Nairobi Chief Magistrate Elizabeth Juma has ordered Sirisia MP John Waluke and his business partner Grace Wakhungu to pay a fine of neARLY Sh2 billion or in lieu serve at least seven years in prison after the two were found guilty of defrauding the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB).
"The court agrees that being first offenders and considering their age, they deserve leniency,” she said even as she proceeded to pronounce a precedent-setting ruling that will certainly put on notice for those bent on corruption.
The two will be at liberty to appeal the ruling in 14 days. Should they fail to pay, NCPB will be at liberty to commence civil proceedings seeking to recover the lost loot by attaching their property.
The magistrate said there were aspects in the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act (ACECA) that are mandatory and the court had no option but to pass sentence as prescribed in the law.
But where the court has discretion, Ms Juma said she would exercise the same judiciously.
Both the convicts and the company were directed to pay a fine of Sh626 million each or serve seven year in jail for receiving fraudulent payment from NCPB.
The suit arose from the 2004 loss of public funds as paid out to late businessman Jacob Juma of Erad Supplies Ltd.
Mr Waluke who lost his vice chairman seat on the National Assembly's security committee could lose his seat in Parliament if he is jailed for more than six months.