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Kitui officials arraigned but refuse to take plea

Salmat

Jan. 18, 2020

In Summary
• Accused of misconduct.
Three Kitui county officials who were arrested by the Ethic and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) over irregular and fraudulent awarding of tenders were on Friday arraigned at the Machakos law courts. They are June Mawiya Munyao (Chief Finance Officer), Jeremiah Ngui Kisilu (Tender Evaluation Committee) and Rodgers Makau Sande (Secretary). In a statement, the EACC indicated Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji called for their arrest after a series of investigations had been conducted linking them to corruption and misconduct. They appeared before Chief Magistrate Alfred Kibiru. The court ruled the three accused persons be taken to Kitui Law courts for plea taking by close of business on Friday. Justice Alfred Kibiro directed the case to be transferred to Kitui over territorial jurisdiction. Munyao was arrested by the EACC in an investigation targeting more than five other officials. Kisilu and Sande were also arrested. Their advocate Morris Kimilu told the Machakos court that the case was under the territory of Kitui county and they can only take plea if the case was transferred. Kimilu argued that the suspects would have been deprived their rights if they were to be remanded in Machakos police station for another night as the prosecutor had asked the court. He said the suspects would incur facilitation and transportation expenses to transport more than 50 witnesses and evidence they aim to present to court from Kitui to Machakos 110km away. The first and second accused who failed to appear are alleged to have failed to appear before EACC following summons, which their lawyer Maty argued they were not aware until Friday morning. The three suspects were arrested by EACC officers on Thursday morning in Kitui over fraud and abuse of power. The trio failed to take plea citing geographical jurisdiction. “They have been arrested to face the law over procurement irregularities,” said Yassin Amaro, the EACC spokesman. Detectives from the commission were searching for Shedrack Muli Munyithia – Chief Officer Lands and Joshua Kalola Munya- the Head of Supply Chain Management. “They are believed to be hiding but we will get them,” Amaro said.
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