NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 17 – Former Cabinet Minister Amos Kimunya has been freed on a Sh1 million cash bail after he denied abuse of office and fraud charges at the Anti-Corruption Court in Milimani.
Kimunya – who was charged alongside Lillian Wangiri Njenga and Junghae Wainaina – is accused of failing to disclose personal interest, breach of trust, failing to protect public property and illegally disposing of public land.
“In the first count, Amos Kimunya and Lillian Wangiri Njenga, you face the charge of abuse of office contrary to section 46 and section 48 (1) of the Anti Corruption and Economic Crimes Act 2003,” stated Chief Magistrate Doreen Mulekyo while reading out the charges.
His two co-accused were also freed on similar bail terms.
The charges relate to the irregular allocation of a 25-acre piece of land in Nyandarua when Kimunya was Lands Minister to M/s Midlands Limited, where he was a director and shareholder.
Kimunya, and Wangiri – who was the Director of Lands Adjudication and Settlement at the time – are accused of using their offices to improperly confer a benefit to Midlands Limited a private company by allocating them public land valued at Sh60 million while knowing that the same land was not available for alienation.
In count two, the former minister was charged with failure to disclose private interest in the company contrary to section 42 of the Anti Corruption and Economic Crimes Act 2003.
The land was part of 75 acres belonging to the Ministry of Agriculture that had been reserved for a potatoes seed multiplication project.
Kimunya served as Lands Minister in former President Mwai Kibaki’s National Alliance Rainbow Coalition (NARC) Government from 2002 to February 2006, after which he was moved to the Finance docket.
In count three, he was charged with the fraudulent disposal of public property.
In count four, he was charged with breach of trust as someone employed in the public service when he disposed of the said piece of land.
In count six, Kimunya and Wangiri were accused of failure to protect public property contrary to section 45(1) (c) of the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act.
In count seven, Wainaina was accused of fraudulently acquiring public property.
The hearing of the case is set for July 8 and 9, 2014.