Maize scandal: How Ksh 297m was shared in two days

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Ms Grace Wakhungu and Sirisia MP John Waluke during their sentencing for fraud on June 25, 2020. PHOTO COURTESY

Details have emerged on how the Erad maize scandal unfolded with the taxpayer losing Ksh297 million for the purchase of 40,000 metric tonnes of maize in 2004 that were never bought.

Large amounts were transacted in cash and significant payment details are missing. An unknown client was paid Ksh112 million.

Significantly also, large amounts were paid as legal fees compared to the amounts declared to have been paid to the directors of Erad.

It also shows how the fraud was unravelled and the perpetrators brought to book.

According to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, the money was shared between Erad General Suppliers with the accused who were directors pocketing Ksh90 million.

Law firms namely Ahmed Nassir and company limited was paid Ksh40 million, Soita and Saende advocates pocketed Ksh34 million, former deputy Chief Justice Nancy Barasa made away with Ksh5 million in legal fees with the rest of the money being withdrawn using cheques.

The funds were shared in a record two days.

S/NoDateBeneficiaryAmount (Kshs.)Payment Details
120/3/2013Nancy Barasa (Former Deputy Chief Justice)5 millionLegal Fees
220/3/2013Ahmednassir & Abdikadir & Co. Advocates35 millionLegal Fees
320/3/2013Cheque Withdrawal (beneficiary not stated)6 millionNot stated
420/3/2013Soita & Saende Advocates2 millionLegal Fees
520/3/2013Soita & Saende Advocates12 millionLegal Fees
620/3/2013Soita & Saende Advocates10 millionLegal Fees
721/3/2013Cheque Withdrawal (beneficiary not stated)5 million Not stated
821/3/2013Soita & Saende Advocates112 millionTransfer of client shareholder(Shareholder not stated)
921/3/2013Soita & Saende Advocates10 millionLegal Fees
1021/3/2013Ahmednassir & Abdikadir & Co. Advocates5 millionLegal fees
1121/3/2013Grace Sarapay Wakhungu40 millionTransfer of client shareholder
1221/3/2013John Koyi Waluke50 millionTransfer of client shareholder
1321/3/2013Cheque Withdrawal (beneficiary not stated)5 millionNot stated
1421/3/2013Fund transfer – Soita & Saende Advocates 320,000.0Not stated
Total 297,320,000.00

Sirisia Member of Parliament John Waluke who is at the centre of the scan was Thursday fined over Ksh700 million in connection with the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) maize scandal.

Waluke was convicted alongside Grace Wakhungu and they will each serve seven years in prison if they fail to pay the money.

The Anti-corruption Chief Magistrate Elizabeth Juma termed the scandal a serious economic crime where the taxpayer was defrauded of huge sums of money and gave the two 14 days to appeal.

Should the appeal fail then Waluke automatically loses his seat in parliament.

While welcoming the sentence, Deputy Director of Public Prosecution Alexander Muteti, however, said he was going to appeal the non-custodial orders granted to the accused.

The Speaker of the National Assembly and Parliamentary Service Commission will be notified to ensure Waluke complies with the orders given.

Lawyers representing the MP and Wakhungu during mitigation requested for non-custodial sentences claiming the two were remorseful and were first offenders.

Deputy Director of Public Prosecution Alexander Muteti vehemently opposed pleas for non-custodial sentence arguing that releasing them would open the flood gates for other corrupt individuals to enjoy freedom at the expense of public funds.