Counties

Bomet tenders chief jailed for 5 years over ambulance fraud

Court says Ezekiel Chirchir was entrusted to guard taxpayers’ money but failed to do so. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Court says Ezekiel Chirchir was entrusted to guard taxpayers’ money but failed to do so. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Kericho court has sentenced Bomet County Procurement Officer Ezekiel Chirchir to five years in jail for abuse of office over the purchase of six ambulances at Sh3.6 million each.

Senior Principal Magistrate Joseph Ndururi ruled that the prosecution had proved its case against Mr Chirchir and convicted him under Section 215 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

Mr Ndururi however acquitted 13 of Mr Chirchir’s co-accused. “It is public knowledge that a huge percentage of corruption related cases in Kenya revolves around the issues of procurement.

It is therefore necessary where clear evidence has emerged that the court should hand down a sentence that would send a harsh message to those involved in such malpractice,” said Justice Ndururi.

He said that although Mr Chirchir did not gain any personal benefit from the transaction, he was the head of the procurement department and hence carried out the responsibility of ensuring that goods, services and works were procured in accordance with the law.

“The accused was entrusted with the authority to guard taxpayers’ money, he had the option of nullifying the whole process but he chose not to,’’ he ruled.