Don Bosco Gichana added weight in Tanzania jail
3 months ago, 22 Sep 10:42
Don Bosco Gichana, the flamboyant Kenyan businessman and politician who was arrested in Tanzania over five years ago for scamming hundreds of millions from American pensioners, is due to be released.
But for that to happen, he has to part with Sh15 million fine.
Gichana hails from Kisii, where his supporters are already fundraising. Even while in jail, NASA leader Raila Odinga and Deputy President William Ruto lobbied for his release. The Uhuru-Raila handshake is said to have accelerated a plea bargain in which Gichana pleaded guilty for a leaner sentence.
ODM director of communications Philip Etale, confirmed that Raila lobbied both Uhuru and Tanzanian President John Magufuli to have Gichana released.
In the run up to the 2007 elections, Gichana gifted Raila the famous red Hummer, leading to the nyundo rallying call hammer symbol during Raila’s presidential campaigns.
He also bankrolled ODM’s ‘Young Kenyans for Raila’, besides funding Gusii soccer powerhouse, Shabana FC. He also donated generously to churches in Kisii County, where he unsuccessfully sought the Kitutu Chache South parliamentary seat on a People’s Democratic Party ticket.
Political activist Abuga Makori told The Nairobian that it matters little whether Gichana “stole or not, at least he was generous and was a great philanthropist.”
No wonder, Gichana was nicknamed ‘The Don’, and his popularity led to the “Free Don Bosco” social media groups, and now, a fundraising effort, even as his family said it has not sought any external help.
Abuga, however, says they have asked the family “to come up with a pay bill number so that we assist them in paying the fine.”
But sources at the Foreign Affairs ministry told The Nairobian that although Gichana added weight from the three-course meals served in Tanzania in between whiling time reading newspapers, books and making mobile phone calls, he still faces three warrants of arrest in Kenya, including one from the American government which accused him of money laundering.
Lawyer Donald Deya, the CEO of the Pan African Lawyers Union based in Arusha, told The Nairobian that “whereas his co-accused faced many charges, Don Bosco only faced two counts for which he pleaded guilty last week.
On the first charge of conspiracy to launder money, he was sentenced to five years start from the date of incarceration. On the second count of money laundering, he was fined Tsh300 million, equivalent to Ksh15 million.”
Gichana was jailed alongside his three co-accused - Tanzanian lawyer Median Mwale and CRDB bank officials Boniface Mwimbwa and Elias Ndejembi, whose case is on Friday, September 21.
Gichana was a visible investor in the city and was mostly associated with Capri 7 Restaurant in Hurlingham Nairobi, which was later sold. The fate of his real estate and entertainment ventures and hundreds of millions of shillings in various bank accounts is yet to be established, but a lot was said to have been lost to close friends after his arrest on March 29, 2013.
Gichana was nabbed at the Namanga border where he had gone to visit Mwale at the Arusha Central Prison. He was arraigned in Kisutu Magistrates ...
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