Corruption Weekly Review
By Blamuel Njururi, Kenya Confidential Editor in Chief, Nairobi – October 2, 2016
Kimunya cannot plead not guilty to the shame and anguish he is suffering for taking shortcuts to enrich himself and adulteration to his health among other suffering billionaires
Last week was good for Kenya’s War on Corruption.
The good news comprised four incidents that showed the War on Corruption is gaining momentum, albeit, slowly.
The first bit of good news came from Central Kenya where a Nyeri Court jailed three County Government Executives, the equivalent of County Cabinet Ministers, for three years and ordered them to pay twice the amount of money they allowed to be siphoned from the County coffers.
In Summary the Court verdict was:
- The three were found guilty of irregularly authorising a Sh3.7 million audit consultancy contract to Pleng Limited.
- They were convicted Monday August 29, 2016 and asked to pay a fine of Ksh400,000 each for flouting procurement rules or serve a one year jail term.
- They were further ordered to pay a compulsory fine of twice the amount of money lost in the illegal process amounting to Ksh7.5 million, failure to which they would serve two years in prison.
- John Mwangi Maina, the former executive secretary for Land and Infrastructure, Martin Kanjuaigwa Wamwea, Finance and Planning and ex-Chief of Staff Simon Wachira Kagiri, were found guilty of improperly authorising irregular payment of Ksh3.7 million to Limited.
- The former top aides in governor Nderitu Gachagua’s administration were further told to pay a compulsory fine of twice the amount that was lost in the illegal process (Sh7.5 million), failure to which they would serve two years in prison.
These three are the first batch of dozens of County Executives who should be languishing in Kenyans jails for undermining devolution by looting millions of shillings from County coffers along with their Governors and Members of County Assemblies. Billions of shillings intended to change lives in Counties hitherto marginalized and neglected by successive government since independence in 1963 have been misappropriated by the people entrusted with the task.
The three will have the opportunity to interact with some of the victims of corrupt practices who are victims of poverty driven by corruption denying youth job opportunities. Many end in jail after stealing to make ends meet– more – Corrupt Nyeri County executives jailed
The second involved a bunch of three other crooks who brought shame upon the Kenyan Nation and her Olympics team that went to Rio de Jenairo and was treated as if it was from Congo Forest banana republic where no one cares how the Apes are dressed or where they sleep.
Former National Olympic Committee Kenya (NOC-K) boss Stephen Arap Soi, was charged with five counts of theft involving more than $252,000 (Ksh 25,200,000) and other related fraud offenses. During the Rio games ordeal Soi was the alfa and omega on all decisions that led to the most scandalous Olympics outing since independence – an indication how shameless corruption makes public officers.
The National Olympic Committee of Kenya (Nock) Secretary-General Francis Paul and Rio Olympics team manager Pius Ochieng were also in court and faced charges related to kits meant for Team Kenya. They are facing charges of failing to declare uniforms donated by sports goods manufacturer Nike between June and July this year. The three.
Part of the money stolen by Soi was meant to meet accommodation costs for officials accompanying the Kenyan team in Rio de Janeiro. All the officials pleaded not guilty during a court session in Nairobi and were released on bail of 200,000 Kenyan shillings each. The trial will start on Oct. 24.
The third bit of good news was that a corruption case involving former holder of Finance, Transport and Lands ministries Amos Kimunya would be heard to the full and not terminated for an out of court settlement. Kimunya was trying to subvert the course of justice by conniving with his business partners to turn a blind eye on a piece of land he allocated to his company irregularly when he was Lands Minister.
Former Minister Kimunya’s corruption case will proceed to a full hearing. This is after the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) and the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) declined a proposal by Kimunya to settle the matter out of court.
According to the DPP, an attempt by Kimunya to have the matter settled out of court is meant to derail the hearing and conclusion of the case he is facing. Anti Corruption Magistrate, Felix Kombo, agreed with the prosecution and gave out fresh hearing dates. The matter will be heard on January 23 to 25, 2017.
Kimunya, who is accused of abuse of office and land fraud, wanted the case settled out of court saying that residents of Nyandarua had filed a petition at the County Assembly seeking to withdraw the complaint on the parcel of land.
In the case, the former MP for Kipipiri, Nyandarua, is charged with allocating public land to Midlands Limited, a company associated with him. He is said to have effected the transfer on June 30, 2005 when he served as the Lands Minister. He failed to disclose his interest in the land transaction, court documents state. He has pleaded not guilty against the charge. He however, cannot plead not guilty to the shame and anguish he is suffering for taking shortcuts to enrich himself and adulteration to his health among other suffering billionaires.
Kimunya is charged alongside Lilian Wangiri, a former director of land adjudication and settlement with the Lands Ministry, who also faces breach of trust charge. More – Corruption trial against Amos Kimunya to proceed full hearing.
The fourth and most dramatic bit of good news happened in Nyanza where another County Executive is mourning the loss of his brandy new Range Rover Sports. The vehicle was his latest acquisition in a quick succession of property growth since devolution started four years ago. It is now stands as part of metallic ruin among properties destroyed in a fierce fire by angry poor villagers.
The villagers stormed Economic Panning Chief Officer George Anyonga’s home in West Kisumu, on the outskirts of the town, burnt his brand new Range Rover Sports Utility Vehicle, a saloon car and a pick up truck. The protesters went for more petrol at the nearby Daraja Mbili market before proceeding to Mr Anyonga’s parents’ home where they destroyed more property.
The villagers wanted to know the whereabouts of anti corruption advocate MCA Paul Okwiri, who was reported kidnapped a day after he claimed that Ksh105 million of the Ward Development Fund had been misused by the County executive. He had also asked the Speaker to invite the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission officials to launch investigations. Anyonga helplessly watched from a distance as his property went up in flames during the 9 am attack.
Thanks to the villagers the MCA was later released dazed by his kidnappers when they realized wananchi were fed up with corruption and more harm would befall the executive. He says he had been telephoned several times by callers threatening his life. Police did not bother to follow up his complaints and are unlikely to pursue the matter further even with telephone numbers that can lead them to the criminals.
The Kisumu West incident is a clear message that ordinary citizens are getting fed up with corruption in County Governments and its tolerance by the police and other agencies expected to fight the social evil. Several Governors, Executives and MCAs are reportedly earmarked for corruption charges including Nairobi’s Kidero whose impeachment motion was thwarted last Thursday by combined ODM-Cord brigade of rowdy MCAs