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Senior government officials not jailed for contempt of court

COUNTIES
By Paul Ogemba | February 14th 2017

High ranking government officials found guilty of similar charges that sent the doctors union officials to jail are still walking free.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery was found guilty of contempt by a Mombasa court for disobeying a court order stopping the destruction of a ship which was to be used as exhibit in a drugs-related case.

The court then ordered the Police to hand in the CS. To date, he still walks free.

In December last year, Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho was sentenced to three months jail term for disobeying a court order to pay a Nyayo house torture victim.

Justice George Odunga while passing the sentence had ordered Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet to arrest Kibicho and hand him over to Industrial Area Prison to start serving the sentence.

Despite the order, Mr Kibicho was never been arrested. He however appealed against the decision at the Court of Appeal.

In January last year, Justice John Mativo then serving at the Nyeri High Court sentenced five principal secretaries-John Mosonik (Infrastructure), Wilson Irungu (Transport), Mariamu El Maawy (Lands), Aidah Munano (Housing and Urban Development), and Dr Paul Mwangi (Public Works) to serve six months in civil jail for disobeying court orders.

However, the senior government officials did not end up in jail as ordered by the court.

Senior Deputy Solicitor-General Muthoni Kimani was also found guilty of contempt of court for failing to pay a victim of torture Sh4.7 million. She however escaped jail after the judge released her on a Sh1 million personal bond.

Former Teachers Service Commission secretary Gabriel Lengoiboni was also found guilty of disobeying a court order to pay Sh42.3 billion in pension arrears to retired teachers and was sentenced to serve six months in jail. He did not however end up in jail as ordered by the court.

Central Organization of Trade Union (COTU) secretary general Francis Atwoli escaped a three month jail sentence by paying the alternative of Sh500,000 fine for contempt of court.

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