Uhuru Kenyatta’s recent unusual and abrupt vanishing from public upon returning to the country from an official trip to China through Dubai was because of extreme shock on learning of provable involvement in the raging gold fraud by senior government officials.
There is emerging evidence of heavily armed policemen, including at times the use of armed officers from the elite General Service Unit to guard and protect premises used by key suspects in the gold fraud.
The cartel also hides fake gold and hold conning meetings in upmarket estates in Nairobi. Their use of VIP security chase cars, normally reserved for top government officials, puts pressure on Interior cabinet secretary Fred Matiang’i and top police bosses to come out clean.
The case of Matiang’i, though he has denied any involvement, is said to have shocked the president immensely given that he is the president’s favourite CS whom he elevated to a super minister to enhance coordination of government programmes and operations.
The puzzle about top government officers’ involvement is worsened by background checks that reveal they have been close to Zaheer Jhanda the key suspect in the Dubai prince’s swindle.
The controversial businessman-cum-politician has been operating with powerful faces most of them trusted errand boys in political and business dealings, whose operations are always secretive.
That they were doing well until the latest ugly turn of events is a case in point. In fact it is said that in the SGR Ngong land compensation in which Jhanda was battling with a local church, he had on his side a one Patrick Osero, a man close to William Ruto in land brokerage matters and whose face is common at National Land Commission and ministry of Lands at Ardhi House.
Confidential sources within the corridors of power revealed that the head of state was so struck by the scam that he had to receive medical attention including doctors’ recommended bedrest, even as he ordered the police and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations to carry out a major crackdown to apprehend and prosecute all culprits. That is why Uhuru went missing in action for two weeks.
It has now emerged that Uhuru was embarrassed when confronted with official complaints from his close friends in the UAE royalty of having been swindled over Sh400 million in a fake gold scandal which turned out to involve a section in his government, the police, a former Foreign Affairs minister and scores of MPs and government officials in customs department and airport managers.
Key suspects including Jhanda and gold scams con artist Jared Otieno have been rounded up but the involvement in the fraud by legislators and other senior government officials has raised alarm in the entire government as it makes Kenya to appear like a mafia-infested state.
Remember, it came after Uhuru’s name was used to swindle Asian tycoon Naurad Merali millions of shillings by a cartel revolving around sacked cabinet minister Rashid Mohammed.
These odd gold scandals and the widespread multibillion corruption scandals with senior officials’ involvement are a true reflection of what former Chief Justice Willy Mutunga called “a bandit economy” but government political leaders then, castigated him for it.
Politicians fingered in gold frauds which are intertwined with money laundering and proliferation of fake currency scandals currently awash in Kenyan cities include celebrity politicians like outspoken Embakasi East MP Babu Owino, Saboti MP Caleb Amisi, Steve Mbogo, Wajir governor Mohammed Mahmud, Nairobi senator aspirant Paul Kobia alias Illunga, Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi, Nelson Koech, Starehe’s Charles Jaguar Kanyi, Kirinyaga women representative Purity Ngirici, Alfred Keter, Dan Kazungu, Don Bosco Gichana, Kazungu Kambi, CAS Danston Mung’aro and Raphael Wanjala, among others.
Attempts by the latest swindlers to rope in Raila Odinga in their last ditch coverup, but which backfired, are said to have been the straw that broke the camel’s back and lifted the veil on the scammers.
Raila has disowned the group though he is known to have interacted with them and knows key members of the fraud team: Jhanda, Gichana and Kobia among others. DP Ruto and Wiper Leader Kalonzo Musyoka are also linked politically to the suspects. Ruto’s ally, a one advocate JK Bosek was recently caught up in a separate gold swindle.