Accountant charged with stealing Sh46m from Kitale Catholic Diocese

Cathedral Parish of Immaculate Conception in Kitale town

The Cathedral Parish of Immaculate Conception in Kitale town. An accountant attached to a Kitale Catholic Diocese was Friday September 30, 2022 charged with stealing Sh46, 872, 774 from the said church. 

Photo credit: Gerald Bwisa | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Kitale Catholic Diocese Bishop Maurice Crowley told the court that the accused had at one time told him that he was unable to report for duty because he had allegedly suffered a heart attack
  • Bishop Crowley said he hired an audit firm to review the diocese’s books of account, after becoming suspicious of the accountant's behavior 

An auditor with the Kitale Catholic Diocese was Friday charged with stealing more than Sh46 million from the church.

Jacob Nasongo Nalada, 40, appeared before Kitale Chief Magistrate Julius Ng’arng'ar on Friday and pleaded not guilty.

He is accused of stealing Sh46,872,774 between November 1, 2014 and July 31, 2021 at a bank in Kitale, Trans Nzoia County.

He faces a second count of theft by servant.

Mr Nalada was remanded at the Kitale GK prison after failing to raise Sh1 million cash bail or a bond of Sh5 million with a surety of the same amount. 

His lawyer pleaded with the court to allow the accused more time to raise bail. 

But prosecutors opposed the request.

The court agreed with the State and ordered Mr Nalada remanded at the prison. 

Kitale Law Court w

Kitale Law Court where an accountant attached to a Kitale Catholic Diocese was Friday September 30, 2022 charged with stealing Sh46, 872, 774 from the church.

Photo credit: Gerald Bwisa | Nation Media Group

Heart attack

Kitale Catholic Diocese Bishop Maurice Crowley told the court that the accused had at one time told him that he was unable to report for duty because he had allegedly suffered a heart attack. 

"I later on received information that he was in a bank in Kitale town, which raised suspicion," he said. 

Bishop Crowley said he hired an audit firm to review the diocese’s books of account.

The firm found that Mr Nalada had transferred money amounting to Sh46,872,774 from four diocese accounts between November 1, 2014 and July 31, 2021. 

The 500,000 euros (Sh59,189,235) in one church account was a donation meant to fund chaplaincy services in hospitals such as Kiminini Cottage Hospital, charitable work and other projects. 

Only 57 euros (Sh6,747.57) was left in the account. 

Arrested

Directorate of Criminal Investigations detectives from Kitale and Nairobi arrested Mr Nalada in the city. 

Mr Nalada was an accountant at the Kitale Catholic Diocese for 11 years.

The matter will be heard on November 17.

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