Shinyalu Member of Parliament Justus Kizito has been accused for withholding a permit from Kenya Forest Service which was to be issued to timber traders.
While testifying in a case in which three persons are charged with removing forest cover, it became apparent that the three accused persons were indeed permitted by KFS officials from Nandi to do the business.
Francis Mwangi, David Kanyi and Kennedy Khamasi were both charged with transporting pine timber worth Sh1.2 million on May 9.
The MP testified that he hailed the three at 10pm at Cherobani Village, near Kakamega Forest and was suspicious that they had harvested the timber from the area forest.
However, the MP was faced with a tough time to explain why he waited for over a month to record statements with KFS officials at Shinyalu. He was alleged to have tampered with the receipt issued to a lorry of registration number KCH 553K to read KCB 553K.
“To me, these were two vehicles. Furthermore, the certificate of origin was from Nandi yet it was intercepted at Kakamega,” said the MP.
“I did not surrender the permits which I recovered fearing that they will be tampered with,” said the Shinyalu MP. Lawyer Moses Rotich during cross-examination put the MP to task to explain why he withheld the lorry keys even after a court order had been given asking him to surrender the keys to enable the exhibit be produced in court.
Rotich insisted that the MP was captured addressing the press holding the keys making the KFS officers use a spare key which he denied
“The witness feared that the documents will be tampered with but indeed he is the one who tampered with them to settle personal scores with the accused whom he later said are from other areas,” Rotich told the court.
The three had paid Sh2,000 to transport timber from Nandi to Malindi but they reportedly had used the Kakamega route to service the vehicle which had mechanical problem.
Police Commandant James Kimaiyo told the Senior Resident Magistrate Erick Malesi that the MP never surrendered the permit after arresting the suspects.