Nairobi County Assembly Clerk and five others charged with graft


Five senior Nairobi County Assembly employees and a businessman charged over Sh 900,000 graft have been released on bail.

The accused persons include: Jacob Ngwele Muvengei (Nairobi County Clerk), Adah Awuor Onyango (Deputy Clerk) Philomena Kavinya Nzuki (Principal Accountant), James Kariuki (Senior Procurement Officer), Frederick Macharia (Senior Finance and planning officer) and Raphael Mwinzi (Proprietor, Primary Ventures)

The six are alleged to have flouted procurement procedures leading to irregular payment of Sh 997,926 to Primara Ventures being payment for goods not delivered.

They also denied abuse of office, willful failure to comply with procedures and guidelines relating to management of public funds, undue influence and conflict of interest before Milimani Anti-Corruption Chief Magistrate Lawrence Mugambi.

The magistrate further prohibited the accused persons from accessing their offices and contacting witnesses without the authority of the County government and the Investigating officer.

They are alleged to have committed the offense on diverse dates between 16th March and 5th July 2017 at Nairobi City County.

The Clerk faced a lone charge of willfully failing to comply with section 68(1) and (2) of the Procurement financial management Act 2012 by applying public funds under his care to unlawful purpose for unlawful payment of the above sum to Primara for supply of books for the County Assembly resource center which was not delivered.

He is further accused of abusing his office by using it to improperly confer a benefit to the above company by irregularly authorizing payment of Sh 997,926.

In another count, Ngwele and Nzuki the Principal accountant were also charged that on 29th June 2017, they fraudulently made payments of the monies to Primara Ventures being payment for books not delivered to the county Assembly.

Nzuki, Owuor, Macharia and Kariuki, were also charged with abusing their offices by using them to irregularly acknowledge acceptance of the books not delivered, being members of the inspection committee.

Kariuki is also accused of instructing Daisy Mueni Muema, a Procurement officer (ii) for the Assembly to irregularly prepare quotations for Bluefox Technologies, Saruva  Technologies, Chehaja Investment limited, Beriza Solutions and Primara in contravention of the applicable procedures and guidelines relating to public Procurement.

It is alleged that the tender for the books was never advertised and the quotations used during the process were irregularly prepared by the Procurement officers to the County Assembly. It is alleged that the money was paid to the company in question on June 29th 2017.

The prosecution had objected their release on bail saying that they were likely to interfere with witnesses. The court heard that the accused persons are senior officials at the Assembly and 90 percent of the witnesses are their juniors.

However, the defense objected saying that the prosecution had not demonstrated how the accused are likely to interfere with witnesses. They argued that no sufficient material had been produced to support the allegation.

They were all granted a bond of Sh 600,000 and one surety of a similar amount or a cash bail of Sh 300,000. In addition, they directed to deposit their passports before court and for those who do not, to provide proof from the office of the Department of Immigration to show the same.