, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 17 – A sister to Prime Minister Raila Odinga is facing charges of fraudulently acquiring property worth millions of shillings with funds drawn from the Board of Trustees of the Kenya Railways Staff Retirements Benefits Scheme between March 2009 and January 2011.
Beryl Lillian Okumu who is the chairperson of the scheme however failed to appear in court on Tuesday to answer to the charges of acquiring property worth Sh1.5 million and is now required to present herself on January 24.
The prosecution says the Sh1.5 million was drawn from the fund between March 2009 and January 2011.
Suspended CEO Mathews Kipchumba Tuikong, Ephantus Muriithi Githui (Finance Manager) and Caroline Nkirote Nyororo (Ag Chief Executive) however appeared in court to answer to charges of aiding Okumu to illegally acquire a further Sh2.7 million from the scheme.
They denied the charges and were released on a Sh1 million bond with a surety of a similar amount or an alternative cash bail of Sh400,000.
The three are accused of allegedly approving the payment of Sh2.1 million for the personal expenses incurred by the chairperson in ‘utter contravention of the law relating to the management of scheme funds.’
Githui together with Nyororo also face a separate count of approving Sh598,875 from the scheme to settle the personal expenses of the PM’s sister between October 2010 and January 2011.
Okumu has been chairperson of Kenya Railways Staff Retirement Benefits Scheme since 2008. The Railways retirement scheme owns prime property across Kenya and in Nairobi worth an estimated Sh19 billion.
The scheme was established in 2006 after the concessioning of the Rift Valley Railways as a pension scheme for former Kenya Railways employees.
In October 2010 the chief executive Tuikong was sent on leave and was replaced in an acting capacity by Nyororo, the then pension scheme’s estate manager.
The scheme was also sued over the irregular sale of property owned by Kenya Railways retired staff in October 2010.
Three pensioners sued the board of trustees for mismanaging the scheme; failing to prepare and file annual financial statements; failing to pay monthly dues to the pensioners and failing to convene an annual general meeting.