How Ministry Official Created Ghost School and Stole Sh11M From Free Education Kitty

The High Court’s Anti-Corruption Division has allowed the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission to recover Sh11.1 million and several parcels of land from a former official at the Ministry of Education.

The anti-graft watchdog won the suit after detailing how the clerical officer created a non-existent school to siphon public funds from the government’s Free Day Secondary Education (FDSE) kitty.

Joshua Ocharo Momanyi, tasked with data entry at the Ministry’s Jogoo House headquarters in Nairobi, is said to have added the imaginary school to the list of secondary schools that received funds from the government. He reportedly looted the funds between August 22, 2017, and June 18, 2018.

The suspect was employed in 2010 and deployed to Khwisero Sub County- Kakamega County.

EACC said Mr Momanyi listed the ghost learning institution, Mundeku Secondary School, as located in Khwisero Sub-county, Kakamega County, and accommodating 1,188 students.

In its report, the EACC said the Equity Bank account which was credited with Sh.11,131,305.53 FDSE funds was opened and managed by the data entry officer.

Incidentally, the clerk’s grand scam was unearthed after book publishers contracted by the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) said they could not locate the school while distributing textbooks.

How Momanyi Spent His Loot

Investigations by the EACC also established how Momanyi spent the embezzled funds.

The suspect transferred Sh.3.4 million into his KCB account and spent Sh1.8 million of this amount to acquire two parcels of land. One parcel of land was in Mavoko town where he paid Sh980,000, and a second parcel of land at Ol Donyo Sabuk where he paid Sh850,000.

Momanyi also used Sh1.6 million from his Equity account to buy a car, a Toyota Vanguard, settling the remaining balance of Sh750,000 in cash installments.

“Further financial investigations revealed that he also purchased a motor vehicle Registration Number KCP 186L from Kencarz Ltd at a sale price of Sh2,500,000 payable by installments. At the time of the investigations, he had paid Sh2,350,000,” read court papers.

The car was repossessed by the dealer following a request by the anti-graft agency during investigations. From the vehicle, EACC recovered Sh1.9 million from the dealer due to depreciation.

“A sum of Sh.1,900,000 was relinquished by Ken Carz Limited, which represented a portion of the amount Ocharo had paid towards the purchase of a Toyota Vanguard vehicle,” EACC said.

Court Ruling

Justice Prof. Nixon Sifuna has now authorized the EACC to recover millions of cash and parcels of land.

“Although Ocharo embezzled Sh.11,131,305.53, the Commission’s case focused on the recovery of Sh.9,231,305.53, which had been unlawfully deposited into his personal bank account as a result of the fraudulent activities,” EACC said.

In a ruling on October 5, Sifuna declared that Ocharo had fraudulently received the said cash while decreeing that the two parcels of land he bought be handed over to the State.

“Land parcels L.R No. Donyo Sabuk/ Komarock Block 1/78331 and Mavoko Town Block 3/66539 are proceeds of crime having been purchased with stolen public funds, and therefore liable for forfeiture to the Government of Kenya,” ruled Justice Sifuna.

“The defendant should pay Kes. 7,421, 305.53 being the amount that he retained after the purchase of the above parcels of land. Interest to be paid at court rates (12)% from the time of the loss.”

The EACC has subsequently submitted another file to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP). This file seeks to front five criminal charges against Joshua Ocharo Momanyi.

The post How Ministry Official Created Ghost School and Stole Sh11M From Free Education Kitty appeared first on Nairobi Wire.

Share with Your Friends