4 Kenyans Who Turned Millionaires Overnight

  • Joining the millionaires club is a dream for many people but it's a fete that four Kenyans managed to attain in a short period in rather controversial circumstances.

    By either exploiting weak government systems or colluding with high ranking officials, the individuals rose from rags to riches literally as beneficiaries of well-oiled corruption machinery.

    The most memorable of them perhaps is Josephine Kabura Irungu, a hairdresser who allegedly bagged millions in the first National Youth Service (NYS) scandal.

    Kabura took the nation by a storm after confessing to having carried out money from her bank in sacks in a lethally-executed scam which saw the country lose billions of money.

    In a contentious affidavit, Kabura implicated current Kirinyaga Governor Anne Mumbi Waiguru alleging she was the mastermind in orchestrating Kshs1.6 billion illegal deals at the NYS.

    From working as a hairdresser, she achieved the unfathomable success as the owner of 20 companies all of which had business dealings with NYS.

    Then came 30-year-old Ann Wanjiku Ngirita, who in 2014, was living in Germany as an asylum seeker "running away from female genital mutilation (FGM)".

    The Ngirita family epitomised the second NYS scandal after allegedly pocketing a tidy sum of over Kshs465 million within 22 months for supplying 'air'.

    Ngirita, who sat for her Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination in 2008, opened a shop in 2010 which closed down the same year.

    In 2015, she registered two companies - Annwaw and Ann Wambere Wanjiku Investments - both that later became the center of investigations as detectives tried to unravel the scam.

    Then in early December, the nation was taken aback after reports indicated that NHIF receptionist Fredrick Sagwe Onyancha takes chopper rides on his way to work to beat traffic.

    According to the Nation, Onyancha (39), who is a prime suspect in the NHIF scandal, leads a lavish lifestyle at his home in Athi River.

    He uses the millions he has allegedly minted to hire a helicopter and avoid traffic along the 30 Km stretch from his Kshs40 million home at Green Park Estate along Mombasa Road to office.

    Between 2013 and 2017, Onyancha allegedly bought eight houses worth Kshs160 Million at an upmarket estate in Athi River after joining the tender evaluation committee at NHIF.

    As a hint of his affluence, the receptionist in 2013 bought four houses valued at Kshs20 Million each and top-of-the-range cars including Range Rovers and Toyota V8s.

    To end the list is John Kago Ndung'u, a former driver in a local bank who also owned property worth millions in Nairobi, ran a high-end vehicle leasing company owning Range Rovers and Mercedes S350.

    In 2016, Kago, who was linked to the first NYS scandal, was at pains explaining how Kshs346 million was wired through his accounts.

    The money is believed to have been sent to the driver's account at the height of the scandal by Kabura and another suspect, Ben Gethi.

    Kago claimed that he had met the two in a banking hall and agreed on a soft loan worth Kshs60 million.

    Well, baffling things happen under the sun, but the Kenyan overnight millionaire stories would sound still sound like some fable tales.