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64 set to testify in Kenya Power corruption case

Kenya Power MD Kenneth Tarus (left) and former managing director Ben Chumo
Kenya Power MD Kenneth Tarus (left) and former managing director Ben Chumo at the Milimani Law Court on July 17, 2018. PHOTO | FRANCIS NDERITU | NMG   

The prosecution has lined up to 62 witnesses in the two cases against former Kenya Power #ticker:KPLC managers as the State pleaded with the court to compel the accused persons to pay for the photocopy of documents to be used in the trial.

However, chief magistrate Douglas Ogoti rejected the application, saying the prosecution must demonstrate that it lacks resources to supply all the documents. The evidence includes vouchers the prosecution will rely on against the suspects including former managing director Ben Chumo and his successor Ken Tarus.

“The State should, therefore, supply the witness statements to the accused persons and if they are not in a position to do so, in the next mention date, they are to file an affidavit stating that they do not have the resources to meet the exercise of supplying copies of documentary evidence and exhibits,” he said.

Senior Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions Alexander Muteti said he needed at least two hours for every witness.

In the first case against senior managers, the prosecution said it would call 34 witnesses while in the second case, 28 would testify. The first case involves the procurement of faulty transformers while in the second case, the managers are accused of fraudulently procuring transport and labour services.

Besides Dr Chumo and Dr Tarus, other suspects are company secretary Beatrice Meso, Peter Mungai, general manager commercial services Joshua Mutua, general manager resource and administration Abubakar Swaleh, general manager ICT Samuel Ndiirangu, general manager infrastructure development Stanley Mutwiri, general manager network management Benson Muriithi, general manager regional co-ordination Peter Mwicigi and head of supply chain John Ombui.

The court heard that they led to losses amounting to Sh408 million, at the power supplier by procuring substandard transformers. The charges stated that they conspired to commit an economic crime on diverse dates between August 3, 2013, and June 12, 2018, when they procured transformers worth about Sh408,533,221 from a company known as M/s Muwa Trading. They denied the charges.

The trial starts on October 1.

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