NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 5 – Former Chief Registrar of the Judiciary Gladys Boss Shollei has been charged alongside six other past officers of the Judiciary with abuse of office and wilful failure to comply with procurement laws in the purchase of a Sh310 million residence in Runda for the Chief Justice.
Shollei was however not present to plead to the charges before the Anti-Corruption Court on Wednesday with her lawyer Edwin Sifuna informing the magistrate that she was out of the country.
She is however expected to be present on August 24 when the matter comes up for mention.
The six others denied the charges and were freed on a bond Sh1.5 million each with a Sh600,000 alternative cash bail.
The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission recommended that Shollei be charged alongside her former Deputy Kakai Kissinger who chaired the tender committee that approved the purchase.
It also recommended the prosecution of the other tender committee members.
Appearing before the National Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee in June of 2014, an interdicted Kissinger admitted that there were irregularities in the purchase of the residence.
He said the committee did not wait for a conclusive valuation to be carried out on the residence before awarding the tender to Johnson Nduya Muthama Holdings Limited, a company owned by Machakos Senator Johnson Muthama.
He told the oversight committee that the tender team went ahead to award the tender in spite of a vague valuer’s assessment of the exact acreage of the property among other details.
Kissinger blamed the shortcomings of the tender committee on the fast pace of transformation in the Judiciary and a heavy reliance on consultants.
“Chair I tried to do what I could in the circumstances,” Kissinger defended himself to the committee.
Shollei’s successor Atieno Amadi told the committee on June 10, 2014 that despite the Judiciary having paid for the residence in full, it was not in possession of the ownership documents.
Shollei had moved to the High Court seeking anticipatory bail in April after it emerged that she was among present and former public officials under investigation by the EACC.
Her application was however denied for the reason that it was premature.