Court frees Kenya Power bosses on bail


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

  • Chief magistrate Douglas Ogoti directed that they each deposit a cash bail of Ksh.1 million, or a bond of Ksh.2 million and a surety of similar amount.
  • In his ruling, the magistrate said that the prosecution did not give compelling reasons as to why the accused persons should remain behind bars pending hearing and determination of their case.
  • The magistrate, however, directed the accused to deposit their passports in court and not to contact witnesses lined up in the case.

Suspended Kenya Power Managing Director Ken Tarus, his predecessor Ben Chumo and 17 other officials of the electricity company were on Tuesday released on bail after spending four nights in police cells.

Tarus, Chumo and their co-accused were charged with several corruption charges over the procurement of faulty transformers worth millions of shillings.

Chief Magistrate Douglas Ogoti directed that they each deposit a cash bail of Ksh.1 million, or a bond of Ksh.2 million and a surety of similar amount.

In his ruling, the magistrate said the prosecution did not give compelling reasons as to why the accused persons should remain behind bars pending hearing and determination of their case.

The magistrate, however, directed the accused to deposit their passports in court and not to contact witnesses lined up in the case.

The suspects were also instructed to report to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) after every two weeks and to keep off any Kenya Power offices including the installation centres.

Magistrate Ogoti warned that he would cancel the bail should it emerge that any of the accused had contacted the witnesses.

Summons to appear in court were also issued against two co-directors of MUWA Company Limited, which allegedly supplied the faulty transformers. The two directors –mother and son — are said to be out of the country on medical purposes.

The prosecution had alleged that the accused persons, if released on bail, are likely to interfere with the witnesses in the case, adding that investigations are ongoing into other questionable tenders.

“If the accused are released on bail, there is real danger that the intended witnesses may be dissuaded from appearing and giving evidence against their immediate bosses,” the court heard.

According to the prosecution, investigations have revealed that Kenya Power employees, some of whom are witnesses, have been directly and indirectly instructed through internal memos and phone calls not to allow access to the warehouse or storage facilities.

In opposing bail, the prosecution also argued that the accused were senior officers and have access to the companies sensitive operational systems and are categorised as ‘super users’ in the management of the Kenya Power electronic system.

The defence, however, opposed the arguments saying bail is a constitutional right and the accused are ready to abide by the court directions.

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Story By Dzuya Walter
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