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Duo charged with stealing Sh4 million relief food

Two men who leased a lorry to a logistics firm manager contracted by the government to transport Sh4 million worth of relief food meant for starving learners in West Pokot have been charged with theft after the food was reportedly diverted.

The accused are Gibson Omare Ontunga and Noah Gituma Kiruki.

They were charged with stealing contrary to section 268 (1) of the penal code as read with section 275 of the criminal procedure code.

They are accused of stealing 560 bags of 50kgs of rice valued at Sh4.06 million from the government of Kenya.

The two are accused of committing the offence jointly with others at large on April 9, 2023.

They are also facing a charge of obtaining money by false pretenses contrary to section 313 of the penal code after allegedly receiving Sh63, 000 from a logistics firm manager who was sending them the money to fuel a trailer that was transporting the rice to West Pokot.

They are accused of obtaining the money from Joseph Mutisya falsely pretending that services of transporting the relief food had been rendered to him on April 9. 2023.

Mr Musyoka had been contracted by a company hired by the Ministry of Education to transport the relief food to areas affected by drought including West Pokot.

In the course of delivering on his part of the deal, Mr Musyoka contacted Mr Ontunga who was to offer a trailer to deliver the food.

After agreement on payments, Mr Ontunga availed a trailer which was loaded with the 560 bags of rice under the presence of a Ministry of Education official.

Mr Mutisya sent the cash for fuel and other expenses to two individuals who included a driver as instructed by Mr Ontunga.

The consignment was supposed to reach its destination by April 11, 2023, but there was no delivery made.

Mr Mutisya later called the individuals he had sent the money to but they had switched off their phones.

He called Mr Ontunga who informed him that he had also tried calling the two without success but he informed that he had outsourced the lorry from his accomplice – a Mr Kiruki.

The police decided to charge Mr Ontunga and Mr Kiruki because of their role in outsourcing the transport services and having authorized payment for the services to the two missing suspects.

The two suspects denied the charges before Principal Magistrate Monica Kivuti of Makadara Law Courts.

They were released on a bond of Sh1 million and an alternative cash bail of Sh300, 000.

The case will be mentioned on May 26 before hearing starts on October 12, 2023.

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