MP asks court to halt Nyakang'o case, cites political witch-hunt

Controller of Budget Margaret Nyakang'o at a Mombasa Court on Tuesday, December 5, 2023. [Kelvin Karani, Standard]

Fraud charges against the Controller of Budget (COB) Margaret Nyangate Nyakang’o are a political witch hunt, the High Court was told yesterday.

Justice Lawrence Mugambi heard that the Kenya Kwanza regime wants to either kick her out of office or silence her using trumped-up charges.

The case was filed on Tuesday by Kisii leader Stephen Mogaka who claimed that government agencies and the National Assembly cleared Nyakang’o in 2019 when she was hired.

According to him, the charges by the State revolve around allegations claimed to have happened in 2016.

He stated that none of the agencies had ever questioned or summoned her over the same until recently when she spilt beans on Kenya Kwanza’s expenditure.

His lawyer Danstan Omari argued that Nyakang’o is unwanted by the current government, hence, the charges to kick her out.

“The Controller has zealously and without fear or favour discharged her mandate and has in recent times exposed fiscal improprieties and the instant criminal proceedings are clearly politicized attempts to discredit her integrity and ultimately impeach her credibility and suitability for office thus forcing her out of office without following due process,” argued Omari.

In the case, Mogaka who is the West Mugirango Member of Parliament sued the Director of Public Prosecution and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations.

His lawyer asserted that COB was clean and the case was only meant to put her to shame.

According to Omari, the Sh29 million dispute had been litigated before courts and Nyakang’o was not a party. He stated that she was also not aware of the saga that has now come to haunt her.

“The arrest comes in the wake of her public exposes with regards to the fiscal improprieties within the running of various state arms and agencies and is a glaring manifestation of a knee jerk reaction accentuated by ulterior motives, malice and an unprecedented abuse of process,” claimed Omari.

Nyakang’o was at a Mombasa court with multiple counts of fraud, false pretence, and operating a Sacco without a license.

She appeared before Mombasa Law Court Chief Magistrate Alex Ithuku on Tuesday this week and denied all charges.

The controller was released on a Sh2 million bond with a similar surety, or an alternative cash bail of Sh500,000.

Before the High Court, Omari argued that the criminal charges were founded on civil transactions and, hence, ought to have first been resolved in a different court.

He argued that Parliament held a total of three sittings to scrutinize her suitability and past records but did not find any dirt on her.

According to him, her only sin is to whistle blow on the Kenya Kwanza excesses.

“Dr. Margaret Nyakangó has been vocal and has blown the whistle on inter alia the growing debt ceiling and use of acquired loans to pay salaries as opposed to development, the decision by the respondents to investigate and charge the controller of the budget with criminal proceedings emanating from a civil suit is a clear abuse of the process and a violation of the independent office exercise of its mandate,” argued Omari.

Mogaka asked the court to block the criminal trial. At the same time, he urged the judge to quash the charges.