Elgeyo Marakwet payroll manager paid his wife a monthly salary amounting Ksh7.8 million from the county coffers though she was not an employee of the county.
In a ruling, Iten Senior Principal Magistrate Hezron Nyaberi upheld submissions by the State Counsel Wanjiku Karanja that Violah Jelagat Butiah, an employee of Uasin Gishu county government conspired with her husband, Livingstone Kiptoo Tanui to draw a salary from Elgeyo Marakwet county government.
Jelegat managed to withdraw Ksh4 million from her account at Equity Bank and a further Ksh3.8 million from another account with Kenya Commercial Bank.
The court was making a ruling in an application filed under a certificate of urgency by the couple seeking to have the court lift orders made on February 13 directing the detention of their vehicle registration No. KCB 478 J, Subaru station wagon and freezing of their five accounts in various banks.
The application, which was dismissed by the court, further sought to have the wife enjoined in the proceedings. The magistrate said the conservatory orders issued by the court were intended to preserve the vehicle from being disposed of by the applicants besides freezing the money.
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The magistrate said though the first applicant was an employee of Elgeyo Marakwet County, the court was not convinced that he used his legitimate salary to buy the vehicle. “What about the argument that he inflated his salary as a payroll manager and consequently obtained approximately Ksh12.5 million?” the magistrate questioned. “There are statements which show that he was drawing huge salaries from month to month over and above the normal salary,” Mr Nyaberi said.
He said the prosecution had proved a prima facie case that there is every reason to believe that the vehicle was acquired through illegally acquired funds and may constitute a subject of asset recovery proceedings.
On the freezing orders, the magistrate maintained that facts on the second applicant were that she was an employee of Uasin Gishu County but was receiving salary from Elgeyo Marakwet County.
“I am persuaded that there is an arguable case based on pre existing cause of action and the amount in Cooperative bank risks being withdrawn should the court reverse the orders. I have therefore come to the conclusion that the applicants’ application has no merit and it is hereby dismissed,” Nyaberi ruled.