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Economy

Former Nyeri officials handed three years for graft

From left: John Mwangi Maina, Martin Wamwea and Simon Wachira at the Nyeri Law Courts on September 26, 2016. PHOTO | NICHOLAS KOMU |
From left: John Mwangi Maina, Martin Wamwea and Simon Wachira at the Nyeri Law Courts on September 26, 2016. PHOTO | NICHOLAS KOMU |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

Three former Nyeri County executives have been jailed for three years for failing to comply with procurement laws after irregularly approving a Sh3.7 million payment to a firm.

John Mwangi Maina, the former executive secretary for Land and Infrastructure, Martin Kanjuaigwa Wamwea (Finance and Planning) and ex-chief of staff Simon Wachira Kagiri were found guilty of improperly authorising the payment to Pleng Limited.

They were convicted Monday and asked to pay a fine of Sh400,000 each for flouting procurement rules or serve a one year jail term.

The former top aides in governor Nderitu Gachagua's administration were further told to pay a compulsory fine of twice the amount that was lost in the illegal process (Sh7.5 million), failure to which they would serve two years in prison.

While reading the judgment at the Nyeri Law Courts, Chief Magistrate John Onyiego said the sentences would be served concurrently.

The three had been charged with six counts of failure to comply with the procurement law and funds management procedures, as well as abuse of office.

The court however acquitted the three of charges of abuse of office on grounds that the supporting evidence was similar to that of the previous charges.

“The use of the same evidence is equivalent to duplicating charges hence the second charge of abuse of office should have been presented as an alternative charge to the first,” said Mr Onyiego.

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