Suspect in Sh15m bhang case refuses to take plea

From left: Victor Kungu, his son Broddus Wainaina and Dennis Matete when they were arrested on April 23, 2021, having grown cannabis valued at Sh15.1 million at their home in London, Nakuru County. [Photo: Kipsang Joseph, Standard.]

Three people accused of cultivating cannabis in Nakuru refused to plead to the charge.

Victor Kungu, his son Broddus Wainaina, and Dennis Matete appeared via a video link before Chief Magistrate Josephat Kalo.

When the court clerk read the charge and asked Kungu to plead, he refused.

Kungu told the court he was only a representative of a Community-Based Organisation (CBO) that is legally mandated to manufacture what he termed ‘medicinal substances’.

“I cannot answer to such charges on behalf of our organisation because the matter is concerning partners, individuals and organisations mandated to manufacture and export medicinal substances,” said Kungu. The trial magistrate entered a not guilty plea for the accused persons.

Kungu, who continued speaking despite several attempts to stop him, said the CBO was registered as NKU/W/DSS/CBO/053, under the East African Community Labour and Social Protection.

He said the project was under the name Victor’s CBO.

Kungu accused the Directorate of Criminal Investigations of sabotaging the organisation and destroying evidence to prove its legality during their Friday raid on his homestead.

“We are in charge of 16 organisations and submitted all documents to show our organisation is a health initiative group,” he said, adding that they plant trees and cannabis after which “they export medicinal substances” to medical factories abroad.

Wainaina said he did not know what to say when asked to plead to the charge. On other hand, Matete could not plead as Kungu interjected.

Kungu accused the DCI of raiding their quarter-acre land in London area in Nakuru and destroying their members’ list and bank statements.

The suspects were allegedly found to have cultivated 560kg of cannabis valued at Sh15,180,000.

The court ordered that they be remanded at Nakuru Central Police Station.

Prosecutor Serlin Joyce is today expected to make an application for the accused persons to be denied bond.