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EACC to recover part of Sh27 million stolen from a parastatal

By Everlyne Kwamboka | May 2nd 2020

The High Court has given the anti-graft agency a go ahead to recover part of Sh27 million stolen from the cash-strapped Kenya Meat Commission (KMC).

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) was allowed to recover Sh11.5 million from former KMC Chief Executive Officer Ibrahim Haji Issak after proving how he singlehandedly withdrew the money from a bank in Nairobi for personal use.

“Taking into account the evidence and circumstances surrounding the episode in the withdrawal of the sum in question and unaccounted expenditure, I am left with one conclusion to make; and that is, the defendant has not to the satisfaction of this court explained how he spent the money withdrawn,” Justice John Onyiego said.

In paying the money, the judge ordered Issak to factor in interest at court rates with effect from April 2012 till full payment.

The former CEO will also be slapped with the cost incurred by EACC in the case, even as he refunds the money he withdrew from First Community Bank at 12 per cent court rates.

“The defendant dishonestly spent the money without proper accountability, hence an act of fraud and breach of public duty. I have no doubt in my mind that the defendant failed to account for the public funds to which he was duty bound to refund to the corporation through the plaintiff,” Justice Onyiego said in his judgment on Wednesday.

Released as an overdraft

In the case filed on September 14, 2016, the corporation's Internal Auditor, while checking books for the period between December 2012 and January 2013, found out that Sh11.5 million had been withdrawn from KMC's First Community Bank account in Issak’s name.

What drew his attention was that the funds were withdrawn with a description “cheque forgotten” yet the account had no money to cover the intended transaction. This led to the cash being released as an overdraft.

The auditor also queried disappearance of Sh15.6 million, part of which was Sh3 million withdrawn without any supporting documents from the parastatal’s account at the Kenya Commercial Bank, Kitengela branch.

EACC, led by its CEO Twalib Mbarak, told the court the withdrawal of Sh11.5 million was made on behalf of KMC but the funds were used for private gain.

The bank's credit manager, Halkano Mulu, who was among EACC’s eight witnesses, told the court Issak produced a letter dated April 23, 2012 at the bank, requesting to withdraw the money.

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