, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 19 – Former Tourism Permanent Secretary Rebecca Nabutola and one time Kenya Tourism Board Managing Director Dr Achieng Ong’ong’a have lost an appeal challenging their conviction.
High Court Judge Ngenye Macharia upheld their conviction over wilful failure to comply with procurement procedures in which the government lost Sh8.9 million.
The judge ordered that the two face one year in jail or pay a fine of Sh500,000.
The judge however quashed their conviction on five other counts including abuse of office, making payments for services which were not rendered, conspiracy to defraud the government, conflict of interest and making payments of government revenue without accounting.
Nabutola had in 2012 been jailed for four years while Ong’ong’a was sent to serve three years in prison.
In addition, Nabutola was required to pay a fine of Sh1 million and in default serve a further two years in jail, while Ong’ong’a was to pay Sh1.5 million or serve two more years.
Tour Operator Duncan Muriuki who was charged with them was sent to prison for seven years without the option of a fine.
Muriuki was also to pay Sh17.8 million in fines or serve three years in default.
Anti corruption court magistrate Lucy Nyambura also directed Muriuki to refund Sh800,000 to the Republic of Kenya and a further Sh500,000 to the government failure to which he will serve a further one year in prison.
In her findings Nyambura said the prosecution had proved the case against the trio.
The trio was charged in May 2009 following recommendations by the then Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission, now known as the EACC.
The case involved investigations in the illegal payments of money to a tour company that coordinated a visit to the Mara by President Mwai Kibaki and other top government officials.
According to the prosecutors, the procurement procedures were flouted in awarding the tender to the firm that organised the tour, and blamed the PS and the former KTB boss for failing to follow laid down regulations.
“The Permanent Secretary participated in appointing the said tour company and indeed communicated the appointment to the Catering and Tourism Development Levy Trustees. She also issued instructions for payment of a further Sh400,000 to the said tour company despite the fact that the sum of Sh8,925,444, which was highly exaggerated, had not been accounted for,” according to a statement from KACC in April of 2009.
Nabutola was later charged with the offence of abuse of office contrary to Section 46 of the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act 2003 and wilful failure to comply with the law relating to procurement contrary to Section 45(2) (b) of the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act 2003.