By Kimani Kuria
The Kenyan judiciary has shown its claws every so often by handing long sentences to otherwise powerful men and women most Kenyans have come to perceive as untouchables. This shows how a well oiled judicial system can serve justice to all Kenyans regardless of their social standing. WoK brings you these powerful individuals who are either serving their sentences, have served before or are awaiting to be bundled in one of our notorious jails.
George Kinoti-DCI Boss George Kinoti
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The directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) boss George Kinoti was handed a four month jail sentence for contempt of court after he declined to surrender guns belonging to Jimi Wanjigi that had been seized during a raid in his house. In his ruling, High Court Judge Anthony Mrima ordered the DCI boss to surrender himself to jail within seven days-failure to which the IG of police will execute the warrant of arrest against him.
Former Laikipia North MP Mathew Lekidime Lempurkel
The former MP Lempurkel was in November charged and convicted with assault after slapping the serving Laikipia North Member of Parliament Sarah Korere, on November 21, 2016, at Harambee House in Nairobi. According to Section 251 of the Penal Code: Any person who commits an assault occasioning actual bodily harm is guilty of a misdemeanour and is liable to imprisonment for five years. According to the court Lempurkel kicked Sarah on the lower abdomen and slapped her on the left cheek causing injuries to her in the process.
Delivering the sentence, Senior Principal Magistrate, Hellen Onkwani ruled that the prosecution had proved beyond reasonable doubt that Lempurkel committed the offence and in return slapped him with a 12-months jail sentence without extending the option for a fine. Despite a tough submission by his lawyer, James Orengo, the court said that the former MP did not produce sufficient evidence that he was the one assaulted by Korere. With the rising cases of domestic violence in the country, the accused picked the worst timing to assault a female MP. The controversial politician has in the past been linked to cases of hate speech and politically instigated violence in Laikipia. Former Agriculture Cabinet Secretary, Mwangi Kiunjuri visited the jailed ex-MP. His tweet read:
”Today I visited Hon Matthew Lempurkel, former MP for Laikipia North. I was happy to find him peaceful and keeping strong. We discussed the need for peaceful co-existence of our people in Laikipia, & especially how to encourage & sustain peace in Sipili/Ol Moran & Sosian areas.”
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John Waluke was a Kenyan legislator who lost his parliamentary seat after he was sentenced to fifty-two years behind bars in a ruling delivered by Anti-Corruption Court Chief Magistrate Elizabeth Juma. He is one of the politicians in Kenya who had to pay for his sins against the nation. Waluke served as the Sirisia Member of Parliament under the Jubilee Party during his tenure. Apart from his political work, he, his wife Grace Wakhungu, and the late Jacob Juma were directors at Erad Supplies & General Contractors Ltd.
It was through this company that the directors defrauded the National Cereals and Produce Board Sh297 million in a maize importation scandal when the country was experiencing famine and millions of Kenyans were going to bed hungry. One would have higher expectations of a Criminal Justice System degree holder but this was not so with Mr. John Waluke. He along with his wife were sentenced to a cumulative 67 years and fined Ksh 726,000,000. The National Cereals and Produce Board were also given the go-ahead by the Anti-Corruption Court Chief Magistrate Elizabeth Juma to recoup the defrauded amount in full. The couple was however released from jail after posting cash bail and required to stay in the country. In October 2021, Waluke tried to leave the country but was barred when the court failed to release his passport.
The former Nairobi governor, Mike Mbuvi Sonko, is one of the Kenyan politicians who flew too close to the sun and he paid heavily for this carelessness. On the 6th of December 2019, he was arrested at the Wilson Airport after the Director of Public Prosecutions, Noordin Haji issued his arrest warrant. Sonko was found guilty of multiple charges including irregular and favoured tender-awards, misappropriation of funds, and document forgery. Along with other public officials, they lost public money worth Ksh 357 million.
The former legislator is known for his flashy lifestyle, extravagant dressing and a knack for recording private conversations. These recorded conversations included conversations that exposed judges of the High Court Chitembwe and Muchelule for corruption and others with Esther Passaris, Ann Kananu, and Nairobi County Assembly Majority Leader Abdi Guyo. Mike Sonko has been thought to have released the conversations in retaliation to his open cases including the Ksh10 million corruption case after he alleged that it was handled unfairly.
Former Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu
Commonly known as “Baba Yao”, the Kiambu ex-governor has been on the brink of serving jail time since 2020 with his ongoing graft case that followed soon after his ousting through an impeachment. The three main charges as laid out before the senate by Senate Speaker Lusaka against Waititu were Gross misconduct, abuse of office and engaging in corruption. Waititu was accused of Lack of accountability, Disregarding the County Assembly, Failure to establish the county budget and economic forum, awarding tenders to get kickbacks, Criminal offences and Abuse of office.
The ex-governor is accused of influencing the awarding of lucrative contracts to companies linked to his immediate family and relatives. Waititu is also accused of usurping the county public service board’s authority to supervise the employment of contract employees, volunteers, and casual workers in the county by establishing directorates and recruiting staff on a casual basis as directors and assistant directors.
He’s also accused of squandering public funds by paying employees without proper authorization. After being accused of improperly granting themselves Sh 580 million bids, the governor, his wife Susan Wangari, and eight others face graft charges.
This was the former Treasury Cabinet Secretary of Kenya who was charged and found guilty of economic crimes. Henry Rotich along with Kerio Valley Development Authority leader David Kimosop, former Chief Economist Kennedy Nyakundi, Jackson Kinyanjui and Titus Muriithi. The group was charged with conspiracy to defraud the government of a staggering amount of money valued at over Ksh 63 billion. This came in as a result of the Kimwarer and Arror dams scandal that left the taxpayer shocked with the height of corruption among the persons in authority.
Unlawfully, the group was accused of going into a contract for the dams to be constructed without following due process as outlined by the public procurement laws. Henry Rotich was charged with corruption and abuse of office and first charged on 23rd July 2019. The holder of two postgraduate degrees; one in Economics and another in Public Administration, awarded CMC di Ravena a Ksh 34 billion-worth contract to build Kimwarer Dam. Anti-Corruption Court Chief Magistrate Douglas Ogoti later on released the accused on cash bail. To date, the fate of the huge sums of money lost between 17th December 2014 and January 2019 is yet to be established.