Economy

City cemetery scam convicts’ attempt to overturn fine flops

Cemetery Pic

Cephas Kamande Mwaura and Boniface Okerosi Misera in a Nairobi court on March 23 where they were sentenced to two years in jail each for fraud. PHOTO | PAUL WAWERU | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Summary

  • Boniface Okerosi Misera, a former procurement manager at the Ministry of Local Government and land surveyor Cephas Kamande Mwaura wanted the Court of Appeal to quash their conviction.
  • More than 10 Local Government, Treasury and City Hall officials were accused of paying Sh283 million of taxpayers' money for the land, which was worth only 10 per cent of that amount.

A former top government official and a surveyor have lost their second bid to overturn a Sh79m fine imposed by the anti-corruption court for receiving kickbacks over the fraudulent purchase of land to serve as a new cemetery for Nairobi.

Boniface Okerosi Misera, a former procurement manager at the Ministry of Local Government and land surveyor Cephas Kamande Mwaura wanted the Court of Appeal to quash their conviction and two-year jail sentence for their involvement in the Sh283 million Nairobi city cemetery land scandal.

More than 10 Local Government, Treasury and City Hall officials were accused of paying Sh283 million of taxpayers' money for the land, which was worth only 10 per cent of that amount and did not have a title-deed.

Mr Misera and Mr Mwaura told the court that the charges facing them were not proved to the required threshold and that the sentence meted out was not only excessive, but also inhumane and degrading.

But appellate judges Roselyne Nambuye, Agnes Murgor and Sankale Ole Kantai dismissed the appeal saying the magistrate and High Court convicted the two and made concurrent findings of facts based on both oral and documentary exhibits.

The land in Machakos County had been earmarked to replace the Lang’ata cemetery, which is full. But it was sound unsuitable for use as a cemetery.

Dismissal of the appeal means the two will first serve a mandatory two-year imprisonment term, then pay the fine.

Mr Misera was fined Sh40 million for fraudulently pocketing Sh10 million of public funds while Mr Mwaura was fined Sh37 million for earning Sh9.3 million belonging to the public.

If they do not pay the fine, they will each serve an additional one year in jail.

Mr Misera received Sh10 million through a relative who appeared in court as a prosecution witness.

In regard to Mr Mwaura, he admitted receipt of Sh9.3 million through a lawyer, allegedly for survey works.

The money was transfered to him from the joint bank account held by three law firms on February 16, 2009.