DPP spares Mutua in 16 vehicles purchase lawsuit

Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua triumphed yesterday when the State terminated his intended prosecution over alleged fraudulent purchase of 16 vehicles for the county government.

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) and the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) undertook not to pursue a case against Mutua in which five tender committee members were charged but acquitted by the Machakos Chief Magistrate’s court on November 17, last year.

The two agencies, represented by senior State counsel Ashimosi Shitambasi and Culiet Lunyolo and Dr Mutua, through lawyer Wilfred Nyamu, confirmed to the Court of Appeal  they had negotiated an amicable settlement. Representatives of the Attorney General and the Inspector-General of Police gave their consent to clear Mutua.

Appellate judges Roselyne Nambuye, Asike-Makhandia and James Otieno-Odek said the parties had voluntarily compromised Mutua’s challenging the dismissal of his constitutional petition by Supreme Court judge Isaac Lenaola, while sitting in the High Court on September 23, 2016.

The contested judgment, dated September 16, 2016 was read by Justice Edward Muriithi. Justice Lenaola had rejected Mutua’s complaints that his constitutional rights were violated since he had not been furnished with adequate information regarding the investigations into the procurement of the 15 Subaru Out-Back vehicles and one Toyota Land Cruiser.

The Governor had been informed about the nature and scope of the probe and voluntarily recorded a statement with the anti-graft agency, the Judge had pointed out.

Dr Mutua had explained that the County Executive Committee had passed a resolution in 2013 to purchase the motor vehicles, which was approved by the defunct Transition Authority and the county finance committee. He had denied having participated in the tendering process or influenced the award of the procurement entity.

Machakos Senator Johnstone Muthama had lodged the complaint to the EACC over alleged irregular purchase of ambulances and vehicles used by county executives. The backbone of the investigations centred on procurement documents allegedly prepared by Dr Mutua and his cabinet.

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