How Hidden Recorder Captured City Tycoon Bribing EACC Officer

  • A hand holding out a wad of cash. Twitter Simon Kiragu
  • Political activist Boniface Mwangi on Wednesday, November 20, led a group of human rights activists in a historic exercise.

    Together with a group of armed police officers, they brought down a fence set up in Racecourse Primary school by landgrabbers.

    "According to Jeremiah Kaluma Buchianga from Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission, he was assigned to investigate an alleged grabbing or acquiring of a piece of land LR. NO.209/16441 meant for Racecourse Primary School in Nairobi by an individual developer," reads a section of the petition filed at the High Court.

    Speaking to Kenyans.co.ke, Mwangi revealed that the grabber identified as Mohamed Koriow Nur but went under the alias Sheikh, was exposed as he tried to bribe the EACC officer on March 14, 2007.

    Police officers escort Boniface Mwangi and a group of activists as they reclaimed a section of Racecourse Primary school that had been grabbed, November 20, 2019.
    Police officers escort Boniface Mwangi and a group of activists as they reclaimed a section of Racecourse Primary school that had been grabbed, November 20, 2019.

    Sheikh was a representative of a firm known as Northern Construction Company, and after being introduced to him by the school's headteacher at the time, one Mrs Gitonga, they met at Hilton Hotel in Nairobi on March 14, 2007.

    Instinctively, the EACC brought along a hidden tape recorder, as he suspected that the stranger who had requested for a meeting may have had sinister plans.

    Together with other officers they proceeded to town and met the Sheikh.

    Buchianga then secretly switched on the tape recorder and began by asking Sheikh why he had called him. It was then that the mysterious Sheikh asked him to make a favourable investigation report about the acquisition so that the land could not be repossessed from him.  

    In return for such a report, he promised to do anything that was asked for.  It is alleged that the agent engaged in a mock bargaining that led to the settling on 1 million shillings payable in two instalments of Ksh 500,000 each.

    It was then agreed that the first instalment would be paid the following day.  On March 15, 2007, together with five other officers, Buchianga proceeded to an agreed venue with a view to arrest Sheikh if he bribed him as he promised the previous day.  

    Police officers escort Boniface Mwangi and a group of activists as they reclaimed a section of Racecourse Primary school that had been grabbed, November 20, 2019.
    Police officers escort Boniface Mwangi and a group of activists as they reclaimed a section of Racecourse Primary school that had been grabbed, November 20, 2019.

    Sheikh arrived at the scene and allegedly gave a brown A4 sized envelope which contained Kshs500,000, which led to his immediate arrest.

    "On 15th day of March 2007 along Wabera Street within Nairobi area, corruptly gave a benefit of Kshs.500,000/= to Jeremiah Kaluma Buchianga; an investigator with Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission, as an inducement to prepare a favourable report in respect of an investigation on the allocation of a parcel of land LR. Number 209/16441," read a section of the charge sheet prepared following the Sheiks arrest.

    Here's a short transcribed speech captured from the recording that was submitted as evidence.

    Nur:            Mmmm
    Jeremiah:    Aah Mzee unajua…okay unasema ulilipa ngapi hiyo kiwanja?(You are saying you pay how much for that land).

    Nur:            Kwa hiyo nililipa milioni kumi
    Jeremiah:    Milioni Kumi?

    Nur:            Eee
    Jeremiah:    Na unaongea juu ya five hundred thousand (you are talking about five hundred thousand)

    Nur:            Lakini sasa, iko watu wengine pia wako. Iko wakubwa, iko wengine wanatokea. Sio eti mtu mmoja peke yake.  
    Jeremiah:    Na usha wa fanyia kitu (you have done something for them)

    Nur:            Nani huyo (Who is that?)
    Jeremiah:   Hii wa City hall    

    Boniface Mwangi and Haki Africa's Executive Director, Hussein Khalid at Racecourse Primary School in Nairobi. November 20, 2019.
    Boniface Mwangi and Haki Africa's Executive Director, Hussein Khalid at Racecourse Primary School in Nairobi. November 20, 2019.

    The High Court has since ruled that the land be returned to the school, which is what Mwangi and his associates were executing when they brought down the fence that was erected by the Sheikh.

    Mwangi was in the company of  Haki Africa's Executive Director, Hussein Khalid.