2 Kilifi officers in court over false document

Kilifi officialsKilifi county chief officer for water Samuel Kombe (left) with his monitoring and evaluation officerSamuel Hatibu in a Kilifi court on April 26th

Two Kilifi county officials were on Friday arraigned in a Kilifi court to answer corruption related charges.

Samuel Kombe who is the Kilifi county chief officer for water and the monitoring and evaluation officer in the department Samuel Hatibu pleaded not guilty to the charges of making a document without authority contrary to section 357 of the penal code.

They were charged alongside Sera Musyimi, Charity Mueni Musyimi and Geotech contractors Limited. The three were not present in court.

Documents without authority

The two were charged that on diverse dates between 11th May and 20th May 2016 at Kilifi county within the republic of Kenya being employees of the county government of Kilifi to wit chief officer for water and monitoring and evaluation officer respectively and having not lawfully appointed as members of the inspection and acceptance committee with intent to deceive and without lawful authority executed an inspection and acceptance certificate in the sum of Ksh 27, 258, 930 for tender number KCG/WTR/001/2015/2016 (IFMIS NO 181117)for construction of Kadzandani-Kamale water project in Magarini sub county.

They also faced another count of uttering a false document contrary to section 353 of the penal code.

False document

They were accused that on or about 20th May, 2016 at Kilifi county within the republic of Kenya being employees of the county government of Kilifi to wit chief officer for water and monitoring and evaluation officer respectively knowingly and fraudulently jointly uttered to the finance department an undated inspection and acceptance certificate purporting it to be a genuine document in support of payment of Ksh 27, 258, 930 to Geotech contractors Limited  for tender number KCG/WTR/001/2015/2016 (IFMIS NO 181117)for construction of Kadzandani-Kamale water project in Magarini sub county.

Renson Ingonga assistant DPP who led the prosecution told the court that the first three accused were not found on time and prayed for summons to have them appear before Malindi Chief Magistrate after two weeks.

Bail Terms

Maurice Kilonzi who led the defense team told the court that the offences the accused persons committed are ordinary charges which are different against the offences committed by the first and second accused.

Also Read: Kilifi county officials arrested by EACC over graft

The fourth and fifth have been charged under the penal code and not economic crimes which face the three other accused. He prayed for a reasonable bond and cash bail.

‘The offences the accused in court committed made the first three accused to commit their offences which are serious economic crimes. We cannot treat the accused offences as minor but with the seriousness it deserves. The bail terms must be equal to the terms that aided the three accused commit the serious economic crime,” said Ingonga.

James Muoko from the defense said the offences the two accused committed are not related with those for the first three accused.

“The accused have been charged under the penal code not under Economic crimes. They are mere suspects until they are proven guilty. The court has not connected the offences to the charges of the other persons. The prosecution cannot prove that the two accused aided them commit the offences. The court ought to consider whether the accused persons will appear in court as required. The prosecution has not alleged that the accused will abscond court or interfere with the witnesses,” argued Muoko

He prayed that the accused be freed on reasonable bond terms and alternative of cash bail considering the nature of the offences.

Kilifi Senior Principle magistrate

Kilifi senior principal magistrate Justus Kituku said he has considered issues raised by both sides.

“The accused is answerable only to the charges on the charge sheet. It stands out that the accused have been charged under the penal code. If the prosecution felt they should be accounted for they should have included into the counts. The accused therefore will pay a bond of shs1 million with one surety of a similar amount or shs 300,000 cash bail.

The case will be mentioned on May 13th.

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