Former KWAL boss loses bid to overturn Sh6m theft conviction


Former Kenya Wines Agencies managing director Francis Oyugi. PHOTO | FILE

Former managing director of the Kenya Wine Agencies (Kwal) Francis Oyugi, has lost an appeal against a conviction for having siphoned Sh6 million from the State corporation.

Mr Oyugi was found guilty of fraudulently transferring the cash from the company to himself 13 years ago.

He was said to have of transferred the monies under the guise that he was benefiting from a house purchase assistance scheme operated by the company.

High Court judge Luka Kimaru ruled that the prosecution had established he had unlawfully used his position to commit the offence between August 26, 2003 and September 3, 2003.

“Prosecution established to the required standard of proof beyond any reasonable doubt that Mr Oyugi abused his position as a managing director of a public company to confer upon himself the cash which he was not entitled to,” said Justice Kimaru.

The judge also ordered him to pay Sh3,440,469.28 to Kwal or in default he shall serve a one year imprisonment in addition to the trial court’s sentence.

The judge faulted the trial court for failing to sentence him as required by law since he was given an offer that he did not take-- which was to pay back the company for the loss suffered.

Mr Oyugi was charged in another case together with Mr Chris Kirubi and Mr Joseph Munene for conspiring to defraud Uchumi Supermarkets Sh147 million.

In the Kwal case, Mr Oyugi was charged in 2003 with unlawfully acquiring public property contrary to the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act.

He was accused of fraudulently acquiring the cash from Kwal for the purchase of a residential house, while knowing that he did not qualify for the loan under the company’s scheme.

Even though he denied the charges before trial magistrate Gilbert Mutembei, he was convicted and sentenced to pay a fine of one million shillings or face a term of three years imprisonment.

But he appealed against the sentence arguing that the trial court had reached an erroneous verdict based on evidence which did not show that he had borrowed the money from the company.

He had claimed that the trial court was wrong to find him as not qualifying for the house scheme and terming the loan advanced to him as a public property.