Flashy televangelist grilled over Sh1 billion Ekeza Sacco scandal
Controversial televangelist David Ngare Kariuki, aka Gakuyo, spent the better part of Thursday at the economic crimes department of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI).
Detectives questioned Mr Gakuyo over claims that he siphoned more than Sh1 billion saved by over 78,000 people at the troubled Ekeza Sacco and used it to spruce up his lifestyle.
This came a day after Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i instructed police to speed up the arrest of Ekeza Sacco officials, where Gakuyo is the chairman.
‘HOT ON THE TRAIL’
Dr Matiang’i, who spoke during the Police Sacco’s AGM in Nairobi on Tuesday, said: “It is true, there is nothing to hide … we are hot on the trail of officials of Ekeza and the others. We will have no mercy … we have agreed with the inspector-general (of police) to go after these people and make them face the law.”
At the DCI offices, Mr Gakuyo, who was accompanied by a team of six lawyers led by Mr Dunstan Omari, spent slightly over an hour and did not speak to the media.
Before appearing at the DCI, the preacher, who has also been grappling with allegations that he forged his academic papers, resigned through a letter as adviser to Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu. He did not cite the reasons for his resignation.
Mr Omari said the preacher presented himself after word went round that police were looking for him over the mess at Ekeza, where disgruntled members have been asking the government to take action against him.
“There was word going around that the bishop has gone into hiding and that the DCI was looking for him. As his lawyers, we presented him (so that) if there is a complaint against him, he can clarify. The DCI has confirmed that no complaint has been lodged against our client,” Mr Omari told reporters outside the DCI headquarters.
But Mr Omari said that a few minutes before Mr Gakuyo arrived at the DCI, a formal complaint was filed by the Trade ministry.
He said that the document from the ministry had not been read and that the DCI would look at it. The lawyer, however, said no formal report had been recorded in the police occurrence book.
But even as Mr Gakuyo, the overseer of Calvary Chosen Centre Church in Thika, fought claims of fraud at Ekeza, he is facing new fraud claims in which he allegedly used similar tricks to swindle people through his real estate firm.
He is said to have started an investors’ club at Gakuyo Real Estate, where he and his wife Hannah Wachu are co-directors, and asked Kenyans to invest their money to help the company run the business and in return reap a two per cent monthly interest.
Mr Gakuyo allegedly only remitted the interest for a few months before starting a cat-and-mouse game.
with the investors who since last year, have been demanding their principle amounts back as well as