Former PS denies conspiracy to steal Sh8.9 million
FORMER Tourism and Wildlife permanent secretary Rebecca Nabutola yesterday told the High Court that a trip organised for permanent secretaries four years ago was above board. Nabutola told magistrate Lucy Nyambura that the three days' trip to the famous Maasai Mara game reserve was funded by various stakeholders in the tourism sector.
The former PS said that the private sector, Kenya Tourism Board and other parastatals under the ministry of Tourism, tour operators and hotel owners played a role in ensuring the trip was a success. Nabutola, former KTB managing director Achieng Ong’ong’a and businessman Duncan Kuguru are charged with conspiracy to defraud the ministry of Sh8.9million.
Nabutola said she was among PSs that flew to Mara in helicopters provided by the Kenya Wildlife Service. Other guests, she said, drove to the game reserve. Nabutola and Achieng face an additional charge of abuse of office by appointing a private firm to co-ordinate transport to the game reserve and instructing the Catering and Tourism Development Levy Trustees to pay the bill. The offences were allegedly committed between June and December 2007. The court was told that an audit report at KTB for 2007/08 revealed funds were released to Kuguru purportedly to organise the trip. The case was adjourned to February 24.