Lumbasyo denies graft charge

January 6, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 6 – Former National Social Security Fund (NSSF) managing trustee Rachael Lumbasyo has been charged with conspiracy to defraud the Fund of Sh8 million.

Ms Lumbasyo who presented herself at the Kenya Anti Corruption Commission offices to record a statement on Tuesday, however denied the charge when she before Senior Resident Magistrate Lucy Nyambura on Wednesday morning.

She was released on a cash bail of Sh500,000.

Ms Lumbasyo is facing charges alongside lawyer Stephen Kipkenda and Kakamega High Court Judge Said Chitembwe.

They are accused of paying the money for services not rendered in respect to the sale of five plots belonging to the NSSF.

It is alleged that: “On or about 7th July 2008, at the NSSF Building, Nairobi, within Nairobi Province, being persons whose functions concerned the management of public property, to wit, the funds of the National Social Security Fund as the Corporation Secretary and Managing Trustee respectively, fraudulently made payment from the said public property of Kshs.8, 071,724.00 to M/s Kipkenda, Lilan & Co. Advocates for services not adequately rendered in respect of sale of Kenyatta Avenue plots Nos. LR 209/11412, 209/11331, 209/12220, 209/12219 and 209/12287 belonging to the said National Social Security Fund.”

Justice Chitembwe was arrested early last week and charged before the Anti Corruption Court. He denied the charges and was released on a cash bail of Sh500,000.

The judge was flown from Mombasa to Nairobi to answer to the charges which he allegedly committed when he was the Company Secretary of the NSSF.

The case will now be heard on February 2.

Ms Lumbasyo and Justice Chitebwe were removed from the Fund last year by Labour Minister John Munyes after accusations that the NSSF was at the risk of losing billions owing to poor investment decision and corrupt activities.

KACC Public Relations Officer Nicholas Simani said the arrests were a culmination of the investigations conducted by KACC on the graft allegations at the Fund.

During the case last week, Justice Chitebwe’s lawyer Steven Mwenesi however maintained that his client was innocent. Mr Mwenesi questioned why the background checks made before his appointment as a judge did not reveal any malpractices.

“Justice Chitembwe was vetted and appointed a judge of the High Court of Kenya. The Judicial Service Commission must have done their job. Is this a complaint from the same Commission,” he posed.


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