Three former Nyeri county executives jailed over corruption

By KNA

A Nyeri court has sentenced three former county officials to three years imprisonment  or a Sh7.9 million fine for failing to adhere to procurement laws.

John Maina (CEC in charge of Lands and infrastructure), Martin Wamwea (Finance) and Chief of Staff Simon Wachira were jailed by the Chief Magistrate John Oyiengo of Anti-Corruption court.

They were accused of irregular awarding of a tender worth Ksh10 million of which they are to serve three years in jail in default of the hefty fines.

The charges fell under economic crimes involving irregular awarding of tenders and abuse of office.

Maina was accused of irregularly awarding a contract for consultancy on audit services to Pleng Kenya through direct procurement without the approval of the County Tender Committee.

His counterpart, Wamwea, was charged with abuse of office for allegedly authorising processing of ksh3, 756, 962.37 as payment to Pleng Kenya Ltd without the necessary supporting documents.

Wachira was on the other hand charged with two counts of failing to comply with procurement laws and improper use of public office.

The prosecution produced eight witnesses in the case.

In the judgment, the court ruled that each of the accused persons pay twice the amount of money that was lost in the offence or serve two years in prison.

They were in addition to each pay a fine of Sh400, 000 or one year in prison, with the court saying the sentences should run concurrently.

The court observed that the process of awarding the tender was unprocedural and illegal since the Tender Secretariat was not involved and that the reasons as to how the amount was arrived at were not explained.

In his defence, Maina admitted that there was no competitive bidding adding that he was following orders from the County Governor.

“The procurement Act was violated by single sourcing. Despite getting orders from the governor law must have been followed.

There was nothing urgent with getting audit services which are done annually. The CEC should have known the directives were illegal,” the magistrate declared.

Wamwea defended himself that he was not concerned with procurement processes.

The magistrate noted that Wamwea, being the overall accounting officer in the County, should have asked for supporting documents of awarding the contract.

“His explanation that he was not concerned with procurement is untenable. He willfully failed to comply with the law and he should have known he was endorsing illegal payments,” he further noted.

The magistrate, however, acquitted all the accused persons of the second count of abuse of office, saying the prosecution could have listed it as an alternative count.

He noted that though the accused persons were remorseful, the country is losing a lot of funds through illegal activities, thus the sentence.

In mitigation, the accused persons through lawyer Edward Oonge, unsuccessfully prayed for non-custodial sentences arguing that they had consistently attended the proceedings.

The lawyer also said the accused had families which solely depended on them.

  

Latest posts

New membership body for healthcare and allied professionals launched

Beth Nyaga

Dubat calls for stringent measures to stop diversion of relief food

Hunja Macharia

Youth urged to vie for elective posts

Christine Muchira

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More