Court freezes property of another prison officer


Lady Justice Esther Maina during a past court session. PHOTO | ONDARI OGEGA | NMG

The High Court has ordered the preservation of two houses in Nairobi suspected to have been purchased using funds stolen from the Department of Correctional Services from payment of supply of sugar and rations that were never delivered.

Justice Esther Maina ordered the freezing of an apartment in Komarock area in Nairobi, which was purchased for Sh4 million and registered in the name of Moses Juma Sirengo.

Also frozen is another house in Nairobi purchased for Sh8.5 million and a total of Sh1.2 million belonging to Mr Sirengo held in two different accounts at Housing Finance Company of Kenya (HFCK).

The freeze comes almost a month after the High Court allowed EACC to preserve parcels of land, seven cars and a house in Nairobi worth Sh17.5 million belonging to a prisons official, suspected to have benefitted from tenders worth Sh257 million between 2012 and 2016.

Justice Maina issued orders preserving the funds and the houses, pending the conclusion of a probe by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC).

“That the orders shall subsist for a period of six months in line with the provisions of Section 56(3) of the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act,” the Judge said.

The anti-graft body said it is investigating claims of conflict of interest at the prisons and investigations have so far unearthed cases where companies were paid for goods they never delivered.

The EACC said it was probing Mr Joseph Kariuki Mwangi who trades as Josil General Supplies ltd, Ms Maureen Ndungwa Mwikya whose company is Reenn East Africa Company, Mr Eric Kipkurui Mutai of Unique Supplies and Mr Sirengo.

The probe so far revealed that Mr Kariuki and Ms Mwikya were paid Sh12 million and Sh4 million, respectively for food and rations allegedly supplied to prison facilities. They claimed to have supplied sugar to four prison facilities but nothing was delivered.

The officers in charge have attached affidavits saying none of the items were supplied. Money was released to the companies’ bank accounts, some of which were transferred to Mr Sirengo’s bank accounts of HFCK.

Mr Sirengo later purchased the house from HFCK in Komarock for Sh4 million and another one for Sh8.5 million.

The EACC said the officials are aware of the investigations and might transfer or withdraw the funds before the probe is completed or dispose of the houses.

Court documents stated that Mr Sirengo is still holding a total of Sh1.1 million in two different accounts.

Last month was told that Mr Mutai was paid Sh257 million between 2012 and 2016, for supplies allegedly made to the Prisons.

The official is the sole proprietor of seven companies registered during the period and using the said companies, he got the funds allegedly through fictitious supply of food and ration to the department of Corrections.

The companies include Unique Supplies, Homex Logistics enterprises and Hygienic Ventures. From the payments, Mr Mutai allegedly purchased the parcels of land in Nyaribari Chache in Kisii County, Kipchimchim in Kericho County and another property in Nairobi.

He also acquired the seven motor vehicles, all valued at Sh30 million.

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