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Kibwezi West MP Patrick Musimba charged over Sh1bn bank fraud.

figure By RICHARD MUNGUTI Kibwezi West MP Patrick Musimba, his wife, Angela Mwende, and three other people were on Monday charged with conspiracy to steal more than Sh1.1 billion from Chase Bank. They denied six counts of stealing, money laundering and conspiracy to defraud.

Mr Musimba, who presented himself in court after a warrant for his arrest was issued last week, will remain in police custody until Thursday, pending a ruling on his bail application. They will be held at the Kileleshwa Police Station.

The couple is jointly charged with former senior managers of the collapsed bank Duncan Kabui (director), James Mwaura Mwenja (general manager corporate credit) and Makarios Omondi Agumbi (general manager) who denied the charges before Senior Resident Magistrate Hellen Onkwani in Nairobi. Also charged was the bank's former chairman, Mr Mohammed Zafrulla Khan, who was released on Sh2 million cash bail and allowed to travel to the US for heart surgery.

CRUCIAL DISCUSSIONThe former managers are represented by lawyer Cecil Miller while the Musimbas and their companies are represented by Steve Kimathi. I urge this court to grant Mr Musimba a personal bond to enable him to participate in the bill returned to Parliament by President Kenyatta last week over the imposition of the 16 per cent VAT on petroleum products.

It is a crucial discussion in which the Kibwezi electorate must participate through Mr Musimba since the increment has adversely affected everyone," Mr Kimathi said. class="MsoNormalHe added that, since Mr Musimba is a State officer, the court should balance public interest with the task placed upon his shoulders.

The lawyer also urged the court to free the MPs wife "to attend to one of their three children, who is a special case". class="MsoNormalOPPOSED PLEA class="MsoNormalBut State prosecutors James Warui Mungai and Ruby Okoth opposed the plea, saying the MP is now a suspect, and that his parliamentary duties will be handled by others.

"Mr Musimba has been accused of stealing billions of depositors' money. This court should take judicial notice of the money involved while considering his bail," Mr Mungai added.

class="MsoNormalThe prosecutor also opposed Mr Musimba's plea that his case be heard in camera, saying Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji had taken into consideration all issues of national security when he ordered his prosecution. class="MsoNormalThe court heard that Mr Musimba, his wife, and their two companies, Porting Access Ltd and Itecs Ltd allegedly stole Sh1,150,125,587 between January 23, 2015, and March 31, 2016 from Chase Bank.

class="MsoNormalThey also face money laundering charges for allegedly benefiting from the transfer of Sh740,442,687 from Chase Bank to Paramount Universal Bank and of another S09,682,900 to KCB by their co-accused. Related Stories

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Publication:Daily Nation, Kenya (Nairobi, Kenya)
Date:Sep 18, 2018
Words:517
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