(eTN) – Time has finally ran out for the trio of accused, Ms. Rebecca Nabutola, a former Ministry of Tourism Permanent Secretary, Dr. Achieng Ongonga and one Duncan Muriuki, in a case, which emerged against them in 2008, when they found themselves in the dock over allegations of unauthorized use of funds and conspiracy to defraud.
Dr. Achieng, erstwhile CEO of the Kenya Tourist Board, was sentenced to three years in jail with an added fine of 1.5 million Kenya Shillings, and failure to pay would add a further 3 years to his sentence. Ms. Nabutola, then Achieng’s superior as PS in the line ministry, got four years in jail for her part in the scheme and was given a 2 million Kenya Shillings fine. Duncan Muriuki, the apparent beneficiary of the conspiracy and himself a former member of KTB board of directors, was given a whopping 7 years in jail and has to repay some 18.3 million Kenya Shillings, the sum in question which was paid out by KTB, when Achieng and Nabutola connived, in clear violation of laid down procurement and payment rules, and caused the transaction to go ahead.
At the time, the board of directors had not been re-appointed as yet, leaving a gap in supervision which very likely prompted the three convicted individuals to hatch the scheme and exploit the vacuum on the top. Achieng and Nabutola where both suspended, when the re-appointed board blew the whistle on the transaction, rumors of which had swept Kenya’s tourism industry, triggering a full scale investigation at the time.
The three convicted individuals do have the option to appeal.