Sirisia MP John Waluke (right) and Grace Wakhungu
30 June 2020
Sirisia Member of Parliament John Walukhe was sentenced to seven years in jail Thursday, or pay a fine of $6.6 million after conviction over a $2.8 million scandal. Same sentence was given out to his co-accused Grace Wakhungu. Both were allowed to appeal the sentence within 14 days. After the sentence both were escorted to prison under armed security from the warders.
Both are listed as directors of Erad General Suppliers, the firm that received the $2.8 million irregular payment. Prosecution proved that both of them irregularly received $2.8 million from the National Cereals and Produce Board in 2004. They claimed this amount for the cancellation of 40,000 metric tones order. They presented forged invoices for this amount being storage fee after an arbitration. The Magistrate ruled that there was evidence to show the accused persons forged an invoice to demand payment for money charged as storage fees for the maize. The maize consignment was said to have been imported from Ethiopia.
Their families have come out to seek help from the Kenyans in raising the fine. Grace Wakhungu’s family was able to raise Ksh500 million, which has already been paid. She will now walk free from her 69 years jail term.
Law Society of Kenya (LSK) President Nelson Havi termed the sentence too stiff, illegal and fraudulent. Havi maintained that the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) contracted Waluke and Wakhungu and that the arbitrator affirmed the payments. Havi said the award was enforced by the High Court, adding that the parastatal lost a case before the High Court and the Court of Appeal and paid the decree. “How can that be a crime? Do not celebrate fraudulent convictions,” Havi tweeted.