Four Kenyans jailed for life in South Sudan finally freed

Four Kenyans jailed for life in South Sudan finally freed
President Uhuru Kenyatta and President Salva Kiir at State House, Nairobi on November 29, 2017.

Four Kenyans who have been languishing in a South Sudan prison since 2015 will finally return to the country on Wednesday.

Anthony Mwadime,  Ravi Ramesh, Boniface Muriuki, Anthony Keya and 12 other South Sudan nationals had been sentenced to life imprisonment for allegedly conspiring to defraud the South Sudanese presidency of Ksh1.5 billion.

The release of the four Kenyans was reportedly secured following talks between Presidents Uhuru Kenyata and Salva Kiir.

The four, who left Kenya in search for greener pastures, were employees of Click Technologies, a technology retailer that sold electronic equipment including cameras to the State that was owned by John Agou, a former security officer in South Sudan’s presidency, and his wife Anyeth Chat Bor.

The company would later be accused of swindling the Office of the President of South Sudan and other ministries out of billions by receiving payments for no deliveries made.

Mr. Agou and his employees were also accused of forging the presidential seal in an attempt to withdraw the funds from the Treasury of the young African nation.

Appearing in a High Court in Juba, the 16 were charged with offences related to financial misappropriation and given 72-year jail sentences with the court barring the filing of an appeal within 30 days, as the sentence has to be submitted to the Supreme Court for a procedural confirmation.

Families of the four Kenyans had been relentlessly lobbying the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to secure their release, with authorities citing lack of a prisoner exchange or extradition arrangement between Nairobi and Juba.

The families argued that the sentences were harsh and their kin were victims of business wars for lucrative government tenders.


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Story By Benjamin Muriuki
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