Majiwa denies four charges of fraud in cemetery scandal

Nairobi mayor Geophrey Majiwa before the Anti-Corruption Court in Nairobi yesterday. He was charged with conspiracy to defraud the Local Government ministry of Sh283 million. The case will be mentioned on November 9.

Nairobi mayor Geophrey Majiwa was Tuesday arraigned in court to face four charges of corruption.

The handcuffed city mayor who appeared before the Anti-Corruption Court at 8.45 am was dressed in a brown suit, stripped shirt and a multi-coloured and black shoes sat pensively as the charges were read to him.

Mr Majiwa was charged that on diverse dates between December and April last year he conspired, with others before court, to commit an offence of corruption by acquiring Sh283.2 million from the Ministry of Local Government purporting it to be the purchase price payable by the City Council for cemetery land at Mavoko Municipality, Machakos District.

Majiwa denied four counts of conspiracy to defraud the government and wilful neglect to perform his duty.

He was also accused of failing to ascertain whether the city council had received or accepted any offer from Mr Henry Musyoki Kilonzi who was to sell the land.

He faced another charge of appending his signature and seal attestation of transfer document of the said land from Mr Kilonzi to NCC.

With him were Boniface Misera and Cephas Mwaura accused of fraudulently receiving Sh10 million and Sh9.3 million, respectively for rendering professional services to NCC on February 24 and 26 last year.

The three were released on cash bail of Sh2.5 million each or an alternative bond of Sh6 million.

Defence lawyers Odhiambo Wakla, Assa Nyakundi and Wamwayi told the court the suspects were denied police cash bail yet they co-operated with investigators for over a year.

“The suspects rights were violated. Article 49(h) of the Constitution requires that a suspect be admitted to bail pending appearance in court unless there are compelling circumstances,” Mr Wakla told the magistrate.

He also brought to the court’s attention that Majiwa had, in April this year, filed an application seeking to block the Attorney-General from arresting him and charging him over the cemetery saga.

But no orders were issued. The case is pending before Lady Justice Jeanne Gacheche and is scheduled for hearing on October 28.

“There are no stay orders prohibiting the arrest and charging of my client but we are protesting to the manner in which this case was brought up,” the lawyer said.

He alleged that his client’s case has been prejudiced by the kind of publicity the matter has been given.

“We shall file the necessary application over the treatment of the accused and the violations of their rights later,” said the lawyer.

State counsel Edwin Okello and Vincent Gikonyo said the suspects were properly charged.

The magistrate told Mr Okello to advise Kacc and police against violation of suspects’ rights pending trial of their cases.

“The court takes note of the protest of the accused. I ask Mr Okello to advice Kacc and police about their conduct before accused are produced in court,” the magistrate ruled.

A fourth suspect Geoffrey Charo Khaindi Katsoleh who is jointly charged with the Mayor was absent.

The magistrate issued a summons requiring him to appear on November 9.