Ex-Foreign Affairs PS Thuita acquitted over Tokyo Embassy scam

Ex-Foreign Affairs PS Thuita acquitted over Tokyo Embassy scam

Former Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary Thuita Mwangi and two other former officials in the Ministry have been acquitted by an anti-corruption court over the controversial purchase of Tokyo Embassy in Japan in 2009.

In his ruling, Principal Magistrate Kennedy Bidali ruled that after assessing all the 18 prosecution witnesses accounts, he found out that the prosecution did not have sufficient evidence to support their case.

The Magistrate further ruled that that there was no sufficient evidence provided in court by the prosecution to make him pronounce the three accused persons guilty.

The former PS, Anthony Mwaniki Muchirim, then the Deputy Director of administration in the Ministry, and Allan Waweru Mburu, the then Head of Affairs at the Kenyan Embassy in Tokyo were facing three charges of conspiracy to commit fraud, abuse of office and flouting the procurement act.

Late February 2016, Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Keriako Tobiko said the case in which the former Foreign Affairs was charged with the irregular purchase of a building for the Kenyan Embassy in Tokyo, Japan, at a cost of Ksh 1.57 billion had been delayed due to difficulties in procuring witnesses based in the Japanese capital.

In 2013, the former PS was taken into custody by anti-corruption detectives and questioned at the Integrity Centre over the Tokyo Embassy scam.

The Tokyo scandal emerged in 2010 after a probe revealed that officials allegedly chose to buy the property from a private seller instead of the Japanese government, which had offered a lower price.

Thuita and Mburu also faced two other counts of abuse of office and failure to comply with the law and procedures relating to procurement.

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Maureen Murimi
Story By Maureen Murimi
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