Prosecution now changes tune in Sh50.9m theft case

PCEA Moderator Dr.David Riitho Gathanju presiding over the recent retirement service for outgoing Kiangai church in Kirinyaga County, Rev.Erastus Mbaka. [Munene Kamau]

A bank manager’s testimony will now be used in a case where former Presbyterian Church of Eastern Africa (PCEA) moderator David Gathanju (pictured) and two others are charged with stealing 50.9 million from the church. 

During mention of the case yesterday, Donnex Ongira for the prosecution, said they will be relying on a statement by former Nairobi West Equity Bank manager Chebet Rotich.

“We will maintain Ms Chebet as a witness in the case. I can confirm that the other bank official who was to testify will not be called,” he said.

On July 4 during the hearing of the case, the prosecution had sought to recall the statement by the manager but the defence objected.

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Investigating officer Paul Waweru had told the court he did not intend to use Chebet’s statement as evidence.

He said he intended to call another witness from Equity Bank who will provide another bank statement account.

The statement by the manager indicated PCEA General Assembly Secretary General Rev Peter Kania, who is the church’s second-in-command, usually authorised transfer of funds.

The manager, in the statement, indicated that before effecting any transfers from one account to the other, she would call Mr Kania to confirm whether they had sanctioned the transactions.

Ms Chebet added that in Kania’s absence, she would call Amon Nderi, the treasurer. 

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Gathanju, who served as moderator between 2009 and 2015, is charged alongside two former employees, James Muiruri and Peter Mwangi.

Muiruri is a former finance officer while Mwangi is a former communications director at the church.

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