Sh791m NYS graft case stalls

Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru

Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru.

Photo credit: Jeff Angote | Nation Media Group

The hearing of a Sh791 million National Youth Service (NYS) graft case against former principal secretary Peter Mangiti and 25 others may have to start afresh.

This follows the transfer of the trial magistrate.

Reallocating the case, Nairobi Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi gave directions on the way forward on Wednesday.

“Following my transfer to Nyeri Law Courts, this case will have to be handled by the incoming magistrate,” Mr Andayi said.

He said at least 10 witnesses are scheduled to testify, including Kirinyaga County Governor Anne Waiguru.

The magistrate said he would have received testimony from Ms Waiguru but she has not been available due to official engagements.

"For that reason, I direct that this case be heard by the incoming magistrate that will be taking over from me," Mr Andayi said.

Ms Waiguru has skipped testifying twice because of official engagements.

Mr Andayi will head the Nyeri Law Courts station and is expected to report by October 10.

Under Section 200 (3) of Criminal Procedure Code, upon transfer, a magistrate is required to explain to the accused and decide whether they will start the case afresh or not.

On August 5, the prosecution and the defense had requested Mr Andayi to explain to them whether he would return to Nairobi to proceed with the case to its logical conclusion.

They wanted him to hear and conclude the matter before he proceeds on transfer.

State prosecutor Jackson Makori said: "Owing to the complexity of the matter and voluminous documentation, if another magistrate handles the case, the same will cause further delay. It is our request that you continue handling the matter."

The case has been pending in court since November 2015 when the 26 accused persons were charged. 

The accused have been charged with embezzling public funds from the ministry.

Prosecutors allege that they committed the offence on diverse dates between December 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015 at the NYS headquarters in Nairobi.