Cop fails to quash Sh1.4m fine for taking Sh3,000 bribe

He took cash in 2016 from a driver who had reportedly violated traffic rules

In Summary

• Initial fine imposed by magistrate's court was Sh2.1 million, failure to pay meant he serves two years in jail; he served four months.  

• He was convicted on three counts, Sh700,000 fine for each; but Sh2.1 million fine was reduced in appeal ruling to Sh1.4 million. 

Justice Mumbi Ngugi at the Milimani High Court.
'DETERRENT PUNISHMENT': Justice Mumbi Ngugi at the Milimani High Court.
Image: FILE

A police officer who received Sh3,000 bribe has been slapped with a Sh1.4 million fine with an alternative of two-years in jail.

Bernard Kasyoka Munyao on Thursday lost an appeal to overturn the decision convicting him.

However, Judge Mumbi Ngugi reduced the fine from the initial Sh2.1 million. 

Judge Mumbi noted the cancerous effect corruption has on the economy is enormous and given that Munyao is a public servant, there is a need for deterrent punishment.

Magistrate Douglas Ogoti issued the first ruling. So far, Munyao has served four months out of the two-year term. He was convicted on three counts and for each, the magistrate had imposed a Sh700,000 fine. 

According to the charges, Munyao used his office to improperly confer on himself a benefit of Sh3,000 from a driver named Joseph Lirechi. Munyao is said to have arrested the driver at Amboseli stage along Gitanga Road on November 18, 2016, for violating transport licensing board regulations. 

At the time, Munyao was a deputy sub-base commander at Muthangari police station.

The trial court had been told that the money was paid to an M-Pesa agent within the police station instead of the police cash bail desk. 

Witnesses said the cop took the money as a bribe but Munyao said it was bail. 

The court, however, questioned why the money was not paid at the cash bail desk at the police station.

In his appeal, Munyao had raised several issues among them that the fine is too harsh "given that no money was lost".

He said the magistrate erred in his decision by shifting the burden of proof to him instead of the prosecution.

He also said the magistrate failed to properly evaluate the evidence "leading to an unjust finding".

The cop also said the law under which he was charged was not in force at the time of his prosecution.

However, the judge said the lower court was justified in its decision and considered the evidence produced before it in reaching its verdict.

Consequently, she said there was no reason for allowing the appeal to clear the officer of the charges. 

Edited by R.Wamochie