, KISUMU, Kenya, Jan 13 – Kitutu Chache South MP Richard Onyonka was on Monday arraigned in court and charged with corruption and abuse of office.
Onyonka was charged with non-remittance of tax to the Kenya Revenue Authority on sugar bought from Chemelil Sugar Company for Internally Displaced People in his constituency.
The MP who appeared before Chief Magistrate Lucy Gitari at the Kisumu Law Courts denied the two counts before being released on a Sh40 million surety bond or a cash bail of Sh5 million.
In the first count, Onyonka is charged with conspiracy to defraud the public of Sh21 million contrary to Section 317 of the Penal Code.
In the second count, the MP is accused of abuse of office contrary Section 46 as read with Section 48(I) of the Anti-corruption and Economic Crimes Act of 2003.
Onyonka is accused of improperly conferring a benefit of Sh21million on James George Siro by causing Chemelil Sugar Company to sell the product to Kitutu Chache Constituency Development Fund (CDF) at a price less its Value Added Tax.
The MP is represented by advocates Richard Onsongo, Ibrahim Ogejo, Oonge Edward and Steve Orina.
Onsongo, who is the lead counsel, made an application to have the prosecution, led by Douglas Ogoti, supply them with the crime of incident report.
Magistrate Gitari directed the prosecution to provide the document to the defence team within 21 days.
Gitari set the mention date on January 27 with hearing slated on April 1, 2 and 3.
Onyonka was arrested last Wednesday by anti-corruption detectives following investigations into the misappropriation of millions of CDF cash.
According to the Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko, Onyonka made the purchase through his Constituency Development Fund but refused to pay the taxman saying the dues had been lawfully withheld.
Tobiko then called for his and Siro’s prosecution.
“The DPP has approved the recommendation by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission to charge Hon. Richard Onyonka with the offences of conspiracy to defraud the public and abuse of office relating to allegations of fraudulent failure to pay VAT amounting to Sh21,250,628,” read a statement from the DPP last week.