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Trial of Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) managers to proceed, High Court rules

By Willis Oketch | November 14th 2016

The High Court has declined to stop criminal proceedings against two Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) top managers.

The two were accused of stealing 121 containers from the port.

The court ordered them to record statements with police to enable the State start their trial.

The two were charged alongside 11 others for the loss of the containers but were not in court last week when their co-defendants took plea, prompting the court to issue a warrant for their arrest.

Justice Mathew Emukule rejected an application by KPA Head of Information and Communication Technology Fatma Nabhany and KPA Principal IT officer Eda Mwake Ngwatu who wanted criminal charges against them stopped.

But Emukule lifted the warrant of arrest which was issued against them by Mombasa Principal Magistrate Francis Kyimbia last week for failing to appear in court after being charged with aiding an importer to evade paying Sh100 million as tax.

The judge ordered Ms Fatma to report to the police within 12 hours after it was established that she was in Mombasa after travelling back from UK where she had gone for holiday.

However, the judge ordered Ms Eda to report to the police immediately after her arrival from abroad where she has gone for training.

The two are among 13 KPA and Kenya Revenue Authority managers who were charged with corruptly securing the release of 121 containers without payment of Sh100 million as duty.

The accused's lawyer Stephen Anani pleaded with the judge to stop the criminal proceedings against the two on grounds that they had not given their side of the story to police.

Mr Anani accused the trial magistrate of issuing warrant of arrest against his clients without being given an opportunity to attend to the summons dated October 27 this year from investigation officers to clarify outstanding issues.

The lawyer told the judge that his clients had not reported to the police to give their side of the story because Fatma was on holiday in the UK while Eda went abroad for training.

"Fatma is a senior official within KPA as a Head of Department with her designation being port Executive 2 and her husband Abdulaziz Ahmed Mzee being a marine Captain at KPA and therefore the charges preferred against her is only aimed at embarrassing her and her family with no commensurate public interest policy being extolled," Anani argued.

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