The family of Grace Wakhungu, who was in June convicted of corruption and jailed for 69 years or pay a fine of Ksh707 million, has managed to raise Ksh800 million to secure her freedom.
According to reports by the People Daily, Wakhungu’s co-convict and Sirisia MP John Waluke has managed to raise Ksh250 million, out of the Ksh727 million fined or 67 years in jail.
“The sentencing of granny is not something that was taken lightly by Wakhungu’s siblings, both here in Kenya and Uganda. Due to the robust family network, a system was quickly put in place to have money raised without delay. In fact, we outdid ourselves by raising close to Kshh800 million, being contributions from family members through the sale of assets locally and abroad, personal savings and ‘silent’ funds drives by friends,” a family source told People Daily.
Despite launching an appeal and applying to be released on bond pending the appeal hearing, the families of the two have been up and down trying to raise the amount to secure their freedon.
The bond hearing is set for this Friday, which will determine whether the sentences will be halted pending the appeal or the convicts will continue serving their jail terms. Waluke is serving time at Kamiti Maximum Prison while Wakhungu, 79, is serving her term at the Lang’ata Women Prison.
Last month, the state, with the help of anti-corruption agencies, announced that it would monitor the contributions towards the freedom of the two convicts.
In an interview with Citizen TV, EACC CEO Twalib Mbarak and DPP Noordin Haji stated that they would look into the sources contributing the money to ensure they were not proceeds of crime.
Apparently, the funds have to come from legitimate sources as the state cannot allow proceeds of crimes to be used to free graft suspects.
“If they seek to pay, we will question where the money is coming from,” said Haji.
It is intimated that Wakhungu’s immediate family had raised Ksh197 million, while the extended family raised the rest.
The daily reports that a nephew of Ms Wakhungu donated Ksh100 million while her brother, former Vice President Moody Awori donated Ksh135 million.
Her sister Dr Mary Okello, the founding director of Makini Schools, donated Ksh28 million, while her brother through friends contributed Ksh15 million.
The family of former Ugandan MP Aggrey Awori contributed Ksh41 million, while the families of the late Hannington Awori and late Prof Nelson Awori contributed Ksh93 million
The case dates back to August 2004 when Erad Supplies and General Contractors Ltd was awarded a Ksh778 million tender to supply 40,000 tonnes of maize.
The company then was known to be owned by the late businessman Jacob Juma, who was the only director known publicly.
From the contract, the company was to receive Ksh19,465 per tonne for the maize that was to be imported from Ethiopia.
The company received Ksh297 million from NCPB as compensation for breach of contract.