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Businessman Mukuria Ngamau hit with Sh881m fine for youth fund theft

NAIROBI
By Paul Ogemba | September 30th 2021

Mukuria Ngamau was found guilty of conspiring to defraud Sh180.9 million from the Youth Fund in 2015. [Standard]

An anti-corruption court has fined a businessman Sh881 million for defrauding the Youth Enterprise Development Fund.

Nairobi anti-corruption court chief magistrate Douglas Ogoti also sentenced businessman Mukuria Ngamau to a cumulative 13-years jail sentence after he found him guilty of the conspiracy to defraud the Fund Sh180.9 million in 2015.

Whether he pays the money or not, Ngamau will still have to spend seven years in jail which the court imposed on him without the option of a fine.

Ogoti’s decision was the second-highest record for a fine for those found guilty of corruption after Sirisia MP John Walukhe and Judy Wakhungu were fined a total of Sh1.2 billion for their role in the plunder of the National Cereals Produce Board (NCPD).

The decision was a bitter pill for Ngamau who was left to carry the cross for the looting at the Youth Enterprise Fund after his co-accused Catherine Namuye who was the fund’s Chief Executive Officer and Bruce Odhiambo who was the fund’s chairman died.

He was also left to shoulder the burden for his co-director at Quorandum Limited Doreen Ng’ang’a who was acquitted after the magistrate ruled that there was no evidence to prove she participated in the scandal.

“Having analysed the evidence presented by the prosecution and the evidence by the accused person in his defence, I come to the conclusion that the prosecution has proved its case beyond any reasonable doubt and convict the accused accordingly,” ruled Ogoti.

The prosecution’s case was that Ngamau and his company - Quorandum Limited had conspired with senior officials at the Youth Enterprise Development Fund to embezzle public funds amounting to Sh180,900,000.

In count one, Ngamau and Quorandum Limited were accused of conspiracy to commit an economic crime in which the prosecution proved that he conspired with the others who are deceased.

Ngamau was further found guilty in the second count where the prosecution proved that he unlawfully acquired public property. The magistrate was convicted and ordered him to pay a fine of Sh442,840,000.

He was also found guilty in count three where he is said to have acquired the public property through fraud which led to a fine of Sh258,629,156.

He was found guilty of making false documents and sentenced to six years in jail.

“For his role in defrauding the Youth Enterprise Development Fund, the court invokes Section 51 and 54 of the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act and orders that the accused person pays Sh180,364,789 as compensation to the Youth Fund,” ruled Ogoti.

The fines come to a cumulative total of Sh881.8 million while the jail sentence totals 13 years.

Ngamau and his co-accused who have since died were arrested and charged in August 2016 following investigations by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission.

The prosecution called a total of 31 witnesses with evidence that convinced the court that the accused person and the other officials turned the Youth Fund into a cash cow where they embezzled over Sh180.9 million.

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