NYERI, Kenya, Sep 26 – A Nyeri court has sentenced three former county officials to three years imprisonment or a Sh7.9 million fine for failing to adhere to procurement laws.
Chief Magistrate John Oyiego while delivering the judgment fined ex-county officials John Mwangi Maina, Martin Wamwea and Simon Wachira Sh400,000 and ordered them to further pay Sh7,513,924 which is double the amount of Sh3.7 million they illegally and improperly authorised payment.
The trio faced six counts of corruption and abuse of office for a roads construction tender amounting to Sh3,756,962.37 that was awarded to Pleng Limited without adhering to procurement rules.
Prosecution led by Wesley Nyamache completed a trial of eight witnesses who gave evidence and testified in the matter.
A Nyeri court heard how three former County senior officials awarded and approved payment of Sh3.7 million to a construction company before it had signed a tender contract.
The eighth and final witness in the case, Ethics and Anti-Corruption (EACC ) procurement forensic investigator Adan Gedi Ali, testified that the County Executive Lands and Infrastructure John Mwangi Maina, surpassed the tender committee mandate and went ahead to notify and award audit tender services to the Pleng limited company.
“The procurement procedure requires that before any payments are made, supporting documents and a contract of award must be signed and attached,” Ali told the court.
The County Executive Finance, Economics and Planning Martin Kanjuaigwa Wamwea and the Chief of Staff who at that time was the Acting Accounting Officer Lands, Simon Wachira on their part directed and approved payments of the consultancy services to the company without supporting documents.
They are further charged with willful failure to comply with the law on applicable procurement procedures, abuse of office and failure to comply with applicable procedures of management of funds.
Through their lawyer, they filed a petition which is still pending in court that challenges the Constitutionality of their prosecution.