How Laptop con woman used Uhuru, Ruto names to dupe Kenyans

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It’s amazing how well an audacious con works, especially if you drop big names and important departments.

A woman allegedly presented herself as a State House employee able to provide a tender for a military surveillance system, complete with all equipment and logistics — and a mandatory non-disclosure clause.


Another time, she allegedly presented herself as an employee of Deputy President William Ruto, able to provide tenders for 2,800 HP laptops valued at Sh180 million; one tender was for 120 laptops.

In both cases, the complainants were taken in by utterly convincing Wangari Kamau, alias Patricia Mareka.

She allegedly was part of a ring of fraudsters.

Kamau,  according to prosecution and victims, uses fake names and masquerades as a project manager or procurement officer at either State House or Harambee House Annex.

She also allegedly was part of a team of people masquerading as intelligence and military officers.

On Tuesday the woman who had been on the run for a year stood before a Kiambu magistrate and faced multiple fraud charges involving fake procurement deals linked to State House and the Department of Defence.

Kiambu senior principal magistrate Stellah Atambo ordered Kamau to be remanded at Lang’ata Women’s Prison until November 5, pending a bond hearing.

She is accused of defrauding Charles Ng’ang’a of Sh40 million and another Sh96 million by claiming that she was in a position to award him a tender to supply a military surveillance system, including 120 HP laptops for Sh96 million.

Kamau allegedly claimed the surveillance system was complete with equipment and logistical support and said a non-disclosure agreement was required.

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There were various other tenders besides those for military surveillance and laptops, and a number of complainants.

Kamau faces other counts of falsely presenting herself as a State House employee.

Her lawyer Njau Kayai appealed for bail, saying his client is mentally ill and will not jump bail.

However, the prosecution objected, saying she had been on the run for a year after jumping bail in another similar case before a Milimani court, that one involving laptops and the DP’s office.

Kayai told the court his client hadn’t appeared because she suffers from a mental condition and therefore could not fully understand the conditions attached to her bail terms.

He also said that she had been admitted to Mathari Mental Hospital because of her condition, hence, the reason for her non-appearance. Kayai tabled a medical report indicating that Kamau she suffers from aggression.

The prosecution disputed the report, saying anyone could obtain documents from a doctor to support their claims. The prosecution said the investigating officer verified from Mathare that Kamau had been an outpatient only.

She is also accused of forging tender documents purporting them to be genuine, signed by Maj Gen Fatuma Ahmed Gaiti.

It is alleged that the accused introduced herself as ‘Ms Muhoro’, allegedly dropping government officials’ names and departments to lure victims with fake tenders.

In the case at the Milimani law courts, she is charged together with Alan Chesang and Augustine Matata.

Matata is in custody after a warrant for his arrest was issued for skipping court.

It is alleged that between May 30, 2018, and August 12, 2018, jointly with others not in court, the accused conspired to offer a fraudulent tender, in the name of Deputy President William Ruto for the supply of 2,800 laptops valued at Sh180 million.

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The court heard that they obtained the laptops by false pretences from Makindu Motors Limited along Mombasa Road jointly with others who have not been arrested.

They allegedly presented fake local purchasing orders from the Deputy President’s office to defraud the complainants by claiming that the office was procuring the laptops.

The matter has been adjourned several times for several reasons, including the suspects’ absence.

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