Kenya: Former PS Sammy Kirui Acquitted in Sh283 Million Cemetery Land Fraud as 2 Jailed

23 September 2020

Nairobi — Former Permanent Secretary for Local Goverment Sammy Kirui has been set free in Sh283 million cemetery land fraud case.

Justice John Onyiego found and held that the PS played no vital role in the procurement process in which the then Nairobi City Council lost the money.

In the appeal arising from the conviction by a conviction by the anti-corruption court, the judge on Wednesday ruled that former Nairobi City Council legal officer Mary Ngethe and her co-appellant Alexander Musee are guilty of the offense.

He subsequently upheld the judgement against them from the lower court.

During the pendance of the appeal, former Town Clerk John Gakuo ‎died in prison, leading to the discharge of his appeal. Ngethe and Musee will now serve their respective jail terms.

Gakuo had been jailed for three years for abuse of office.‎

His co-accused, Kirui, Ng'ethe and Chairman of the Tender Committee Musee had also been jailed for three years.

Ng'ethe was found guilty of failing to adhere to procurement laws and giving misleading information to the tender committee.

They were convicted for their roles in the purchase of land meant for a cemetery in Mavoko, Athi River, in 2009.

Besides the three-year jail term for each of the four, Chief Magistrate Douglas Ogoti ordered Gakuo and Kirui to pay a fine of Sh1 million each, while Ng'ethe was ordered to pay Sh52 million while Musee will pay Sh32 million failing which they will serve an additional year in jail.

Ogoti ruled that the four ought to have used their positions to stop the illegal acts but they chose not to, leading to loss of taxpayers' money.

Ng'ethe and Musee were found guilty of giving a misleading report purporting that the committee had agreed to buy the controversial 120-acre land in Mavoko town. They also used a false valuation report to award the tender.

The court said the former officials ought to have stopped the payment of Sh283,200,000 to Naen Rech Ltd, who received the money for the irregular purchase of the land.

It is said that both were beneficiaries of the illegality and that they received substantial financial benefits from the procurement of the land which was priced above the prevailing market rate.

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