Even the ‘small fish’ are shockingly looting from public coffers

National Treasury building

Ideally, you wouldn’t expect a junior or even a relatively senior ministry officer to be extravagantly wealthy in just a few years after employment, unless they have a business with quite good returns.

But that is not the case for some.

One of them Charles Muia Mutiso, Deputy Director External Resources at The National Treasury.

Mutiso was appointed to the position on July 16 2014 and served up to April 2020.

Between April 2015 and April 2020., investigations by the Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission indicated he amassed as much as Sh36.7 million, stashed at Absa, Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) and Cooperative Bank. All accounts have since been frozen.

It is for this unexplained wealth that the EACC launched a probe into misappropriation and embezzlement of public funds between the period he occupied his office.

Mutiso joined the Ministry of Finance and Planning as an economist on July 31, 2002, earning a monthly net salary of Sh144,675 as at April 30 2020 and an average net of Sh118,691 from 1st April 1, 2015 to April 30, 2020, EAC investigations show.

During this period, he earned a cumulative net income of Sh7,148,991.

EACC applied to court for warrants to investigate accounts held in various banks by Mutiso.

On the basis of court orders, the anti-graft agency obtained bank statements in respect of the said bank accounts.

“Analysis of the flow of funds in his bank accounts revealed that he received numerous unexplained inward remittances, EFTs and cash deposits outside his salary from the National Treasury,” EACC said in a statement.

Investigations further established a pattern of frequent large cash deposits made mostly through the ATM or the drop box.

“For instance, in June 2015, he made five cash deposits of Sh400,000 each into his account at Absa Group account amounting to Kshs 2 million over just few days,” EACC said.

These include two Absa Group accounts with Sh23.5 million and Sh5.8 million respectively.

A Co-op Bank account with Sh932,000 and KCB account with Sh5.6 million.

The EACC noted that it was apparent that there is a huge disproportion between Mutiso’s assets and his known legitimate income, which he will explain as the probe continues.

But Mutiso is not a unique case or even the most shocking.



Elvine Leware Macage/ COURTESY

A former junior employee at the same ministry (National Treasury) on a Sh16,000 monthly pay reportedly made Sh664 million in just six years.

Elvine Leware Macage, who resigned in 2018, was slapped with a Sh313 million tax demand by the Kenya Revenue Authority.

According to KRA, the supposed businessman earned a salary of Sh16,772 but investigations showed he did not file tax returns for the multiple companies that did business with government raking in millions of shillings. Most of the payments were made between 2014 and 2017. KRA investigations showed Macager received Sh27.8 million for consultancy services he provided for the construction of an abattoir in September 2014, trading under Beachetts Services.

In the period between April and December 2014, Sh103.3 million was wired to his bank accounts for consultancy on veterinary and construction services.

Part of this amount, Sh27 million was not captured in the infamous Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS).

In October 2014, trading as Ndegwil Insights and Services, Macager, received Sh42.5 million for “consulting” on resource utilisation.

This was a second payment, the first one of Sh19.6 million having been made to his account in July 2014. This was not also captured in IFMIS.

That’s not all. Using Endlevel Services, the “consultant” was paid Sh38 million for services on youth employment and Sh43 million for poverty mitigation consultancy under Vilekat Information in November 2014.

An audit of his lifestyle shows Macager bought a block of apartments, luxury vehicles and toured Dubai.


Fredrick Sagwe Onyancha when he appeared in court on Monday, December 10, 2018 | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Then there was the NHIF receptionist who bought eight houses worth Sh160 million between 2013 and 2017 at an upmarket estate in Athi River.

Fredrick Sagwe Onyancha also owned a chain of car and carpet-cleaning businesses across Nairobi valued at Sh50 million, managed by his wife whom he married at a lavish wedding held at Safari Park at a cost of Sh25 million.

He was on a salary of Sh50,000.

According to police investigations in 2018, the 39-year old first bought four houses valued at 20 million each in 2013.

He then bought top-of-the range cars including Range Rovers and Toyota V8s.

He has three sons, all whom were studying at international schools.

You have successfully subscribed to the newsletter

There was an error while trying to send your request. Please try again.

The Brief will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing.