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Two microfinance owners charged in Sh215m KPA graft

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Nyali Capital Ltd directors Alfred Hinga and Peter Ndichu were also charged with receiving the amount from KPA through corruption. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Two directors of a microfinance company have been charged with conspiracy to unlawful acquire Sh215 million from Kenya Ports Authority.

Nyali Capital Ltd directors Alfred Hinga and Peter Ndichu were also charged with receiving the amount from KPA through corruption.

The accused, who appeared before Mombasa Chief Magistrate Edna Nyaloti, denied the charges and were released on a Sh5 million bond with a surety of a similar amount, or an alternative of Sh2 million cash bail.

The two were charged barely three weeks after KPA finance general manager Patrick Wambugu, accountant Isaac Obunga and Jacinta Wanjiku (Mr Wambugu’s wife) faced similar charges. According to the prosecution, the accused, on diverse dates between October 2014 and March 2017, jointly with others, conspired to commit the economic crime of unlawful acquisition of public property.

Mr Wambugu and Mr Obunga were also charged with abuse of office.

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Mr Wambugu was further accused of failing to disclose that he had an interest in Nyali Capital Ltd, a company he helped get created as a vendor in the KPA supplier relationship management system.

The court heard that Mr Wambugu used his position to improperly confer Sh215 million to Nyali Capital.

Mr Obunga, the court heard, being the accountant and reconciliation officer, used his office to improperly confer a benefit to Nyali Capital through the KPA system. He is accused of not following the procedures set out in the authority’s quality management system.

The accused’s lawyer, Jared Magolo, had previously told the court that the charges were meant to prevent some individuals from ascending to the top leadership of KPA since the issues have been investigated from 2014 to 2017.

“What is before you are politics of succession (at the Port). The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission has allowed itself to be used,” said Mr Magolo. However, Senior Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions Alloys Kemo refuted the allegations that the case was driven by politics. He termed the claims absurd, stating that the case was properly investigated. The case has been fixed for mention on June 26 for pre-trial.

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