George Ndung’u Koimburi, an aspirant for the Juja parliamentary seat has been released on Ksh 100,000 cash bail for allegedly forging academic documents.
Koimburi was Monday arraigned in a Kiambu Court where he denied three counts of forgery.
The court session held virtually before Kiambu Chief Magistrate Patricia Gichohi heard that a warrant of arrest was issued against the accused on April 20 after he failed to appear for the plea of his case.
The accused who is vying for the Juja seat on a People’s Empowerment Party (PEP) ticket associated with Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria was represented by advocates Cliff Ombeta, Irungu Kang’ata, and Geoffrey Omeke.
According to the charge sheet, in November 1994, Koimburi obtained a Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) purporting to have been issued by the Kenya National Examinations Council.
A second count read that in October 2011, at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), he forged a certificate of participation purporting to have been issued by the university while a third count stated that between 2011 and 2012 he forged a certificate of academic excellence purporting to have also been issued by JKUAT.
The defense counsel in a rebuttal however alleged malice in the charges leveled against their client noting that the matter dates back to nearly three decades and that the accused had contested the seat twice using the same documents in question.
The prosecution led by Christine Mbevi did not oppose an application for bond where the Chief Magistrate fixed the matter for pre-trial mention on May 10 when the parties will agree on the hearing date.
Addressing journalists after the session, Kang’ata and Kuria claimed that the charges against Koimburi were political and meant to intimidate him and his supporters ahead of the by-election.
Kuria also alleged that there was a plot to rig the Juja by-election slated to take place on May 18 and said he will be contacting foreign embassies to monitor the exercise.
The forgery developments came after Koimburi presented the papers to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) for clearance to run for the seat.
The DCI was then involved in the probe after it was informed some of the documents he had submitted were forged.
The DCI document examiner too confirmed the documents were not genuine.
KNEC and JKUAT wrote to the DCI informing them the presented documents were not genuine.
“A candidate by the name of Ndungu George Koimburi did not register nor sit for the year 1994 KCSE examination at Ekalakala Secondary School under index 62001/013,” said part of a letter signed by KNEC acting CEO Mercy Karogo.
She said in the letter to the DCI dated April 12 the purported copy of the year 1994 KCSE examination certificate presented to KNEC for authentication was not genuine.
JKUAT registrar of academic affairs Dr. Esther Muoria on her part said in a letter dated March March 22, 2021, the documents presented were not authentic as there were no records showing Koimburi received the purported certificates from the institution.
The Juja parliamentary seat fell vacant following the death of Francis Munyua Waititu ‘Wakapee’ has attracted at least 13 aspirants.
Among those angling to succeed the fallen lawmaker, who succumbed to brain cancer, is his widow Susan Njeri Waititu.
Most of the hopefuls are eyeing the Jubilee Party ticket, but others are likely to vie on former ruling party Kanu, Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), People’s Empowerment Party (PEP), and United Democratic Alliance (UDA) associated with Deputy President William Ruto.
The contestants include Lukas Mwaura, George Koimburi, Anthony Kirori, Ken Gachuma, Dorcas Wanjiru Chege, University don Naftaly Muiga Rugara, J M Kariuki, Eunice Wamugo, Joseph Gichui, Zack Nderitu, and Moses Mwenda.
The by-election is slated for May 18.