THIRD WITNESS

MCA defends Ojaamong in Sh8m waste management graft case

Ward rep says a request for a supplementary budget for the project was made later

In Summary
  • Ojaamong gave an unsworn statement and defended the Sh8 million spent on the study by the alleged German company (Madam R).
  • He is facing charges of abuse of office and engaging in a project without proper planning.
Busia Governor Sospeter Ojaamong at the Milimani anti-corruption court on October 5, 2020.
Busia Governor Sospeter Ojaamong at the Milimani anti-corruption court on October 5, 2020.
Image: FILE

A Busia MCA on Tuesday told an anti-corruption court that there was a supplementary budget for the Sh8 million study on waste management.

Godfrey Odongo told magistrate Douglas Ogoti that initially, there was no budget for the feasibility study in  2013-14 but a request for additional funding was made later.

Odongo was testifying in court as the third witness for Ojamong.

The Busia Governor Sospeter Ojaamong and his co-accused persons were put on their defense after the court found they had a case to answer.

Ojaamong gave an unsworn statement and defended the Sh8 million spent on the study by the alleged German company (Madam R)

He is facing charges of abuse of office and engaging in a project without proper planning.

The other co-accused Finance CeC Leonard Wanda Obimbira and Finance chief officer Allan Ekweny Omachari.

The two are accused of willfully failing to comply with the law relating to the management of funds.

Prosecutor said they knowingly approved payments amounting to Sh8 million to Madam R Enterprises Limited for a feasibility study on solid waste management, a project whose funding had not been budgeted.

Odongo on Tuesday referred to a document identified as the proposed annual budget estimate for 2013-14 and a budget speech submitted in April 2013 from the office of the governor’

But the prosecution objected to its use, raising doubts on its authenticity.

The prosecution told the court that the document does not have a date and does not meet the rules provided for in the Evidence Act.

The prosecution also said the witness has not laid a basis as to why he was using a copy and not the original.

“The document is authored by Ojaamong and being the author he chose not to introduce the same document and gave his unsworn statement,” the prosecution said.

The court, however, allowed the production of the documents saying the issues raised by the state can be revisited during cross-examination and the court will then consider the arguments raised.

When the investigating officer, Timothy Wahome testified, he said there was no planning and budgeting in relation to the waste management project.

He dismissed the evidence given by three prosecution witnesses from the county, who maintained there was planning and appropriation of funds utilised in the waste project.

Wahome said there was no feasibility study done on solid waste management projects in Busia.

The hearing of the case on Tuesday proceeded in the absence of Ojaamong following a request that he be excused as President Uhuru Kenyatta is touring his region to launch development projects.

(Edited by Tabnacha O)

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