The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has scored a major victory in its fight against corruption after former Kenya Ports Authority Managing Director James Mulewa was ordered to pay Sh74.6 million for unexplained assets.
Justice Eric Ogola ordered Mr Mulewa to pay the government Sh63.6 million being cumulative bank deposits he made between August 31, 2008 and May 20, 2010.
The judge further directed Mr Mulewa to pay the government Sh11 million being the value of a vacant parcel of land in Nyali, Mombasa and a four bedroom maisonette at Bandari villas.
“Being that these assets (the plot and maisonette) are unexplained, the value should be paid to the Government of Kenya as required by Section 55 (6) of the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act,” said Justice Ogola.
The judge ruled that it was evident that Mr Mulewa was afforded a reasonable opportunity to explain the disparity between the assets and his legitimate sources of income as required by the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act.
Through lawyer Philip Kagucia, EACC argued that upon completion of its investigations, it found that Mr Mulewa had unexplained assets and consequently issued as statutory notice requiring him to explain how he acquired them.
EACC further argued that the response by former KPA boss was not satisfactory hence it instituted the proceedings.
Mr Kagucia told the court that EACC had established that Mr Mulewa had unexplained assets and there was no evidence in court that they were not acquired through corruption.
He further told the court that Mr Mulewa had denied allegations against him but had not provided any evidence to support his claim that he legitimately acquired the assets.
The court heard that the MD used to earn Sh1, 050,000 per month.
The anti-corruption agency had also claimed that during the period, Mr Mulewa acquired the properties in his name and that of his son.
Mr Kagucia told the court that it was irrelevant that Mr Mulewa was acquitted of corruption charges.
The former MD did not dispute that he owned various bank accounts but argued that some of them were operated for his own use while others for the benefit of others in his capacity as the administrator of his late father’s estate.
Mr Mulewa also claimed that during the period in question apart from being a KPA employee, he was involved in the real estate business where he acquired some of the properties from as early as 1984.
The former MD also told the court that his wife operates several business stalls at Kongowea market and a guest house and that he is the beneficiary of his late father’s estate which includes a ranch.
He also claimed that the daily deposits made to his accounts were proceeds from the sale of cattle at his family ranch in Kilifi County.