Kirinyaga UDA Senate aspirant charged with Sh8.8m KPA tender fraud

Kerugoya MCA and Kirinyaga UDA aspirant Kamau Murangi when he appeared in court on Thursday.

Photo credit: Philip Muyanga I Nation Media Group

A Kirinyaga County ward representative was charged on Tuesday with fraudulently acquiring $76,347.35 (Sh8.8 million) from the Kenya Ports Authority.

Mr Kamau Murango, the majority leader in the county assembly and an aspirant for the Senate seat under the United Democratic Alliance (UDA), was charged alongside Ms Lilian Kemunto, who was not present in court.

The court heard that the two, as directors of Ports & Harbours Support Services, fraudulently acquired taxpayer money from the KPA to supply Grove crane spare parts.

They were also charged with two counts of forgery, two of uttering a false document and two of fraudulent practices in procurement.

Mr Murango denied the charges before Mombasa Senior Resident Magistrate Martin Rabera and was released on a Sh1 million bond with a surety of the same amount or an alternative cash bail of Sh100,000.

They allegedly forged a letter dated March 15, 2020, purporting that it had been issued by Manitowoc Crane Group.

They are also accused of forging a bid letter dated March 18, 2020 that they claimed was issued by Manitowoc.

Prosecutors also say that, at the KPA headquarters in Mombasa on January 24, 2020, the two uttered the documents to the head of procurement and supplies purporting them to be genuine.

The documents, the court heard, were required in the bidding for the tender.

Through his lawyers, led by Mr Danstan Omari, Mr Murango told the court that the charges against him were a political witch-hunt because the complainant had confirmed that there was no forgery of his signature.

“The accused is being brought to you not because the Directorate of Criminal Investigations has evidence against him, but because the Principal Secretary (for Interior) has overruled the DCI,” Mr Omari told the court.

The arrest and arraignment of Mr Murango, the lawyer argued, was to allow the Azimio One Kenya coalition party’s running mate, Ms Martha Karua, “to go to a homecoming visit on Tuesday”.

Mr Omari also told the court that the MCA was in court because he was pressured to pass the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) bill but refused.

He said Ms Kemunto had not been summoned to court but he would ensure that she appears next week to plead to the charges.

The case will be mentioned on May 31.


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