Kenya charges government officials with graft

by Reuters 0

A Kenyan court on Tuesday charged the former head of the state-run Geothermal Development Company and other senior executives with abuse of office arising from the award of a contract for transporting drilling rigs.

Former managing director Silas Simiyu and eight others charged with him for abuse of office responded “It is not true” when their charges were read out to them by a court clerk. 

Kenya’s chief prosecutor, Keriako Tobiko, on Friday authorised the prosecution of Simiyu and others on accusations of irregular award of a contract for moving the company’s drilling rigs to private-owned company Bonfide Clearing and Forwarding company in the financial year 2012/13 (July-June).

Nairobi’s anti corruption Chief Magistrate Kennedy Bidali ordered Simiyu and company secretary Praxidis Saisi released on a cash bail of 8 million shillings (78,000) each. 

Bidali also ordered the other accused persons to be released on a cash bail of 5 million shillings each. They are expected back in court on Nov. 30.

The GDC officials were among at least 20 people -including another head of a state-run company – that EACC arrested on Monday.

The head of Kenya’s Pipeline Company Charles Tanui and three others accused in the company will be charged on Wednesday.

Companies and investors cite pervasive graft as one of the biggest challenges to doing business in Kenya and U.S. President Barack Obama raised the issue when he visited in July. Citizens also complain it is an obstacle to law enforcement and provision of public services.