BY SAM ALFAN.
Karen MCA on Thursday became the first County elected leader to lose his seat after he was found guilty of bribery charges.
David Mberia who was facing charges alongside two others, was found guilty of
with conspiracy to commit the offence of corruption but they were found not guilty and released. Mberia was facing three other charges which he is was found guilty of demanding a bribe of Sh1 million.
The court sentenced him to pay a fine of Sh 700,000 for the three counts or serve three years in jail. The sentences will run concurrently.
“The accused is barred from holding public office as Member of County Assembly in accordance with the law. The Judgement will be given to the speaker of the county assembly for compliance,” ruled the magistrate.
Mberia and his co accuses were accused of demanding a Sh1 million bribe from the owners of Kiragu Waichahi school in Pumwani, Kamukunji.
“The Constitution requires state officers to uphold very high standards in the discharge of their duties,” said the prosecutor adding that the events leading to this case took place during the discharge of his (accused) duties.
While urging the court find him guilty, the prosecution said integrity was lacking in the manner in which the MCA handled the events.
The state had requested for a maximum sentence as stipulated in the constitution to ensure the accused and other Kenya citizens deter from committing similar offences.
In mitigation, his lawyer said Mberia is a first time offender, human and prone to error.
“He is remorseful and has been attending court religiously since the commencement of this trial,” the court heard.
The lawyer pleaded for leniency and non-custodial sentence, preferably a fine, on grounds that he is a family man with four children.
The court also heard that defense intends to appeal against the said judgement.
They allegedly demanded a Sh1 million bribe from the owners of Kiragu Waichahi School, which is in Pumwani Ward of Kamukunji Constituency.
Mberia was among MCAs and members of the county’s Culture and Social Services Committee, with Mr Njihia as the chairperson.
They are said to have demanded the bribe in order to prepare a favourable report for the assembly, to counter their previous allegation that a private school in Eastleigh was illegally established.
Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) accused the trio that between April 8 and 25 ,2019 within Nairobi County being elected members of county assembly conspired to receive a bribe of Sh 1,000,000 from Samuel Maina Kiragu.
Mberia alone is accused that on April 25,2019 at city hall lounge within Nairobi city county being elected Member of Assembly for Langata /Karen ward requested Sh1,000,000 from Maina.
He also charged with requesting Sh 500,000 and Sh 200,000 from Maina.
During the hearing if the case the prosecution inform the trial court that on April 10,2019 the accused persons visited Kiragu Waichai Schools situated at Kiambu , Eastleigh section 3 and met with caretaker Anthony Waweru Wachira .
According to the caretaker , the MCAs claimed that the private school was built on public land and demanded for ownership documents and thereafter the caretaker informed the school property manager Samuel Maina Kiragu about the matter.
On April 18, last year , the caretaker called the school property manager to inform him about the letter which was produced in court as exhibit.
It was alleged that the letter originated from the clerk , Nairobi city county government and was delivered by the secretary to the area member of the county assembly.
Maina testified that he instructed a lawyer to respond to the letter, however, on April 24, he received a call from MCA Njihia inquiring why a lawyer was involved yet the matter could be amicably resolved