Netizen 24 KEN: Accountant fined Sh16.5 million for Sh3.8 million theft

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Accountant fined Sh16.5 million for Sh3.8 million theft

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Accountant fined Sh16.5 million for Sh3.8 million theft
"The EACC took up the matter in 2012 after a report by the Makueni district internal auditor was referred to it for action." /FILE
"The EACC took up the matter in 2012 after a report by the Makueni district internal auditor was referred to it for action." /FILE

A f ormer Makueni district accountant has been fined Sh16.5 million by a Nairobi court for unlawfully acquiring public property worth Sh3.8 million.

Anti-Corruption Court Magistrate Lawrence Mugambi convicted Wycliffe Mitema on Monday following the acquisition more than eight years ago.

Mitema was charged six years ago with three counts of unlawful acquisition of public property, willful failure to comply with applicable proceduresand abuse of office.

Police alleged that on diverse dates between October 13, 2008 and September 30, 2009, he unlawfully acquired public property worth Sh3.8 million.

In his judgement, Mugambi said that the prosecution proved its case beyond all reasonable doubt.

The magistrate ordered Mitema to pay a Sh15 million fine for the first count, failure of which he will serve a four-year jail term.

Mugambi further ordered the ex-accountant to pay a Sh1 million fine or serve a year in jail for the general sentence.

Mitema was fined another Sh500,000, and told he will spend a year in prison if he does not pay, for failing to comply with the Governmental Financial Management act.

Mugambi ruled in line with section 48(2)(b) of the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act, which states that the mandatory fine shall be equal to two times the sum of the amount of the benefit and the amount of loss.

The court, however, cleared Mitema of the third count of abuse of office saying there was no concrete evidence for a conviction.

The EACC took up the matter in 2012 after a report by the Makueni district internal auditor was referred to it for action.

The report showed that Mitema awarded himself money by failing to submit imprest vouchers as required. He did not account for the money and failed to surrender it to the authorities, so he was arrested and charged with fraud.

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