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Ex-MP fined Sh1.3m over Sh100,000 bribe - VIDEO

Friday May 29 2020
By RICHARD MUNGUTI

Former Kasarani MP John Chege has been fined Sh1.3 million for receiving a Sh100,000 bribe from a contractor in 2013.

The former legislator is said to have received the money from the contractor who was building Baba Dogo Secondary School to facilitate his payment of Sh3.3 million.

“John Njoroge Chege received the money from Mr Abdirahman Mohamed Abdullahi, who was in a wheel chair, at the Parliament buildings on July 2013 as a bribe,” Chief Magistrate Lawrence Mugambi said in his ruling.

The magistrate ordered that Mr Chege serves a one-year jail term if he fails to pay the fine.

COMMITTEE BRIBE

Mr Mugambi said that Mr Chege demanded Sh100,000 for himself and Sh50,000 for the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) committee from the complainant who was unwell at the time.

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“Abdullahi was seeking for payment after completing construction through his Company Ramagon Construction Company Limited,” Mugambi said.

He added that a certificate of completion had been issued to Abdullahi by the engineer who was supervising the construction works.

Mr Abdullahi was pusruing the payment after leaving hospital and was raising money for medication.

The court dismissed Mr Chege’s defence that he was set up and that Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission Officials (EACC) who arrested him stashed the money into his coat pockets.

The magistrate said it had been proven that Mr Abdullahi gave the former MP the money, who then proceeded to put it in his pocket before the EACC officials pounced.

The magistrate added that after the lawmaker received the bribe, he called an official of the CDF committee and instructed him to write a cheque for the outstanding amount.

The court said the case was proven beyond reasonable doubt by the prosecution.

HARSH PENALTY

The State prosecutor had urged the court to impose a harsh penalty given that the accused was a lawmaker and a former deputy mayor of Nairobi City, and should have therefore discouraged corruption instead of enhancing it.

But defence lawyer Karathe Wandugi said that the accused was remorseful and that he had learnt his lesson. He said the MP never benefited from the money since it was recovered by EACC officers upon receipt.

Wandugi urged the court to grant the MP a second chance to redeem his image and to preach against the vice.

During sentencing, Mr Mugambi noted that the law provides for a fine option for first offenders. He then proceeded to impose the fine and gave the accused 14 days to appeal against the sentence.

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