Aisha Jumwa's Sh19m graft case put off to allow her focus on poll

Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa (left). The MP is charged with embezzlement of Sh19 million. [Kelvin Karani, Standard]

The court has postponed a Sh19 million graft case against Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa to allow her to concentrate on the campaign for the Kilifi governor’s seat.

The MP through her lawyer Dunstan Omari, said she needs more time because the campaigns were hectic and chaotic.

In her application that saw the matter pushed to August 15, she told the trial magistrate’s court that one of her lawyers was also on the ground campaigning for a parliamentary seat.

“She is worried that her opponents would use the case against her politically. She seeks the court’s permission to give her time off to campaign for the governor’s seat. One of her lawyers (Cliff Ombeta) has also been held up by politics,” Omari told Chief Magistrate Martha Mutuku.

He added: “One of her defense lawyers, Cliff Ombeta is also vying for the Bonchari parliamentary seat and is not available at the moment. We are seeking a hearing date earliest September to continue with this matter.” 

In allowing the application, Mutuku directed the matter to commence from the August 15 to 19, after the General Elections.

Other dates given by the court are September 12 to 16, 2022 and from October 3 to 10, October 2022.

The magistrate also allowed Ms Jumwa to recall all witnesses for fresh examination after the previous magistrate (Edna Nyaloti) was transferred to another station.

Ms Jumwa is charged with embezzlement of Sh19 million, funds meant for the Malindi Constituency Development Fund.

In December 2022 state witness Mr Edwin Indase contradicted the prosecution on the corruption allegation levelled against Ms Jumwa saying the constituency got value for the money in question.

Indase, an accountant of the Malindi National Government Constituency Development Fund NG-CDF defended the MP, saying she was not involved in the management of the fund.

He said the MP’s role in the project was minimal to ensure that the building was constructed in accordance with laid down government standards.

Jumwa is accused alongside Kennedy Otieno Ojwang, Robert Katana Wanje, Wachu Omar Abdalla, Margret Faith Kalume, Benard Riba Kai and Sophia Said Charo.

Aisha and the other accused persons are facing charges of conspiring and defrauding Sh19,007,539.60 allocated to NG-CDF Malindi Constituency by the National Government with respect to Tender number MLD/NG-NDF /SP/05/2017/2018 for the proposed construction of Sub-County Education office block.

However, State prosecutor Henry Kinyanjui had opposed the defense’s suggested dates opting to have July dates, saying the case must be heard and the court should be held at ransom.

The MP is also facing a murder case. In the case jointly charged with her bodyguard Geoffrey Okuto, the two are on trial over the murder of Ngumbao Jola on October 15, 2019, at his home in Ganda ward, Kilifi county.

She is accused of storming Jola’s house a day before a by-election for Ganda ward.