Court slaps businessman with Sh720m fine for Youth Fund looting

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Economy

Court slaps businessman with Sh720m fine for Youth Fund looting

Mr Mukuria Ngamau, the Director of Quorandum Ltd, leaves the Anti-corruption Court in Milimani, Nairobi on September 30, 2021. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NMG

The Anti-corruption Court has fined a businessman Sh720 million for theft of public money from the Youth Development Fund. 

If unable to raise the fine, Mr Mukuria Ngamau, the director of Quorandum Ltd, will serve 27 years in prison in default. 

Chief magistrate Douglas Ogoti in Milimani, Nairobi, meted the sentence after finding Mr Ngamau guilty of five counts of looting Sh180 million from the Youth Fund seven years ago. 

The magistrate also ordered him to compensate the State agency with Sh180 million, being the amount that was lost.

He was found guilty of conspiracy to commit an economic crime, unlawful acquisition of public property and making false documents. He committed the offences on diverse dates between November 17, 2014, and May 4, 2015, within Nairobi county. 

Evidence showed that Mr Ngamau and his trading company received the money without rendering any services and after forging contract documents for the provision of ICT consultancy services.

The businessman colluded with former Youth Fund CEO Ms Catherine Namuye (now deceased), and transferred the money to Quorandum Ltd through the Fund’s main account held at Chase Bank.

The magistrate said that the prosecution, through 31 witnesses, proved how the illegal transactions took place based on letters authored by Namuye, as well as invoices and contract agreements. 

According to evidence tabled in court, the magistrate observed that Mr Ngamau pitched the idea of an ICT consultancy tender to the CEO and they later discussed how to implement it. 

While convicting the businessman, Mr Ogoti noted that procurement rules and procedures, as stipulated in Public Procurement and Disposal Act, were not adhered to. 

Mr Ngamau had been charged together with the Fund’s former officials including the late Nambuye and Mr Bruce Odhiambo, who also passed away during the pendency of the trial, leaving the businessman to face the music alone. 

His wife Doreen Waithira was dropped from the case.