NYS prime suspect Benson Gethi was Monday found guilty of forging documents that his company used in the tendering for IEBC Solar lamps worth Sh105 million in the 2013 polls.
Gethi was convicted alongside his co-director Joyce Makena by Milimani Anti-Corruption chief magistrate Lawrence Mugambi.
Also convicted together with the two are three former IEBC staffs Gabriel Mutunga, Kennedy Ochae and Willie Kamanga.
Mugambi in his ruling said prosecution had proved beyond all reasonable doubt that they committed the offences.
On Gethi and Makena, the court said they are guilty of presenting fake documents to IEBC to secure the tender to supply solar lanterns to the electoral body.
He dismissed Gethi’s defence that he had nothing to do with the company named Solarmak Ltd.
“If he has nothing to do with the company, then why would he be found with documents belonging to the said company and which related to the tender in question?” Mugambi posed.
He further ruled that the accused were aware of that tender and they participated in the review at PPRAB as directors so they cannot run away from it.
“I have no doubt that Gethi and Makena participated in this tender by providing false documents to IEBC,” Mugambi ruled
The court also found that the two were responsible fo editing the false document to IEBC while well aware that they were false.
“The aim was to lie to IEBC that the said company was qualified to participate in that tender while it was not,” Mugambi added.
Mugambi further ruled that offence was committed for the direct benefit of the company through the two accused who were its directors and so they are both culpable.
“The two uttered the documents which they knew were false the prosecution has proved beyond reasonable doubt failure to comply with the law relating procurement,” Mugambi ruled.
On the three IEBC officials who were working in the procurement department, the court found them guilty of jointly changing a tender document and failure to comply with procurement guidelines.
Mutunga and Ochae were found guilty of both two counts with the court ruling that inconsistency of what was recorded in the opening tender register and what was presented to the evaluation committee is sufficient proof that tampering did occur.
“Mutunga was the mastermind who interfered with the tendering process, he was the one who took the document to the evaluation committee where he was the secretary,” the court said.
According to court, Mutunga was the brain behind the scheme to interfere with the tendering process and the plan was conceived at the evaluation stage where he played a role as a secretary
The court further noted that Mutunga influenced Ochae in the criminal scheme as he was a fresh employee who could easily be influenced
“The freshman who became an accomplice in Mutunga’s grand scheme had barely served three weeks in the company and was extremely vulnerable,” he said.
However, the court said ignorance of the law was not a defense as he was also culpable and therefore guilty of the offence.
Gethi’s company Solarmark bid to supply lamps valued at Sh127 million while a competing company, Konnexions Systems Ltd, had offered to provide the lamps for Sh107 million.
The prosecution claimed that Solarmak’s tender documents were later altered to read Sh105 million being the lowest bidder and that how how they were awarded the tender.
The convicts have been detained in police custody awaiting sentence tomorrow Tuesday 2.30
By Rodgers Oduor
VIDEO OF THE DAY; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pzw187Nm9cI&t=20s