Lost documents: Ex-Kenya Power boss Ben Chumo questioned by DCI


Former Kenya Power managing director Ben Chumo (right) has been directed to present himself before the DCI for questioning over missing documents in a graft case he and 14 others are facing. PHOTO | RICHARD MUNGUTI | NMG

Former Kenya Power managing director Ben Chumo this afternoon presented himself before the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) for questioning over missing documents in a graft case he and 14 others are facing.

Senior Principal Magistrate Felix Kombo had directed Dr Chumo and his lawyers to present himself on Friday afternoon, between 2 and 4pm.

The magistrate made the directive after Dr Chumo, through his lawyer Moses Kurgat, protested over arrests of former KP managers over the missing files.

Mr Kigen sought from the prosecution whether they were planning to arrest more people in connection with the alleged loss.

It was then that the prosecution told the court that they wanted to question his client.

Three people, among them former company secretary Beatrice Meso were arrested on Monday and presented in court over the missing documents.

Ms Meso, former head of supply chain John Ombui as well as Ruth Oyile were taken to court Thursday but did not plead to charges of conspiracy to defeat justice.

The court also rejected plans to detain them for seven days to enable the police complete investigations.

Sh300,000 cash bail

Senior Principal Magistrate Kennedy Cheruiyot directed the three to deposit cash bail of Sh300,000 each to secure their release, and accompany the investigating officer to their former offices at Stima Plaza for retrieval of some documents needed by the prosecution.

On Friday, the court heard that the police have managed to retrieve the missing documents and they will file a report in court on November 14, during the mention of the case.

The trial of former managing director Ben Chumo, his successor Ken Tarus and 13 others was set for hearing for the whole week but stalled after crucial documents went missing.

In one of the reports, the power utility company acknowledges that some of the transformers failed after installation and the suppliers acknowledged some of the faults identified during the inspection and acceptance testing.

Mr Kombo allowed for adjournment saying justice would be better served if the State was granted the opportunity to make the best case it could and the accused persons given the opportunity to respond to the best case.

A total of 34 witnesses are set to testify in the matter. Other accused persons are Mr Peter Mungai, Mr Joshua Mutua, Mr Abubakar Swaleh, Mr Samuel Ndirangu, Mr Stanley Mutwiri, Mr Benson Muriithi, Mr Peter Mwicigi and Mr Ombui.

Sh408m loss

The charges state that they led to losses amounting to Sh408 million at KPLC, by procuring substandard transformers.

It is alleged that they conspired to commit an economic crime on diverse dates between August 3, 2013 and June 12, 2018 when they procured transformers worth approximately Sh408,533,221 from a company known as M/s Muwa Trading.

They further denied abuse of office and failure to comply with procurement laws.

Muwa directors James Njenga, his wife Grace Wanjira and son John Anthony Mungai are accused of fraudulently acquiring Sh202 million by supplying substandard transformers.

The trial will start on December 17.