The Court of Appeal has declined to bar the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) from probing former Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero and his wife Susan Mboya’s property and accounts in a quest to recover unexplained wealth.
In their ruling, Justices Roslyn Nambuye, Daniel Musinga, and Gatembu Kairu stated that investigations and filing of an asset recovery case had not started, hence Kidero had not convinced them that barring the anti-graft watchdog from investigating his family’s wealth would be adverse.
According to Justice Mumbi Ngugi, the Kidero’s privacy rights had not been violated.
Kidero’s wife had distanced herself from her husbands wealth saying that she was a woman of means and had acquired her wealth on her own, which was distinct from what her husband has.
However, Justice Ngugi ruled that although her wealth ought to be protected, there was still need to ascertain that she did not acquire it in concert with Kidero.
“While the rights of women, whether within marriage or outside must be jealously safeguarded, it has to be acknowledged that they can be complicit, wittingly or otherwise, in the concealment of corruptly acquired public assets. Investigation of their assets in such circumstances is in the public interest and cannot be deemed a violation of their rights,” Justice Ngugi ruled.
The EACC had claimed its investigations had revealed that Kidero had assets worth Sh9 billion in which the anti-graft agency says that it has reasonable suspicion to believe that the former governor acquired through corruption or economic crimes.
According to the EACC, Kidero also owns 11 vehicles that include Range Rovers and Mercedes Benzes.
“The investigations have so far revealed that the first petitioner (Kidero) had amassed unexplained wealth, which is not commensurate with his known legitimate source of income and that to complete the investigations, it was necessary to search the first petitioner’s business, offices and residential premises,” EACC said in its response.
Investigations revealed that Kidero owns 50 rental units on Riara Road estimated at Sh1 billion and another property known as Muthaiga Heights worth the same amount.
The EACC said that they had received several complainants saying Kidero had illegally acquired wealth while he was the Mumias Sugar Company managing director and the Nairobi governor.
Preliminary investigations also revealed that Kidero had received tens of millions of shillings into several bank accounts and had acquired assets in Nairobi and outside the city.