A senior Laikipia County government official has been arraigned in court charged with soliciting for bribes from contractors.
The County Director of Water Services, Joseph Mwangi Maina was charged on Monday in a Nanyuki court with soliciting Sh.470, 000 as bribes from three different contractors who had secured government tenders to construct dams in the county.
The charge sheet stated that on unknown dates in January 2018, he solicited Sh.220, 000 from James Gatwiri Warui who is a director of Korner General Contractors and whose company had secured a tender to rehabilitate Solio 4 earth dam as facilitation fee for the supervision of the project.
Mwangi faced a second count of soliciting for a Sh.150, 000 bribe from Stephen Karanja Mathenge of Ugatuzi contractors in January 2018 as facilitation fee for the supervision of the rehabilitation works for Imenya dam.
The County Water Services Director also faced a third charge of soliciting for a Sh.100, 000 bribe from one Hassan Mohamed Ali after his company Laissa Construction Limited won a tender to construct Kalalu dam.
Mwangi denied all the charges before Chief Magistrate (CM), Lucy Mutai and was released on a Sh.100, 000 cash bail which he promptly paid to secure his release.
Through his lawyer, John Abour, the accused had prayed for reasonable bail or bond terms arguing that he would present himself in court for the cases till conclusion. The CM set the hearing date of the case in March next year.
In the same court, three middle-aged men were released on Sh.1.5 million bond each and a similar surety after they denied trafficking 139 kilos of bhang valued at Sh.2.7 million.
Kadiro Hirbo Shanu, Mohamed Lula Masko, and Hassan Chiwa Dawe were charged that on October 14 this year jointly with others not before the court, they were found transporting bhang along the Nanyuki-Naromoru Road in a Mitsubishi lorry.
The CM gave the trio an option of paying Sh.700, 000 cash bail to secure their freedom pending the determination of the case and set the hearing to March next year.
By Martin Munyi