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Sirisia MP John Walukhe (right) and co-accused Grace Wakhungu who were sentenced over a Sh297 million maize scandal.

Kenya

Walukhe and Wakhungu freed on bond pending appeal hearing

NAIROBI, Kenya Sep 28 – The High Court has given a temporary reprieve to Sirisia MP John Walukhe and his co-accused Grace Wakhungu who were jailed for 67 years over corruption.

Justice John Onyiego of the anti-corruption court granted Walukhe Sh10 million cash bail while Wakhungu will be required to deposit Sh20 million to be freed. Both were also ordered to deposit their passports in court to ensure they do not leave the country.

And should they fail to raise the cash bail, the judge ordered the deputy registrar to verify their securities.

They had applied to be freed on bail pending an appeal of their sentence, which they described as harsh.

Both have been in prison sine June when they were sentenced after they were found guilty of corruption in a Sh300 million scandal involding the supply of maize to the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB).

When they were sentenced in June, the court gave them the alternative of paying a fine of Sh797 million.

It was the same sentence declared for his co-accused Grace Wakhungu. Their company Erad General Suppliers was convicted and sentenced.

The two and the company were found guilty of various offenses, each carrying sentences of between one to seven years, with varied fines all totaling to Sh707,725,562 for Wakhungu and Sh727,725,562 for Weluke as shown on the table below.

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The sentence followed a conviction after the prosecution proved the two irregularly received Sh300 million from the National Cereals and Produce Board in 2004.

Both are listed as directors of Erad General Suppliers, the firm that received the payment.

Court documents indicated the payment was for the supply of white maize.

In demanding the payment, the two claimed that they incurred losses after a tender to supply 40,000 metric tones was canceled, and even presented forged invoices after an arbitration.

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