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Man charged with stealing ‘chama’ cash

A man who vanished with Sh370, 000 belonging to a self-help group has admitted to theft charges at Kibera law courts but then lamented that he was charged alone despite partnering with two others to commit the theft.

Peter Kiema was charged with stealing the cash belonging to a self-help group after he did a “character development” to his friends who contributed Sh500 weekly, sending the money to him via mobile money.

He is accused of committing the offence in Silanga area of Kibera in Nairobi on diverse dates between February and November 2021 when he received the cash from members of Usaindinzi Self Help group.

The group involves about 20 men and women who have been contributing the cash then share the proceeds at the end of the year.

The arrangement includes where Kiema keeping the Sim card for the Mpesa number they have been sending the cash while another member retains the pin number so that none can withdraw the cash.

But sometime in November last year, members demanded to be told of the progress in savings and Kiema claimed he had misplaced the sim card.

After persistent demands by the members, it emerged the money had been sent to other numbers and some amount withdrawn.

They reported it to the police and Kiema was arrested.

He was released on free bond awaiting to appear before the court but he jumped the police bond and disappeared until last week when he was arrested by a member of the group in town and escorted to a police station.

He told chief magistrate Anne Mwangi that he stole the cash jointly with two others prompting the magistrate to conclude that he had denied the charge.

The suspect was released on a cash bail of Sh200, 000. The case will be mentioned on June 27 for a pre-trial.