The purchase of property for the Kenyan embassy in Japan, which cost the government Sh1.1 billion, was the handiwork of a few “interested parties” hell-bent on benefiting from graft and blackmail, a chief investigator has said.
Mr Kipsang Sambai of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission has also incriminated Foreign Affairs permanent secretary Thuita Mwangi and two other diplomats in an affidavit filed at the High Court on Tuesday.
The PS, an ambassador and a senior embassy official are battling an abuse of office case in relation to the scandal in which they are accused of buying property through flawed procurement from an individual at Sh1,137,090,000 instead of from the Japanese Government, which had offered a lower price.
“Investigations established that following the offer by the Japanese Government, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs sent a team to undertake valuation and the officers returned a valuation of Sh887,400,000 ... However, during the visit by the officers, the second interested party, Allan Mburu, prevailed upon the team to inspect the property housing the chancery and ambassador’s residence ... ,” the affidavit partly reads.
Mr Mburu was the Kenyan embassy charge d’affaires and faces prosecution alongside ambassador Anthony Mwaniki Muchiri.
Mr Sambai says his investigation revealed that no bids were received and analysed on February 2, 2009, as purported in a letter written to the ministry indicating that the property owner had offered to sell the land at the contested price.
He further says that at a meeting held on February 2, 2009, the owner, a Meguro-Ku, had even reduced the price of the property.
Mr Sambai has asked the High Court to throw out a petition Mr Mwangi lodged against his prosecution.
The Tokyo embassy scandal shot into the limelight in 2010.
As a parliamentary committee’s investigation was under way, Mr Mwangi and then Foreign Affairs minister Moses Wetang’ula were forced to step aside for 10 months before being reinstated.
Mr Mwangi was arraigned in court on February 28.
He is charged alongside Mr Mburu and Mr Muchiri.
Each of them is out on Sh2 million cash bail.