NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 22 – A senior accountant in the Ministry of Education has been jailed for three years after an anti-corruption court found her guilty of misappropriating over Sh10.7 million.
Trial Magistrate Lawrence Mugambi sentenced Jane Ngugi after the prosecution proved its case against her for fraudulent acquisition of public property and false accounting.
Ngugi will serve the jail term after the trial court declined to give her the option of paying a fine for the offences committed.
The court handed Ngugi three years for fraudulent acquisition of property and two years for false accounting, but the sentences will run concurrently, meaning she will serve three years maximum.
The move by the anti-corruption court comes a day after President Uhuru Kenyatta freed 7,000 petty offenders during this year’s Mashujaa celebrations “to create space for corrupt government officials.”
During the celebrations held in Machakos County, President Kenyatta said “ leo tunawachilia wezi wadogo wa kuku na ng’ombe ili kutengeneza nafasi kubwa ya kufunga wale wafisadi wakubwa.”
Public officials who have since been convicted without option of a fine include former Eldoret East MP Perris Simam and her husband.
Earlier in the week, the President Kenyatta had during the State House Summit on Accountability indicated that he would be pardoning petty thieves to create room for ‘big fish’ of corruption.
It was during the meeting that the Judiciary came under fire for failing to convict or senior government officials who have since been taken to court on corruption related charges.
The third Arm of the Government was said to be the weakest link and frustrating fight against the vice for failing to convict high ranking individuals charged with corruption.
The President has challenged new Chief Justice David Maraga to fast track the over 600 corruption related cases that are still pending in various courts.
Also criticized during the forum was Ethics and Anticorruption Commission (EACC), the Director of Public Prosecutions and Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) for carrying out shoddy investigations that cannot sustain a conviction.
But the Opposition led by former Premier Raila Odinga have accused President Kenyatta of buck passing and challenged him to lead from the front in fighting mega corruption scandals such as National Youth Service (NYS), Eurobond and National Youth Fund.