Mudavadi's press secretary Salim Swaleh to spend another night in custody

Salim Swaleh

Salim Swaleh (third left) and the co-accused persons at the Milimani Law Courts, Nairobi on June 24, 2024.

Photo credit: Richard Munguti | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Swaleh and his co-accused are being investigated over allegations of fraud.
  • The prosecution wants the accused held in police custody for 14 more days.

Salim Swaleh, the director of press in the office of the Prime Cabinet Secretary, and five others will remain in custody at Capitol Hill Police Station until Tuesday afternoon.

Mr Swaleh and the co-accused persons are awaiting a ruling on whether the police will be allowed to detain them for 14 more days.

On Monday, Mr Swaleh was brought to court alongside Mr Michael Otieno Japolo, Ms Terry Kemunto, Mr Daniel Omondi Gogo, Mr John Musundi Wabomba and Mr James William Makoha, following their arrest on Sunday.

The six are being investigated over allegations of conspiracy to commit a felony contrary to Section 393 of the Penal Code, an attempt to obtain money by false pretense, personating a person employed in the public service and abuse of office.

The prosecution pleaded with Milimani Law Courts magistrate Ben Mark Ekhubi to be allowed to detain them for 14 days, for the police to complete their investigations.

The application was opposed by defence lawyers Shadrack Wambui, Sam Nyaberi and Danstan Omari who informed the court that there was no compelling reason to deny the clients bail.

In an affidavit filed in court, Mr Nicholas Njoroge, who is an investigator, said the complainants are foreigners based in Dubai and South Africa, who were allegedly defrauded of money with promises of getting a contract to construct stadiums. 

He said the complainants were allegedly lured into the country with a promise of securing a tender for the construction of two stadiums for the 2027 African Cup of Nations, which will be co-hosted by Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. 

“The nature of the investigations is complex as it involves foreigners and communication channel must observe diplomatic protocol, thus sufficient time is needed to get the responses,” he said.

Mr Njoroge said the complainants were made to believe that after the meeting at the Prime Cabinet Secretary's office, they would meet other government officials from the Ministries of Interior and Sports.

They were also made to believe that they would meet two senators from the Budget and Sports Committee, respectively, to seal the deal.

In an affidavit filed in court, Mr Njoroge said Mr Swaleh allowed the co-accused persons to hold a meeting with foreigners in his office.

The affidavit added that Mr Japolo presented himself as the chairman of government delivery unit, which is domiciled at Mr Mudavadi’s office.

He said the complainants were asked to part with $45,000 (Sh5.85 million) as registration fee before securing the tender.

Mr Njoroge told the court that he needed more time to record statement from the main contractor, who is based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

He said he also needed time to obtain company registration details from relevant offices in Kenya, Dubai and South Africa. The investigator added that the suspects are likely to interfere with the investigations.