Top Kilifi officials charged over Sh15 million rescue boat

Senior county government officials were on Friday charged with fraud in procurement of a sea rescue boat worth Sh14.8 million.

John Mwangi Gachuru, Patience Tsimba, Sophie Mnyamanyi Mwandawiro and two former county officials Mohamed Silas Chuba and Julius Mwaidza Munga appeared before Malindi Chief Magistrate Julie Oseko and denied the charges.

Also charged was Serah Musyimi, a director of Capital Solutions Limited.

Two others – Sanga Barrawah and Kiven Kigen Kieti – are still at large and were not present to take plea.

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The eight, together with Capital Solutions Limited, were charged with conspiracy to commit an offence of corruption.

The charge states that on diverse dates between December 16, 2015 and November 14, 2016, they conspired to irregularly award the tender to supply and deliver sea rescue boat to Capital Solutions Limited, a company that did not qualify.

Gachuru, who is the director of fisheries, accountant Mwandawiro and former procurement officer Munga were also charged with failure to comply with the law relating to procurement.

Barrawah, Musyimi and Capital Solutions Limited faced three other counts of engaging in fraudulent practice by submitting false financial statements to the county government.

Tsimba, Trade and Tourism chief officer, denied the charge of using her office to improperly confer a benefit to Capital Solutions Limited by approving payment of Sh14, 870,750 for the supply of the boat.

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Ms Chuba was charged with approving the professional opinion for the irregular award of tender to Capital Solutions Limited and failure to ensure that the evaluation report was tabled before the tender committee for adjudication.

The accused were released on a Sh2 million each with a similar surety with an alternative of Sh300, 000 cash bail for each.

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