By Kiptanui Rutto
Sirisia Member of Parliament Major (Rtd.) John Waluke, 55, will go on records as the first sitting legislator to be sent to jail. President Uhuru Kenyatta Government would also take credit as the first president to fight corruption to the extent that the MP loses his seat. Governors too not spared.
But how will someone who has been enjoying high-end life cope with the environment in the prison? Do you get that picture of Grace Wakhungu, 70, mother of Judy Wakhungu, the former Environment Cabinet Secretary and now Kenya’s ambassador to France, the long serving public servant and furthermore, the sister to former Vice President Moody Awori and other 15 millionaires siblings mingling with petty chicken thieves from Kajiado slums in Lang’ata women Prison.
This is because of an arbitration award on 7th of July, 2009 in favour of Erad Supplies and General Contracts Limited (Erad) against National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) was fraudulently awarded, its accounts, premises and properties were raided and property worth millions of shillings confiscated and shared the two, a company and legal firms as legal fee.
However, according to the evidence tabled upon conclusion of the investigation, the Director of Public Prosecution (ODPP), who concurred with the recommendations to charge Grace Sarapay Wakhungu, Major (Rtd.) John Koyi Waluke and Erad Suppliers & General Contracts Limited and were found guilty with the following counts:
Count I: acquitted under section 215 of CPC for Uttering a false document contrary to Section 353 of the Penal Code by presenting a forged invoice during the arbitration proceedings which led to the arbitral award
Count III: found guilty of fraudulently acquiring public property to wit Kshs. 297,386,505.00 contrary to Section 45(1) (a) as read with Section 48(1) of the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act, 2003.
Count IV: found guilty of fraudulently acquiring public property to wit, Kshs. 13,364,671.40 contrary to Section 45(1) (a) as read with Section 48(1) of the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act,2003.
Count V: found guilty of fraudulently acquiring public property to wit, USD 24,032.00 (Kshs2,475,295.00) contrary to Section 45(1) (a) as read with Section 48(1) of the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act, 2003.
Grace was also found guilty of Count II: guilty of Perjury contrary to Section 108 (1) as read with Section 36 of the Penal Code for lying on oath during the arbitral proceedings.
It took the efforts of EACC who sought Mutual Legal Assistance from the Republic of South Africa who demonstrated that the documents purportedly emanating from South African firms on the basis of which huge awards were made were forgeries and did not emanate from the said firms.
Following the sentencing by Hon. Elizabeth Osoro, Anti-Corruption Chief Magistrate recently, the accused John Waluke, MP and Grace Wakhungu were each sentenced to 7 years in jail or pay a fine of over KSh 700 million which could be hard for them to raise.
For instance, each of them needs like 700 friends to contribute KSh 1 million each or 700, 000 friends to give KSh 1,000 each. That is the worth of the penalty.