Manager, trader in court over bribery

December 5, 2008 12:00 am
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, NAIROBI, Kenya – A manager with the East African Portland Cement Company Limited (EAPCC) was on Tuesday arraigned in a Nairobi court and charged with corruptly receiving Sh500,000.

Thomas Ombasa, the commercial manager who was suspended last Sunday following his arrest, however denied the charge before Nairobi Senior Principal Magistrate Cecilia Githua.

It is alleged that Mr Ombasa received the money on November 27 at Red Court Restaurant in Nairobi from Titus Kyalo who was an agent of businessman Robin Kinyua.  The prosecution alleges that the money was an inducement to issue a letter to DKM Distributors Limited to distribute cement for EAPCC.

He was released on a bond of Sh1 million with a similar surety or an alternative cash bail of Sh500,000 pending hearing of the case on January 19.

Mr Kinyua also appeared in the same court accused of giving Sh650,000 to the manager.

It is alleged that he gave the money through agents Eric Maende and Titus Kyalo as an inducement to issue a cement distributorship letter to DKM Distributors Limited.

He also denied the charge and was released on a bond of Sh1 million with a similar surety or an alternative cash bail of Sh500,000 pending hearing of the case on January 19.

Their lawyer requested to be furnished with documented evidence to be relied upon by the prosecution including a video clip which allegedly captured them in the act.

The court however declined, saying the video cannot be copied until it is used in court.

The manager was arrested on Friday last week as the company marked its 75th anniversary by officials from the Kenya Anti Corruption Commission.  On Sunday, EAPCC Managing Director John Nyambok announced the manager’s suspension until investigations were completed.

While announcing the suspension Eng Nyambok said though the suspicions were yet to be proven in court, Mr Ombasa would not resume his normal duties until investigations were completed and a verdict reached.

"If he is not found guilty we have internal procedures and processes of handling such issues.  I assure you, we will not rest until this is handled in the best way and in the interest of the company we serve," Mr Nyambok said.

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