7 college staff face Sh27m theft case

From left: Jefferson Kariuki, Mary Mumbua Kyengo, John Macharia, Michael Mutugi, Samuel Thuo, Johnson Ichugu and Eunice Wairimu in a Thika Court yesterday. [Kamau Maichuhie, Standard]
Seven officials of Thika Technical Training Institute were yesterday charged with stealing Sh27 million from the institution.

Jefferson Kariuki, Mary Mumbua Kyengo, John Macharia, Michael Mutugi, Samuel Thuo, Johnson Ichugu and Eunice Wairimu were arraigned before Thika Chief Magistrate Theresa Murigi.

Mr Kariuki is the institute’s former principal, who was succeeded by Ms Kyengo. Mr Macharia is former chairman of the institution’s Board of Governors.

In the first count, Kariuki, Macharia and Mr Mutugi were charged with stealing Sh19,332,487 between June 30 and December 30, 2016, which came into their possession by virtue of their employment.

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Kariuki, Kyengo and Macharia were charged with a second count of abuse of office. The charge sheet read that between June 30, 2016 and July 30, 2018, they abused their respective offices to benefit from funds totaling Sh26,675,336.

Mutugi, a finance officer, and Mr Ichugu, the institute’s internal auditor, were also charged with false accounting.

The two were charged that between June 1, 2016 and December, 2016, with intent to defraud, they willfully and unlawfully altered Barclays Bank cheques belonging to the college.

Institution’s auditors Ichugu and Ms Wairimu were charged with making statements between June 1, 2014, and July 30, 2018, which were to their knowledge false, with intent to deceive the Government.

Kyengo was also charged with abusing office to confer a benefit to herself by making a false claim of Sh320,000. She was also charged, alongside Ichugu, with stealing Sh968,300 by virtue of their employment.

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The accused were each released on a Sh3 million bond with a surety of the same amount or cash bail of Sh2 million.

The case will be mentioned on October 22, while the hearing was set for January 31, next year.

Corruptionhika Technical Training Institute