The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has successfully secured court orders for the retrieval of Ksh.11.1 million, comprising cash and assets, illicitly obtained by a Ministry of Education staff member between August 2017 and June 2018.
The accused, Joshua Momanyi Ocharo, a worker in the State Department of Early Learning and Basic Education, allegedly established a fictitious school. He diverted government funds designated for Free Day Secondary Education (FDSE) to this non-existent institution, claiming it was situated in Khwisero, Kakamega County.
Operating in the capacity of a Clerical Officer in the department, Ocharo was entrusted with the responsibility of formulating the FDSE funds distribution plan.
An insider at EACC stated, “EACC has won a case it had filed in the High Court to recover Ksh.11,131,305.53 from one Joshua Momanyi Ocharo. Momanyi created a ghost school called ‘Mundeku Secondary School and added its name in the payment records, and always inserted his personal bank account number, 0520191315774 held at Equity Bank, Nyamira Branch against the ghost school for purposes of processing of payments between 22nd August 2017 and 18th June, 2018.”
After receiving the funds, Ocharo reportedly transferred Ksh.3.4 million into his KCB account, which he later utilized to acquire two parcels of land in Donyo Sabuk and Mavoko, valued at Ksh.830,000 and Ksh.980,000 respectively. Additionally, he purchased a Toyota Vanguard vehicle for Ksh.2,350,000.
“While Ocharo embezzled Ksh.11,131,305.53, the Commission’s case focused on the recovery of Ksh.9,231,305.53, which had been unlawfully deposited into his personal bank account as a result of the fraudulent activities,” explained the EACC source. “A sum of Ksh.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.”
In the ruling on October 5, Milimani High Court Judge Nixon Sifuna determined that Ocharo had deceitfully obtained the funds. He ordered the two land parcels bought by Ocharo to be surrendered 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 purchase of the above parcels of land. Interest to be paid at court rates (12)% from the time of the loss.”