Former Tourism Permanent Secretary Rebecca Nabutola and one time Kenya Tourism Board Managing Director Dr Achieng Ong’ong’a before high court criminal division at Milimani law Courts where they lost an appeal challenging their conviction on Thursday May 18,2016.
BY THOMAS KARIUKI.
A Nairobi court has ordered the imprisonment of former Tourism PS Rebecca Nabutola with Tourism Board Managing Director Dr Achieng Ong’ong’a over corruption.
The two high-profile individuals will face a one year jail term or pay a fine of Sh500, 000 for their freedom.
Ex-PS Nabutola and the co-accused Dr Ong’ong’a lost an appeal challenging their conviction.
High Court Judge Ngenye Macharia upheld their conviction over willful failure to comply with procurement procedures in which the government lost
The judge however quashed their conviction on five other counts including abuse of office, making payments for services which were not rendered, conspiracy to defraud the government, conflict of interest and making payments of government revenue without accounting.
Nabutola had in 2012 been jailed for four years while Ong’ong’a was set to serve three years in prison.
In addition, Nabutola was required to pay a fine of Sh1 million and in default serve a further two years in jail, while Ong’ong’a was to pay Sh1.5 million or serve two more years.
Tour Operator Duncan Muriuki who was charged alongside the PS and the MD was sent to prison for seven years without the option of a fine.
Muriuki was also to pay Sh17.8 million in fines or serve three years in default.
Anti-corruption court magistrate Lucy Nyambura also directed Muriuki to refund Sh800, 000 to the Republic of Kenya and a further Sh500, 000 to the government failure to which he will serve a further one year in prison.
In her findings the magistrate said that the prosecution had proved the case against beyond reasonable doubt.
The trio was charged in May 2009 following recommendations by the defunct Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission.
The case involved investigations into an illegal payment made to a tour company belonging to Muriuki that coordinated a visit to the Mara by President Mwai Kibaki and other top government officials.
According to the prosecution, the procurement procedures were flouted in awarding the tender to the firm that organised the tour, and blamed the PS and the former KTB boss for failing to follow laid down regulations.
“The Permanent Secretary participated in appointing the said tour company and indeed communicated the appointment to the Catering and Tourism Development Levy Trustees. She also issued instructions for payment of a further Sh400,000 to the said tour company despite the fact that the sum of Sh8,925,444, which was highly exaggerated, had not been accounted for,” according to a statement from KACC in April of 2009.
Nabutola was also charged with the offence of abuse of office contrary to Section 46 of the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act 2003 and willful failure to comply with the law relating to procurement contrary to Section 45(2) (b) of the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act 2003.