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June 25, 2018

10 Kilifi officials approved payments in Sh51 million scam, CFO tells court

 Kilifi county Chief Finance  Officer Ben Kai gives his testimony in the Sh51 million scam at Kilifi law courts, September 8, 2017. /ALPHONCE GARI
Kilifi county Chief Finance Officer Ben Kai gives his testimony in the Sh51 million scam at Kilifi law courts, September 8, 2017. /ALPHONCE GARI

Ten senior Kilifi officials approved payments to private companies linked to the county's Sh51 million scandal, a court heard on Wednesday.

In his testimony, chief finance officer Ben Kai said the officers validated the payments which were made through wire transfers and IFMIS.

Kai told Kilifi senior principal magistrate Robinson Ondiek he emailed Central Bank asking to cancel the transactions.

He told the court they managed to recover Sh 8 million although other transactions went through even after they were voided.

"An irregular payment of Sh6.7 million to a Nairobi-based company was detected by senior accountant John Kalume while paying casual workers."

At least 12 county officials and released on Sh5 million bond, with a surety of a similar amount, include John Nyamawi (Accountant), Paul Mwazo (Treasury deputy director), Jacob Konde (senior health accountant), Timothy Malingi (Chief Officer Health), and Kalume.

Others are Lennox Mwazoya (Roads and Transport inspector), Dickson Tembo (Agriculture Clerical Officer) Josephine Muramba (Education Principal Accountant) and Daniel Baha Nguma (Chief Officer, Agriculture).

The four company directors who were charged alongside the county officials are Lucy Wanjugu (Zohali Services Ltd), Sarah Kamau (Daima One Enterprises), Stephen Mutua and Samuel Macharia of Kiligi Investments.

According to Kai, Daima One enterprise, Zohali Ltd, Makegra Ltd, Leadership Edge Ltd, Kilingi Ltd and Jahazi Ltd are complicit.

He said Daima One Enterprise received Sh7.2 million through its Equity bank account at Ngara branch.

Zohali Services Ltd received Sh5.3 million through its Jamii Bora account, Kiongozi branch on October 3, 2016.

“I wrote a letter to IFMIS [managers], CBK, Treasury, the anti-banking fraud unit and the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission for investigations on the theft of Sh45 million," Kai said.

He told the court during cross examination that most of the transactions were carried out during the wee hours of the night.

But he said the system was not hacked and that some of the senior county officials must have used their passwords.

The CFO said payment for Daima One Enterprises was done at 2.36am and that to Zohali Services at 3.04am, Makegra Limited at 1.16am and Zohali at 10.58pm.

The Makegra transaction was carried out again at 11.12pm.

"All the payments are done in two processes using the electronic systems and they are first initiated through the Ifmis," he noted.

The hearing continues on October 25 and October 27.

Also read: Mungatana at EACC over Sh51 million Kilifi county scam

More on this: Kilifi county denies loss of Sh1.18 billion



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