One Mapili, Wanjiku, Jackson Kiharo, Michael Okongo and Alex Mutia Kesyoka have denied defrauding complainant Idris Buro of Sh88,784,340 through fake government tenders.
They are charged that between July 12 and September 3 at Teleposta Towers in Nairobi and with intent to defraud, they obtained money from Buro. They were alleged to have committed the office with others not before court. The amount included Sh23 million in cash, 797 pieces of HP laptops valued at about Sh56 million and 797 pieces of Windows 10 software valued at about Sh10 million.
Senior principal magistrate Stella Atambo on Monday adjourned the case to enable the parties to prepare for the hearing.
Earlier, defence lawyers had opposed an application by the prosecution to release the laptops to the alleged owner. This was after a prosecutor sought to have all the laptops, which are kept by the police, released to Buro, who has testified.
But defence lawyers, led by Lewis Kanyoko, opposed the request, saying although their clients are not claiming ownership, they want the laptops kept until the case is heard and determined.
The complainant had told the court he was defrauded of Sh 88.7 million in a scheme involving the award of fake government tenders.
During his testimony, Buro identified two of the five accused persons — Mapili David and Mercy Wanjiku. He said they introduced themselves as acting head of procurement in the Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) ministry and head of IT respectively.
Buro, who is a director of two companies, said he supplied laptops and Microsoft Windows software supposedly to the ICT ministry. He said he was given fake Local Purchase Orders (LPOs) and letters with government letterheads and stamps for three contracts estimated at Sh230 million.
Buro said he supplied 797 laptops and the software at Sh125,926,000 and Sh28,692,000 respectively. Buro, through his second firm, Sanabil General Supplies Ltd, got a letter of award for supply and delivery of Panolin Hydraulic Lubricant to the Government Printer for Sh74,520,000. He said all the three awards are dated August 6, 2018, and signed by Mapili for Principal Secretary.
He said he used to meet Mapili at the Teleposta offices. “Mapili told me the government was using restricted tendering since the laptops and hydrants were required urgently,” he said.
He told the court that upon getting the first LPO, he ordered for the gadgets from China through his first company Naliye Agency Limited.
The court heard that when Buro went to Teleposta to deliver the laptops, he was informed that government stores were full and instead asked to deliver the pieces at a store in Hurlingham. On the supply of hydrants, he said the accused persons introduced him to a dealer who could supply him with the material for onward delivery. He told the court he paid Sh23 million to the ‘approved dealer’.
The court heard that when he went to pursue his payment, he was informed at both the Treasury and the ICT ministry that there were no such tenders.