I wasn’t in the grave scam, pleads Mayor

October 26, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 26 – Nairobi Mayor Geophrey Majiwa has denied corruptly receiving Sh283 million from the Nairobi City Council in the purchase of cemetery land in Mavoko Municipality in the outskirts of the City.

The Mayor appeared before the anti corruption court on Tuesday after spending the night at Kilimani Police station and pleaded innocent to the corruption charge. He was released on a cash bail of Sh2.5 million or an alternative Sh6 million bond.

Mr Majiwa was charged together with former Deputy Town Clerk Geofrey Katsoleh for jointly conspiring to defraud the public of the money. Mr Katsoleh was however not in court and is now required to appear on November 9 to answer to the charge.

The Mayor’s lawyer Odhiambo Wakla accused the Kenya Anti Corruption Commission (KACC) of trying his client in the media. “Your honour my client’s rights have been infringed by the KACC. Yesterday (Monday) there was a lot of drama as my client was being arrested as he was being chased left right and centre by the media…it was a chaotic scene. My client is innocent until this court proves otherwise,” Mr Wakla protested to Principal Magistrate Lucy Nyambura.

He also accused the anti graft body for rushing to bring the criminal case instead of waiting for the conclusion of a constitutional application in the High Court in which he has sought to block his arrest over the matter.

“Why the rush to charge my client yet there is a pending application before the Constitutional Court where my client was apprehensive he might not get a fair trial?” the lawyer wondered.

Two other senior officers at City Hall were separately charged over the same scandal. Boniface Misera and Cephas Kamande are accused of conspiring to receive the Sh283 million jointly with others who have already appeared in court.

They denied the charges and were also released on a cash bail of Sh2.5 million. Both cases are due back in court on November 9.

On Monday the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (KACC) said it had credible evidence to sustain the case against the Mayor.

Mr Majiwa was picked up from his Nairobi residence on Monday morning and driven to the KACC headquarters for questioning as detectives finalised their investigation.

“We have credible evidence to charge His Worship the Mayor in court. His charge sheet is ready and he will be appearing in court tomorrow [Tuesday] morning to face two counts of corruption in relation to the cemetery scandal,” KACC Spokesman Nicholas Simani had told journalists.

Mr Majiwa now becomes the 18th person to face charges over the scandal. Others include former Local Government Permanent Secretary Sammy Kirui, one time Town Clerk John Gakuo

The charge sheet reads: “Conspiracy to commit an offence of corruption contrary to section 47 A [3] as read with section 48 of the Anti Corruption and Economic Crimes Act 2003, Geophrey Majiwa and Geofrey Katsoleh that on diverse dates between December 2008 and April 2009 in Nairobi conspired together to commit an offence of corruption with others before this court by acquiring the sum of Sh283.2 million from Ministry of Local Government purporting it to be the purchase price payable by the City Council of Nairobi for land number 14759/2.”


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