Wakhungu, who is still in prison, was sentenced to 69 years in jail after failing to pay close to a Ksh1 billion fine imposed on her for her part in the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) scandal in 2014.

She was sent back to prison on October 6 this year after the High Court declined her bid to quash the conviction and sentence for forgery and fraudulently acquiring Ksh 297 million from the NCPB together with MP Waluke. Her business associate Waluke who is also still in prison was separately handed a jail term of 67 year.

Wakhungu is a younger sister to the former vice president Moody Awori and found guilty of receiving Ksh40 million as part of the Ksh297 million paid out for supplying air to the NCPB.

In her appeal, Wakungu through Lawyer Paul Muite says that she is dissatisfied with the said decision of the High court to uphold her sentence and conviction adding that her appeal is arguable with high chances of success and if bail is not granted at this stage, the appeal will be rendered nugatory. She seeks to overturn the entire decision by the High court judge Esther Maina and the trial court.

” Wakhungu be released on bail or bond pending the hearing and determination of her appeal against the judgement and order of the High court in Nairobi delivered on October 6,2022,” Lawyer Muite says.

Muite says that Wakhungu is 82 years old and suffers from various life-threatening illnesses and condition adding that she is currently on life support medication while at Lang’ata Women Prison.

“I believe that her age, Wakhungu is vulnerable to geriatric diseases and conditions, let alone to developing and succumbing to chronic illnesses because of her underlying medical condition, diabetes,” say Lawyer Muite.

He adds that on October 13, this year, Wakhungu was taken ill while in prison and after a medical review, she was admitted at Kenyatta National Hospital not only for blood pressure stabilisation but also, for admission for multiple-speciality review by orthopaedic surgeon, psychiatric team, diabetologist for specialised investigations

According to Wakhungu, she is apprehensive that her health will be greatly affected if her application to be released on bail pending appeal is not heard and determined expeditiously.

Wakhungu says her appeal has overwhelming chances of success at the Court of Appeal as the Justice Maina failed to subject the evidence on record to a fresh and exhaustive re-evaluation, analysis and re-assessment and draw her conclusions and instead, considered the prosecution case in isolation thereby taking a very narrow and constricted view of the evidence on record.

“The appeal before the High court had overwhelming chances of success given that the amounts that are claimed to have been fraudulently acquired were part of a bigger sum, namely loss of profits, in respect of which, no criminality was imputed through the charges against Wakhungu,” Lawyer Muite says.

She faults the judged for entirely ignoring the grounds of the appeal that had been set out in the memorandum of appeal in their entirety by proceeding to determine the appeal on her own terms which led to upholding the trial magistrate decision.

” The High Court Judge failed to review the provisions od section 48 of the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act and arrive at the conclusion that the sentence was illegal and unlawful,” say Wakhungu.

In her sentence, Chief magistrate Elizabeth Juma had granted an alternative fine of Ksh727,725,562 for Waluke, Ksh707,725,562 for Wakhungu and the company Ksh727,725,562 totalling to excess of Sh2 billion.

The two and their firm, Erad Supplies & General Contractors, received over Sh 300 million from NCPB for fake claims, in an alleged botched deal to supply some 40,000 metric tonnes to the government in 2004.

Waluke and Wakhungu were the two company directors after the third director Jacob Juma was murdered in 2016.


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