Court detains Ken Tarus, Ben Chumo and other Kenya Power officials


From Right to Left: Former Kenya Power boss Ben Chumo, suspended Managing Director Ken Tarus ...
From Right to Left: Former Kenya Power boss Ben Chumo, suspended Managing Director Ken Tarus among other officials. PHOTO| WALTER DZUYA| CITIZEN DIGITAL

In Summary

  • Tarus and Chumo were arraigned in court together with nine other Kenya Power officials and charged with several corruption charges over the procurement of faulty transformers worth millions of shillings.
  • The court adjourned the hearing to Tuesday morning at 8 am and directed that the accused persons be remanded at Gigiri Police Station.
  • The prosecution alleges that on diverse dates between August 3, 2012 and June 12, 2018 the accused committed economic crimes by fraudulently procuring transformers worth over Ksh.400 million.

Suspended Kenya Power Managing Director Ken Tarus and his predecessor Ben Chumo will spend Monday night in police cells pending the determination of their bail application.

Tarus and Chumo were arraigned in court together with nine other Kenya Power officials and charged with several corruption charges over the procurement of faulty transformers worth millions of shillings.

The court adjourned the hearing to Tuesday morning at 8am and directed that the accused persons be remanded at Gigiri Police Station.

The 11 Kenya Power officials were charged with conspiracy to commit an economic crime, abuse of office, aiding the commission of a felony, willful failure to comply with the law, conspiracy to defeat justice and fraudulent acquisition of public property and procurement/supply of faulty transformers.

The prosecution alleges that on diverse dates between August 3, 2012 and June 12, 2018 the accused committed economic crimes by fraudulently procuring transformers worth over Ksh.400 million.

Those charged alongside Chumo and Tarus include Beatrice Meso, K.P.Mungai, Joshua Mutua, Abubakar Swaleh, Samuel Ndirangu, Stanley Mutwiri, Benson Murithi, Peter Mwicigi, John Ombui and James Njenga Mungai — the Director of Muwa Trading Company, which was allegedly supplied the transformers.

Also charged in the case is Muwa Company Limited together with its three directors who allegedly won the tender to supply the transformers. The directors are believed to be from the same family.

The court was told that two of Muwa directors; mother and son, are out of the country on medical grounds and that they will appear in court once return from the United Kingdom.

They all pleaded not guilty to charges leveled against them by the prosecution.

In a separate file, Mr. Tarus, who was suspended on Monday by Energy CS Charles Keter, was charged with carelessly failing to comply with procedures and guidelines relating to procurement which led to fraudulent payments of Ksh.159 million to companies that were unprocedurallly prequalified for labour and transport service.

In that case, he was charged alongside four Engineers Daniel Tale, Noah Ongano Omondi, Evelyne Pauline Amondi and businessman James Kariuki.

Defence lawyers urged the court to grant the accused persons bail, arguing that they will abide with all conditions set by the court.

“There are no compelling reasons tabled before court by Inspector Walter Oginga Okello as to why the accused should be denied bail,” said Lawyer Ojienda, who maintained that his clients are not a flight risk.

The prosecution objected to the accused being released on bail on grounds that they will interfere with witnesses in the case.

It was also the prosecution’s argument that if granted bail, the accused persons are could fail to attend court proceedings.

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Story By Dzuya Walter
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