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WAR ON GRAFT

Bring it on, DPP tells Waluke as he moves to appeal sentence

Defence says they will base the appeal on the fact that sentencing was done in the night and lacked a mitigation hearing

In Summary

• The Waluke family is pleading with the public for financial assistance to raise the hefty fine. 

• The convicts' families are trying to raise the Sh2.1 billion combined fine to secure their release lest they spent 67 (Waluke) and 69 (Wakhungu) years behind bars.

Waluke and the mother of former Environment CS Judy Wakhungu have been found guilty of fraud.
Waluke and  the mother of former Environment CS Judy Wakhungu have been found guilty of fraud.
Image: COURTESY

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions says an appeal by Sirisia MP John Waluke against a multibillion-shilling fine or 67 years in jail in default will not be successful.

Senior assistant DDP Alexander Muteti said he is confident that the defence will not succeed in overturning the sentence by trial magistrate Elizabeth Juma of the Anti-Corruption Court.  

“I don’t know what motivates them to appeal. I can assure them that it will not be easy. We are on safe ground,” Muteti said.

The defence, led by Danstan Omari, said they “will give the DPP a serious run for his money. Expect justice to be seen to be done”.

Omari said their appeal is based on the fact that the sentencing was done at night and lacked mitigation hearing. “The magistrate failed to allow mitigation to be taken into consideration,” he said.

Waluke and co-accused Grace Wakhungu were fined a total of Sh2.1 billion fine for defrauding the National Cereals and Produce Board of Sh313 million.

Muteti maintained the magistrate was correct in her sentencing and promised that his office will fight to ensure the sentence is upheld.

 “The team of defence lawyers is swimming against the tide. This business of corruption must come to an end. I am so happy with the sentence,” he said, noting that Kenyans have been accusing his office of not securing convictions in graft cases.

“We have been accused of arresting people and taking them to court with no success. Now that we have one success story, we are prepared to go all the way.”

Omari said his client is yet to raise the fine slapped on him to secure his freedom. “It is quite a colossal amount. We will look for the money but if we don’t get it we will go to court to appeal. Our interest is to defend our client,” he said.  

The Waluke has pleaded to the public for financial assistance to raise the hefty fine handed to the legislator last week after he was convicted of fraud.

Waluke’s wife Roselyn said the family is trying to secure a paybill number in which friends and well-wishers can channel their contributions.

Omari claimed that Waluke’s conviction was politically driven and not based on evidence. “The way our client was treated shows that there was no proper application of the law,” he said.

Speaking on Citizen TV, Muteti appealed to Kenyans to give his office time in the war against graft. “We shall prove ourselves. There have been so many challenges but the defence teams must know that we are going to meet them cent for cent.”

He said Waluke should be prepared to lose his seat following the conviction. “When people make mistakes they should pay the price. There are sons and daughters in Sirisia who can take up the job,” he stated.

Waluke and Wakhungu remain in prison following their sentencing last week.  Their families are trying to raise the Sh2.1 billion combined court fine to secure their release lest they spent 67 (Waluke) and 69 (Wakhungu) years behind bars.

The Wakhungu family is said to have started raising money to secure Grace's release.

Edited by R.Wamochie