, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 4 – Suspended Cabinet Secretary for Transport and Infrastructure, Michael Kamau, on Thursday pleaded “not true” to four counts of corruption.
Kamau denied the charges before Senior Principal Magistrate Lawrence Mugambi who released him on a Sh3 million bond with a surety of the same amount with an alternative Sh1 million cash bail.
“I cannot release you on the same terms as your co-accused charged on Tuesday as you are facing more counts and are only here by force of summons,” Mugambi explained.
Kamau stands accused of wilfully failing to comply with applicable procedures and guidelines relating to the management of public funds, engaging in a project without prior planning, wilful failure to comply with the law relating to procurement and abuse of office.
The particulars of the offence are that he “ignored the design of the Kamukuywa-Kaptama-Kapsokwony-Sirisia Road which had been done by Engiconsult Consulting Engineers Limited at the cost of Sh33,303,600 and entering into a Memorandum of Understanding under which the resident engineer redesigned the same road.”
A Memorandum of Understanding which court records show, “had the effect of quantity variation for works exceeding 15 percent of the quantity of the original contract between the Government of Kenya and Kundan Singh Construction Limited.”
Kamau took his plea alongside Nicholas Ndung’u Ng’ang’a, the aforementioned Resident Engineer, and Kata Matemu Kithyo who was a member of the ministerial tender committee that sanctioned the redesign.
The three were summoned by Magistrate Mugambi on Tuesday when they failed to plead to the corruption charges alongside six of their co-accused.
Their co-accused being Mwangi Maingi who was Chief Roads Engineer at the time, Philip Onyango Sika who chaired the tender committee, Gilbert Mong’are Arasa, Raphael Weche Okubo, Sylus Wachira Gitau and Charles Oike Mubweka who were members of the committee.
Kamau moved to the High Court the same Wednesday to contest his prosecution on the grounds that the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission which recommended his prosecution did not have commissioners at the time and was therefore “non-existent.”
He also accused President Uhuru Kenyatta of compromising the Commission’s independence by directing it to conclude its investigations into Kamau and other public officials on the infamous #ListOfShame in 60 days.
Justice Mumbi Ngugi however directed that he should take his plea before the Anti-Corruption Court before June 9 when she would deliver her ruling.
Kamau is among the five cabinet secretaries President Kenyatta suspended to clear the way for the EACC to probe complaints filed against them.
He was as of Thursday the only CS to face charges.