Kenya’s Former Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary Thuita Mwangi and two other officials have been acquitted over charges of unlawful acquisition of the Sh1.5 billion Tokyo Embassy. Anti-Corruption Court Magistrate Kennedy Bidali freed Thuita, former Chargé d’affaires at the Japanese embassy Allan Mburu and former deputy director of administration in the ministry, Anthony Muchiri, saying there was no evidence to warrant putting them on their defence. The court exonerated the trio from blame over the illegal purchase since the decision was approved by the Ministerial Tender Committee (MTC) and that some of the prosecution witnesses were part of the tendering process. According to the trial magistrate “if anyone was to be held accountable it was the MTC and not Mwangi who was the accounting officer ”. Magistrate Bidali said the accused persons cannot be held accountable since they were not part of the MTC which authorised purchase of the embassy. The three former top government officials had denied charges of illegal procurement of the premises without following the laid down procedures. Mwangi and Mburu were accused of committing the offense on diverse dates between January and October 2009 by approving the purchase of the property for the Chancery of the Kenya Embassy and ambassador’s residence at a price of 1.75 billion Japanese Yen while aware that a fair price could have been obtained had proper procurement procedures adhered to. It is alleged that Mwangi and Mburu abused their respective offices by sanctioning the purchase of the property by improperly conferring a benefit of 318,700,000 Japanese Yen to Nobuo Kuriyama.
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