Nineteen senior, mid-level managers and traders implicated in the Sh 4.5 billion purchase of sub-standard transformers at the Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) are still being held at the Industrial Area Prison pending processing of their bail terms.
By yesterday evening, none had been released a day after Nairobi Chief Magistrate Douglas Ogoti spelt out stringent bond terms to secure freedom.
“They are still in prison. We are waiting for their lawyers to process the mandatory payments,” a senior officer at Industrial Area Prison said.
Despite their temporary freedom, the accused have been barred from travelling outside the country, visiting their former offices or talking to potential witnesses in order not to interfere with the case or potential witnesses.
They include Managing Director Ken Tarus, his predecessor Ben Chumo, Beatrice Meso(Legal Secretary), Joshua Mutua (General Manager, Commercial Services), Abubakar Swaleh (General Manager, Human Resource and Administration) and Samuel Ndiirangu (General Manager, ICT).
Others are Stanley Mutwiri (General Manager, Infrastructure Development), Benson Muriithi (General Manager Network Management), Peter Mwicigi (General Manager, Regional Co-ordination) and John Ombui (Supply Chain Management).
They were ordered to deposit their passports in court and to report to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations once every fortnight.
They are accused of procuring substandard transformers that precipitated the loss of Sh408 million.
According to the charge sheet, the senior managers are accused of abuse of office, wilful failure to comply with procurement laws and conspiring to commit an economic crime on diverse dates between August 3, 2013 and June 12, 2018 when they procured transformers worth Sh408,533,221 from Muwa Trading. Muwa director James Njenga is also in remand.
The court further heard that the senior Kenya Power managers aided Muwa Trading Company to fraudulently acquire Sh202 million, by supplying substandard transformers. Eleven Kenya Power managers had already sanctioned an out- of-court settlement of a case Muwa had filed in court.