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Why Waiguru failed to testify in NYS funds theft case

NATIONAL
By Paul Ogemba | May 19th 2021

Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru. [File, Standard]

Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru failed to testify in the Sh791 million NYS funds theft case on Wednesday, May 19, after it emerged that a lawyer representing Ben Gethi, a suspect in the alleged graft, had died.

Milimani Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi said Gethi had a right to legal representation, and, could, therefore, choose another lawyer before Waiguru can be allowed to testify.

The magistrate said it would be “unfair” for the session to continue while the accused was still mourning his legal rep.

Waiguru, who resigned as Devolution CS in 2015 when the scandal was hot, had already arrived at the court, when she was informed she couldn’t testify.

“The case has taken too long in court. Although all parties were ready to proceed, the accused person has a right to be represented. The matter will be adjourned to allow him find another lawyer to represent him,” Andayi directed.

The Prosecution claims, in their court submissions, that Gethi, a businessman in Nairobi, masterminded the embezzlement.

He was charged alongside Josephine Kabura, John Kago, Samuel Mudanyi, Patrick Ogolla, Anthony Gethi, Paul Gachoka, John Hope Vandamme, Martin Wanjohi, Charity Gethi and Jedidah Wangui.

Kabura, Kago and Onyango were accused of money laundering by allegedly transferring Sh90 million to Patrick Ogolla’s account while knowing it was part of the Sh791 million stolen from NYS.

“Between December 1, 2014 and May 30, 2015, you engaged in an arrangement for the transfer of Sh90 million to Patrick Onyango’s account trading as Ogolla and Company Advocates while knowing it was part of the Sh791,385,000 stolen from NYS,” read the charge sheet.

In another count, Kabura, Kago, Onyango and Gethi were said to have jointly engaged in an arrangement for the purchase of motor vehicles at a cost of Sh23.4 million while knowing that the said-money was acquired through crime.

Kabura, Charity Wangui, Kago and Gethi denied another charge of buying a Jeep Cherokee car worth Sh6.3 million in a bid to conceal the source of their funds.

Other charges stated that Mudanyi engaged in the purchase of a Toyota Prado worth Sh5.2 million while Kabura, Kago, Gethi and Vandamme purchased a Toyota Land Cruiser valued at Sh5 million with part of the Sh791 million siphoned from NYS.

They are further accused of arranging the transfer of Sh77.6 million to several accounts belonging to Gethi’s mother, Charity Wangui Gethi.

The magistrate rescheduled the hearing to August 5, when Waiguru will testify.

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