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Economy

Jailed Kenya Re ex-finance chief in more trouble

John Faustin Kinyua
Former Kenya Re-insurance finance director John Faustin Kinyua and Ms Mary Njeri Nganga Kimingi in court on Thursday, June 13, 2019. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NMG 

Jailed former Kenya Reinsurance #ticker:KNRE finance director John Faustin Kinyua got into more trouble Thursday after a Nairobi court found him guilty of fraudulently acquiring a house belonging to the corporation, close to 14 years ago.

Senior principal magistrate Felix Kombo found Kinyua and Ms Mary Njeri Ng’ang’a Kimingi guilty of illegally acquiring a house belonging to the corporation in Karen. The two were also found guilty of getting Sh132,504, alleged to be an overpayment for the purchase of the house.

The court, however, noted that the money was still being held by the law firm which drafted the agreement.

Ms Kimingi was the director of Rockhound Properties, the company which allegedly purchased the house. She is the person who signed the agreements on behalf of the company and other directors. The magistrate noted that the Kenya Re board was kept in the dark by two senior officials and that it was the managing director who authorised the sale and the company secretary prepared the sale agreement and engaged a law firm to execute the agreement.

Mr Kinyua is currently serving a three-year jail term, handed to him over a month ago, after he was found guilty of tricking taxpayers into buying a house Embakasi’s Villa Franca Estate.

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He was jailed together with Charles Gichane, former Heritage Insurance manager or pay an alternative fine Sh7.3 million each.

On Thurday, Mr Kombo said there was no reason at to why the officials withheld the information from the board and the only conclusion he could make is that they were complicit. “It is my finding that the accused persons jointly contributed to the fraud,” he said.

The two had initially been charged alongside former officials of Kenya-Re Johnson Jackson Githaka (MD) and Jane Florence Otieno (company secretary) but Mr Githaka, who is also serving term in prison over another scandal and Ms Otieno were let off the hook, because the charge sheet against them was faulty.

Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) investigated an allegation that the property on Ndege Road, had been fraudulently sold to Rockhound Properties.

The anti-graft body later found that the money allegedly used to purchase the house were actually payment from insurance premiums, from Alexander Forbes Insurance Brokers Kenya Ltd (Now Eagle Africa Insurance Brokers Ltd) and United Insurance Company.

Alexander Forbes had sent a cheque of Sh1,070,043, while United Insurance Company Ltd had sent Sh11,062,461.

The officials allegedly hatched the scheme, claiming that the Sh12,132,504, deposits were for the purchase of the house, which used to belong to Dr Joseph ara Ngok. Dr Ngok wanted to purchase the house at Sh12 million and paid Sh9 million but failed to complete the balance.

The corporation later agreed that since he had not paid the full amount, he should be paying rent. The dispute is still before the High Court.

The prosecution called a total of 16 witnesses among them lawyers who were involved in the transactions, managers from the two insurance firms, handwriting experts and document examiners.

The court noted that on May 4, 2005 Esther Njiru Omulele of Muriu Mungai & Co. Advocates wrote to Kenya-Re’s Corporation secretary Ms Otieno sent a draft sale agreement between corporation and Rockhound Properties Ltd for approval. Instructions were also sought to have a court order to evict Dr Ngok’s family.

Later, in October 18, 2005 the law firm asking a refund of Sh132,504, alleged to be an overpayment for the purchase of the house.

Mr Kombo pushed the mitigation and sentencing to Friday.

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