The Anti-Corruption Court in Nairobi on Tuesday, March 28 found former EPRA boss and Bonchari MP Pavel Oimeke guilty of pocketing Sh200,000 bribe in December 2020.
Oimeke, who was the energy regulator director-general at the time, received the bribe on December 10, 2020 to facilitate the reopening of a petrol station in Oyugis, Homa Bay County.
Senior Principal Magistrate Peter Ooko on Tuesday sentenced Oimeke to three years in jail or pay a fine of Sh1 million.
Oimeke was accused of pocketing Sh200,000 to approve the reopening of a petrol station that had been shut down over violations, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) said in a statement.
The Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) has broad powers over the sector. It sets retail fuel prices every month and approves electricity tariffs, along with its oversight duties.
In March 2021, Oimeke resigned as EPRA boss and joined politics. He said he had communicated his resignation to the then-Energy Cabinet Secretary (CS) Charles Keter on February 6 that year.
Oimeke took part as a candidate in the May 18, 2021 Bonchari parliamentary by-election after the seat fell vacant following the death of the then-holder Oroo Oyioka on February 15, 2021.
Oimeke, who ran on ODM ticket, won the by-election after getting 8,049 votes against his closest challenger Zebedeo Opore of Jubilee Party, who garnered 7,279 votes. UDA’s Teresa Bitutu came third with 6,964 votes.
In April 2022, Oimeke said he would not seek re-election after losing the ODM ticket to Jonah Ondieki, who was given direct nomination.
"After reflecting and consulting my supporters, friends and family I have decided that I will not be defending my seat in the 9th August 2022 General Election," Oimeke said in a statement on April 27, 2022.
ODM’s Ondieki, however, lost the Bonchari MP seat to Charles Onchoke of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Party in the August 9, 2022 General Election.