DPP Tobiko lays bare corruption cases

Saturday February 27 2016

Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko. Mr Tobiko has made public corruption cases. PHOTO | PAUL WAWERU | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko. Mr Tobiko has made public corruption cases. PHOTO | PAUL WAWERU | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By PETER LEFTIE
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The Director of Public Prosecutions has disclosed the depth of corruption in Kenya by making public court cases that involve the theft of more than Sh10 billion in public funds.

Mr Keriako Tobiko also revealed the legal loopholes used to delay justice or escape the noose.

In many of the cases, defendants have resorted to filing judicial reviews to block or slow down prosecutions, Mr Tobiko said when releasing a status report on high profile cases in the courts.

One of the major cases relates to the multi-billion shilling Anglo Leasing scandal in which former Finance Minister David Mwiraria and others are charged with conspiracy to commit a crime in the procurement of security equipment worth Sh4.4 billion.

Mr Tobiko said there was some progress in the case following the dismissal of the defendants’ application for a judicial review.

The case is now set for hearing from March 28.

In another Anglo Leasing type case, Kisii Senator Chris Obure, former Postmaster-General Francis Chahonyo, former Finance Secretary Samuel Bundotich and former Permanent Secretaries Sammy Kyungu and Dave Mwangi are charged with abuse of office related to procurement.

Mr Chahonyo and Mr Kyungu are alleged to have initiated the procurements between March and July 2002 and Mr Obure allegedly authorised the payments while Mr Bundotich made the payments.

According to the DPP, the hearing of the case has been delayed after they filed objections. A fresh hearing is scheduled for March 14 to March 18.

Another high profile case in which former Chief Registrar of the Judiciary Gladys Boss Shollei faces abuse of office charges relating to the purchase of the Chief Justice’s residence for Sh310 million will be heard afresh from May 24 to May 26.

GRIM FUTURE
Mrs Shollei faces counts of abuse of office, wilful failure to comply with laws governing management of public funds and engaging in a project without proper planning.

The company that was allegedly paid the money is associated with Machakos Senator Johnson Muthama.

Others charged were Mrs Shollei’s former deputy Francis Kakai Kissinger, former supply management director Martin Okwata, former ICT director Tom Atak, former finance director Benedict Omollo, former director of revenue Wycliffe Wanga and Nicholas Mbeba, a member of the tender committee.

The six all denied the charges and were released on cash bail of Sh600,000 each.

The DPP said a case in which former Foreign Affairs PS Thuita Mwangi was charged with the irregular purchase of a building for the Kenyan embassy in Tokyo, Japan, at a cost of Sh1.57 billion has also been delayed due to difficulties in procuring witnesses based in the Japanese capital.

Another high profile case that has dragged on due to appeals and counter-appeals involves former Central Bank of Kenya Governor Njuguna Ndung’u involving the alleged irregular award of a Sh1.2 billion security tender.

Mr Tobiko said there is still no light at the end of the tunnel as the main appeal is still before the Court of Appeal.

Yet another long running case involves former top officials of the National Social Security Fund charged with the loss of Sh1.4 billion through irregular trading in shares.

TENDER AWARDING

Former Managing Trustee Rachel Lumbasyo is charged alongside nine other officials of fraudulently disposing of public property.

The case will now be heard on February 29 and April 4.

The DPP notes some progress in a case in which former electoral commission officials were charged with irregularly awarding a tender for voting equipment valued at Sh1.3 billion.

Former boss James Oswago, deputy CEO support services Wilson Shollei, former finance director Edward Kenga Karisa and procurement manager Willy Kamanga have been charged with four counts relating to failure to comply with procurement laws and abuse of office in relation to the tender to procure the devices which was awarded to a private company, Face Technologies.

The DPP said another high profile case in which a businesswoman, Ms Josephine Kabura, is charged with money laundering involving Sh791 million belonging to the National Youth Service will be mentioned on March 8.