Businessman's beef over meat supply to Embassies

Esther Muthoni Muiruri when she was presented before Milimani Senior Principal Magistrate Bernard Ochoi on July 12, 2022. [Collins Kweyu, Standard]

A businesswoman has been charged in court for allegedly defrauding a partner of Sh35 million on the pretext that their joint company had secured a deal to supply meat to the Embassies of Kuwait and Qatar in Nairobi.

Esther Muthoni Muiruri was presented before Milimani Senior Principal Magistrate Bernard Ochoi and denied thirty-one (31) counts of receiving money on several occasions from her co-partner Duncan Maranga Mbici in 2021.

Charges leveled against the accused are that she received the money from Mbici, by alleging that their joint company- Bella Casa Agencies Limited- had been issued with purchase orders to supply meat to Kuwait and Qatar embassies in Nairobi.

According to the charge sheet, Muiruri had assured Mbici that she was entitled to a direct profit over and above his principal capital if he funded that particular business on behalf of their joint company, a fact she knew to be false.

She was also accused that with intent to deceive or defraud Mbici, she forged purchase orders indicating that their company had been issued with the orders to supply meat in the two embassies.

Muiruri denied all the charges and was released on a bond of Sh10 million or alternatively pay a cash bail of Sh5 million.

In a police report presented to the court, the complainant who at the time of giving out money was abroad had trusted his business partner and gave out the money in trust that he will reap profit from it.

"Esther had assured me that she had gotten livestock from Narok County and there was a ready market in the Embassies of Qatar and Kuwait. If I send her money she will facilitate their purchase, slaughter, and delivery to the embassies which in turn we will be paid and I recover my money with profit on top of it," Mbici’s statement to police stated.

The report added that after he remitted money to the accused on several occasions in 2021, he discovered that there was no meat that was supplied to the two embassies after making inquiries.

According to Mbici, that was how he resorted to filing a complaint with the police at the Central Police Station in Nairobi.

After receiving the complaint, authorities summoned Muiruri to the station last week and released him on Sh30, 000 cash bail with instructions to appear in court on Tuesday for plea taking after the ODPP office gave consent for her to be charged.

The case will be mentioned on July 26.