Rogue businessman cum conman Ben Gethi, Co-,director Joyce Makena to serve years in jail or pay Sh 8 million fine for fraud

Businessman Ben Gethi and his co-director Joyce Makena have been fined a total of Sh8 million for using forged documents to secure a tender for the supply of lantern lamps to the electoral body in 2012.

Anti-corruption court chief magistrate Lawrence Mugambi said the two through their company Solarmak Technologies would have benefited from a fraudulent tender had not been nullified by the Public Procurement Administrative Review Board.

The court ruled that the two will serve two years each, for forging a Kenya Revenue Authority compliance certificate and uttering the same to Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to secure a tender worth Sh105 million.

One of Solarmak Technologies director Joyce Makena before Milimani Anti-Corruption Chief Magistrate Court during the sentencing on Tuesday March 1,2022/PHOTO BY S.A.N.
Their company had participated in the tender for the supply of solar lanterns to be used in the 2013 general election.

The court also fined three IEBC officials for altering the price to benefit Solarmak and failing to comply with procurement procedures.

Kennedy Ochae, who was only three weeks to the job was fined Sh200,000 while his boss Gabriel Mutunga, who was described by the court as the mastermind of the scheme was ordered to pay a fine of Sh2.8 million.

Other aaccused who were jailed on Tuesday March 1,2022. /PHOTO BY S.A.N.
Another former official Willie Kimanga was fined Sh800,000 for failing to secure tender documents.

The court noted that all the accused persons were first offenders and most of them were sole breadwinners and a non-custodial sentence was appropriate in the circumstances.

Gethi had defended himself saying the company was registered by his cousin Peter Njoroge in 2008 who requested him to become a director. He denied being involved in the IEBC tender and signing any documents.

However, Gethi could not tell the court who runs the said company. The court found that his defense was not genuine and that he was criminally culpable.

“I find the entire defense by the 6th accused (Gethi) is crafted and not genuine,” the magistrate ruled.

Makena on her part, told the court that she was not involved in the said company and has never traded through it. She said that Solarmak was registered by her step father Njoroge, who made her a director.

She claimed she was not aware of the said tender and only came to know about it when she was charged and that Solarmak was registered in 2008, when she was still a minor.