Sirisia Member of Parliament John Waluke will serve 7 years in jail or pay Sh727 million fine for defrauding the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB).
The MP was found guilty on Monday, June 22, 2020, in Sh313 million NCPB fraud case alongside Grace Sarapay Wakhungu who will be required to pay a Sh700 million fine or serve a similar sentence, and Erad Supplies & General Contracts Limited (Erad); a company where the two are shareholders.
Grace Wakhungu, who is former Environment CS Judy Wakhungu’s mother and Waluke had been detained at Kileleshwa Police Station pending their sentencing after being found guilty.
The details of the case were backtracked 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.
The names of the two, Waluke and Wakhungu only came into the public limelight after a case was filed in court, following a breach in contract.
From the contract, the company was to receive Ksh19,465 per tonne for the maize that was to be imported from Ethiopia. However, the company failed to supply even a single grain despite receiving a down payment of Ksh300 million.
This forced NCPB to cancel the contract, forcing Erad to move to court where an arbitrator was appointed. The arbitrator awarded Erad Ksh564 million for breach of the contract, but the NCPB contested the decision at the High Court.
At the same time, Erad, through Jacob Juma, obtained court orders to auction NCPB assets to recover the money.
As the cases dragged on and threatened NCPB assets, the Public Investments Committee (PIC) of the National Assembly was forced to intervene and launch investigations in 2013. Waluke was a member of the committee, hence he was forced to step aside momentarily.
During that time, Jacob Juma told PIC that they were going to sell NCPB assets to recover the money, proceeds of breach of a contract, and not supplies.
“We are now set to enforce a court decree to dispose of NCPB’s assets arising from the breach of a maize supply contract,” Juma then told PIC as quoted by the Nation.
Juma said that the company had incurred storage charges and lost revenue anticipated from the maize supply.
PIC found that the payments were a choreographed scheme to loot public funds, consequently baring Mr Waluke and other Erad directors from doing any business in the country and within the East African Community.
Also, the committee recommended the recovery of the money paid to the company. Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission (EACC) was ordered to investigate the case, that found Waluke guilty on Monday.