Three Siaya officials sentenced to prison for irregular tender - Beaking Kenya News

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Friday, 4 September 2020

Three Siaya officials sentenced to prison for irregular tender

 Kisumu law courts

Former Siaya county secretary Kepha Marube has been sentenced to a one-year jail term.

Marube, Zakayo Ojuok (head of procurement) and Tobias Oloo (director supply chain) were convicted of forgery in procurement irregularities that led to the loss of Sh14.9 million county funds.

On Friday, they were sentenced, with senior principal magistrate Robinson Ondieki also sentencing Oloo to a one-year jail term, while Ojuok will be behind bars for three years.

In default of the sentences, the three will pay a Sh1 million fine each. They, however, have 14 days to appeal. 

During the mitigation process on Thursday, the defence lawyers had requested the court to impose lenient sentences. Marube's lawyer Jared Sala submitted that his client was employed in the year 1997 and had served the government and people of Kenya with dedication and commitment and had never been convicted in any court of an offence of any nature.

The lawyer also stated that the accused is a family man married with four children as well as seven children of his deceased brother and elderly parents who wholly depend on him.

He further submitted that Marube was suffering from anaemia and asthma and urged the court to consider his use of medication to deal with the conditions and his being on a strict diet recommended by medics.

However, the magistrate, in respect of the medical issues raised, noted that Marube did not annexe any documents as proof of the conditions and neither demonstrated that Kenyan prisons are ill-equipped to cater for prisoners with life-threatening diseases.

The three had been charged alongside three other county officials — Thomas Mboya, Collins Owino and Amos Okello—  who were acquitted.

In March last year, they were arrested by Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission officers and charged with seven counts, including abuse of office and forgery, before the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Court in Kisumu. They were, however, released on a Sh2 million bond each with an alternative of Sh500,000 bail.

The prosecution subsequently summoned 20 witnesses to testify. And on Tuesday, Ondiek, in his judgment, said the state had proved its case beyond any reasonable doubt in counts one and five against Marube, Ojuok and Oloo.

In count one, Marube and Oloo were charged with failing to ensure prescribed procurement procedures were followed in the purchase, supply and installation of assorted sports equipment.

In count five, Ojuok was charged with forgery. Between May 1, 2014, and November 30 within Siaya county, he made a false document to witness the minutes of the county tender committee award meeting purportedly held on May 16, 2014.

The meeting, which never took place, led to a contract award to M/s Samco Traders Limited for purchase, supply and installation of assorted facilities at Sh14.9 million.

I convict the 1st, 2nd and 3rd accused persons under Section 215 of the CPC,” Ondieki said.

Of the other accused, he said, "In respect to the seventh account, the court makes a finding that the state has not proved its case beyond reasonable doubt against the fifth and sixth accused persons. I, therefore, acquit them under Section 215 of the CPC,” he ruled.

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