otieno Associates were hired as project consultants without even bidding.

Phillip Kungu a close business associate of Dr. Kidero got 10 percent of the deal and the Mumias boss did not disclose the nature of their relations.

The former Governor even settled a personal legal tussle from the miller’s coffers to the tune of Sh200,000 in which he was among five defendants against Nashon Aseka.

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