Ben Gethi, co-accused handed 2 year jail term over IEBC lanterns tender

Benson Gethi Wangui and Joyce Makena in court. Photo/Courtesy

NYS scandal prime suspect Benson Gethi and co-accused Joyce Makena have been sentenced to two years in jail in the Sh 105 million IEBC solar lanterns tender case. 

Chief Magistrate Lawrennce Mugambi gave the two an alternative to pay a fine of Sh 4 million each.

The IEBC officials charged alongside the two were also sentenced to serve one year prison term.

In the alternative, they were given a fine ranging from Sh 200,000 to Sh 1 million.

Gethi and Makena were charged alongside IEBC employees Adan Katello Adano, Abdi Elema Ali, Kennedy Gaunye Ochae, Gabriel Ngonyo Mutunga, Willy Gachanja Kamanga and Solarmak Technologies Limited.

However, Adano and Ali were acquitted of the charges of conspiracy to commit an offence of corruption. The two were new at IEBC and had only stayed for a few weeks.


The accused persons were accused of altering the tender documents for supply of lanterns for the 2013 general elections. 

Gethi and Makena were charged with forgery of a tax compliance certificate and certificate of incorporation for Solamark Technologies.

Gethi and Makena are the directors of Solarmark.

The IEBC employees were charged with were conspiracy to commit an offence of corruption. They were also charged with failure to comply with law relating to procurement.

During sentencing, the magistrate noted that there was no money lost to attract a stiffer sentence or  fine.

The magistrate ruled that the accused persons did not benefit from the public funds. This is because their plans were thwarted by the Public Procurement Review Board.

Solarmark Technologies allegedly bid for the supply of lanterns for use at the general election at a cost of Sh 127,400,000.

The company had been contracted to procure 30,000 solar lanterns to the IEBC before the public procurement appeals board reversed the results following complaints from another bidder.

The company was to supply the lanterns for Sh 127 million while a competing company, Konnexions Systems Ltd, had offered to provide the lamps for Sh 107 million.

However, Solarmark Technologies’ tender documents were later altered to read Sh105 million.