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EACC, ODPP On The Spot Over Delayed Arraignment Of Taita Taveta County Clerk Maganga For Plea Taking In Sh17M Fraud

The Commission’s investigation uncovered that a total of Sh 17 million was spent on the trip, with Sh 9 million paid directly to organizers for logistics and Sh 8 million disbursed as imprest to 30 officials, including the 21 MCAs.

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A group of residents of Taita Taveta County have written to the EACC and Chief Justice Martha Koome seeking answers in what they term as selective prosecution in the fight against corruption.

They’re questioning why the County Assembly Clerk Gadiel Maganga has not taken plea despite having been arrested.

Arrest

In April 26, Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) detectives had arrested Maganga in connection with graft.

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He was accused of fraudulent expenditure related to a bonding trip undertaken by 21 MCAs to Zanzibar in 2022.

Maganga’s arrest followed the dismissal of his case by the High Court in Voi, where he sought to halt EACC and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) from pursuing his arrest and prosecution.

The Commission’s investigation uncovered that a total of Sh 17 million was spent on the trip, with Sh 9 million paid directly to organizers for logistics and Sh 8 million disbursed as imprest to 30 officials, including the 21 MCAs.

“The County Assembly used forged documents to account for the fraudulent expenditure,” EACC alleged.

According to EACC the MCA’s were overpaid while some of those who received allowances did not take part in the trip.

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Here’s a copy of the letter emailed to Kenya Insights:

THE SECRETARY/CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, ETHICS AND ANTI- CORRUPTION COMMISSION, INTEGRITY CENTRE,
JAKAYA KIKWETE/VALLEY ROAD.
P.O. BOX 61130 – 00200,
NAIROBI.

LADY JUSTICE HON. MARTHA KOOME EGH
CHIEF JUSTICE AND PRESIDENT OF THE SUPREME COURT OF KENYA SUPREME COURT BUILDING, CITY HALL WAY
P.O.BOX 30041, 00100
NAIROBI

NELSON INGONGA
DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTION,
ODPP HOUSE, RAGATI ROAD, UPPER HILL,
P.O. BOX 30701-00100.
NAIROBI

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Dear Sirs/Madam,

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RE: COMPLIMENT AND COMPLAINT LETTER

On behalf of the people of Taita Taveta County, we take this opportunity to congratulate EACC for exhibiting professionalism in the conduct of investigations into the alleged malfeasance by the County Assembly of Taita Taveta, investigations which revealed misappropriation and loss of public funds to the tune of Kenya Shillings Seventeen Million (Kshs 17,000,000/=) meant for the development of Taita Taveta County.

It was equally reassuring when EACC took bold action to recover Kenya Shillings Five Million and Six Hundred Thousand (Kshs 5,600,000 /=) of the Kenya Shillings Six Million and Two Hundred Thousand (Kshs 6,200,000 /=) irregularly paid to the 30 County officials as daily subsistence allowance for the bonding trip.

We were delighted and encouraged that the people of Taita Taveta would finally be on course to receive justice after years of allegations and reports of embezzlement of public funds when EACC together with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions concurred that charges of abuse of office, uttering false documents, false accounting by a public officer, wilful failure to comply with the law, regulations and guidelines relating to procurement, and financial misconduct be preferred against the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Anselm Chao Mwadime and the Clerk to the Assembly CPA Gadiel Mnyambo Maghanga.

Through EACC’s efforts, the Deputy Speaker was arrested, arraigned in court and charged
in MOMBASA MCAC NO. E004 OF 2024, REPUBLIC -VS- ANSELIM CHAO; he
took plea on 26th February 2024 and was released on a Kenya Shillings One Million (Kshs1,000,000/=) bond with similar surety or an alternative cash bail of Kenya Shillings Five Hundred Thousand (Kshs 500,000/=).

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The People of Taita Taveta are grateful on how EACC handled its constitutional mandate, it arrested the Clerk of Taita Taveta County Assembly CPA Gadiel Maganga and presented
him to court to take plea; it did not relent when he filed a case at the Voi High Court and obtained Orders to stop it and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution from pursuing his arrest and prosecution. It swiftly arrested him when the orders were discharged and charged him in MOMBASA MCAC NO. E007 OF 2024 REPUBLIC -VS- GADIEL
MAGANGA AND ANSELIM MWADIME.

What is appalling and bizarre is that to date, CPA GADIEL MAGANGA HAS NOT TAKEN PLEA! He appeared before Honourable Alex Ithuku on 12th March 2024 for plea taking but the same was deferred to 8th April 2024 then deferred further to 29th April 2024, 13th May 2024 and 10th June 2024.

This then begs the following questions:

  1. Is the criminal justice system being compromised?
  2. Are there any schemes and plans being hatched to scuttle the process and therefore deny the people of Taita Taveta justice?
  3. Is the Clerk to the County Assembly above the law?
  4. Is the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution dragging its feet and considering recalling the file and subsequently drop the charges?
  5. Who is protecting the Clerk of the County Assembly of Taita Taveta and to what benefit?
  6. Are some EACC officials working in cahoots with the ODPP and Judiciary to undermine justice?
  7. The Deputy Speaker already took plea, what is it that is stopping the Clerk from taking plea?

We wish to state as follows:

  1. That we are driven by the desire to seek justice for the people of Taita Taveta who are outraged and desirous to know when the clerk will take plea.
  2. That failure by the ODPP and the judiciary to take any action against the Clerk of the Assembly is an endorsement of impunity.
  3. The inaction by the ODPP and judiciary will severely erode the confidence the public has in those institutions.
  4. That there is public outcry on the issue and the failure by the DPP will force us to commence private prosecution against the clerk.
  5. That people of Taita Taveta will not relent in their struggle to seek justice.
  6. People of Taita Taveta will picket and organise public demonstrations against the
    Judiciary and the ODPP.
  7. People of Taita Taveta will seek the involvement of all the relevant bodies including petitioning the Senate, writing to the President, the Office of the Ombudsman, The Law society of Kenya, Judicial Service Commission etc.
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It is our expectation that the Office of the Directorate of Public Prosecutions and the judiciary will appreciate the urgency of this matter, place a premium on the reputation of their institutions, uphold the integrity of the criminal justice system, and apply its expertise, knowledge, and wisdom of the Kenya laws in making the determination and orders required to advance the cause of justice and the rule of law as formulated in the issues that are now before you.

ACTIVE CITIZENS OF TAITA TAVETA COUNTY

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