alexa Kitui officials in court over Sh891m graft case - Daily Nation

Kitui officials in court over Sh891m graft case

Friday January 17 2020

Kitui graft case

The suspects, June Mawia Munyao, Jeremiah Ngui Kisilu, Rodgers Makau Sande and Joshua Kalola in the dock in a Machakos court on January 17, 2019. PHOTO | LILLIAN MUTAVI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

LILLIAN MUTAVI
By LILLIAN MUTAVI
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Three former Kitui County officials were Friday charged in a Machakos court with irregular and fraudulent awarding of tenders.

But the suspects, who were arrested by detectives from the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), did not take a plea.

Chief Magistrate Alfred Kibiru of the Machakos Anti-Corruption Court ruled that his court does not have jurisdiction to hear the case.

He directed that the plea be taken in a Kitui court.

Mr Kibiru also said that bond hearing should be done in a Kitui court.

Lawyer Moses Kimuli, who represented the suspects, argued that the case should have been prosecuted in Kitui.

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"It will be impunity for the accused to take a plea in Machakos despite having a competent court in Kitui," said Mr Kimuli.

He said his clients will also incur expenses travelling to Machakos for the proceedings.

The suspects are June Mawia Munyao, Jeremiah Ngui Kisilu, Rodgers Makau Sande and Joshua Kalola.

In a statement released early Friday, EACC said the Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji approved the arrest of the suspects after a series of investigations linked them to corruption and misconduct in office.

"The EACC has been conducting investigations into allegations that the Kitui County government irregularly awarded tenders for the construction of various roads and river drifts at a cost of Sh 891,039,308," the statement read.

In accordance with Section 35 of the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act, the EACC presented the findings to the chief prosecutor who gave the greenlight for the arrests.

"Upon review of the report and recommendations therein, the DPP gave consent to immediately charge the suspects with several offences including abuse of office and fraudulent practice in procurement among others," the statement said.