Five Nairobi County staff charged for shady procurement

Mr Maluki was charged with unlawful acquisition of public property.

From left: Raphael Maluki, Fredrick Mwangi, James Kaguma, Philomena Nzuki, Adah Onyango and Jacob Ngwele appear at a Milimani Law Court on August 27, 2018. They were charged for illegal payment of money to a firm for the supply of books. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

IN SUMMARY

  • The county officials authorised the payment of the money to Primara Ventures despite not supplying books.
  • They are: Mr Jacob Ngwele, Ms Adah Onyango, Ms Philomena Kavinya, Mr James Kariuki and Mr Frederick Mwangi.
  • The Senior Principal Magistrate ordered the accused to deposit a cash bail of Sh300,000 or post Sh600,000 bond with a surety of a similar amount.

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Five Nairobi County Assembly staff, including Primara Ventures owner Raphael Mwinzi Maluki, have been charged for illegal payment of Sh997,926 to the firm for the supply of books that were never delivered.

Through its Twitter handle on Monday, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) said Mr Maluki was charged with unlawful acquisition of public property contrary to Section 45(1)(A) as read with Section 48 of the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act, 2003.

The county officials authorised the payment of the money to Primara Ventures despite not supplying books to the Nairobi County Assembly Resource Center.

The county staff are: Mr Jacob Ngwele Muvengei (Assembly Clerk), Ms Adah Onyango (Deputy County Clerk), Ms Philomena Kavinya Nzuki (Principal Accountant), Mr James Kariuki Kaguma (Senior Procurement officer) and Mr Frederick Mwangi (Senior Finance and Planning officer).

FRAUDULENT PAYMENTS

They denied a total of 12 counts when they appeared before Senior Principal Magistrate Lawrence Mugambi.

The county officials further denied charges of abuse of office, failure to comply with the law relating to procurement and making fraudulent payments.

The court heard that as members of the inspection and acceptance committee, they acknowledged that the books had been delivered and authorised payments.

Senior Principal Magistrate Mugambi was also told that they wilfully failed to comply with applicable procedures and guidelines relating to management of public funds by authorising the payment of the money - an offence they allegedly committed between March 16, 2017 and July 5, 2017.

BOND
It was further claimed that Mr Kaguma instructed the procurement officer to irregularly prepare quotations for Bluefox Technologies, Saruva Technlogies, Chehaja Investments, Beriza Solutions and Primara Ventures in contravention of applicable procedures relating to public procurement.

The prosecution opposed their bond application, arguing that since they are influential individuals they might compromise the junior officers who are witnesses in the case.

But Mr Mugambi said he was not convinced by the prosecution's argument.

He ordered the accused to deposit a cash bail of Sh300,000 or post bond of Sh600,000 with a surety of a similar amount.

The pre-trial conference will be held on September 11.

AUDIT REPORT

Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji had said the tender was never advertised and the quotations used were wrongly prepared by procurement officers attached to the Assembly.

"I have independently reviewed the file and I am satisfied that the persons named herein actively participated in the perpetration of the alleged criminal activities and should therefore be charged and prosecuted," Mr Haji said.

The investigations were precipitated after DCI detectives scrutinised the Assembly's internal audit report for the 2016/2017 financial year.

Mr Haji added that the payment was made on June 29, 2017.

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