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Former Senator Joy Gwendo’s jail term nullified in Sh1.7 theft case

A judge has quashed a two-year sentence handed to former nominated Jubilee senator Joy Gwendo for stealing Sh1.7 million.

But the former TNA nominated Senator is not free yet, she will have to wait for the alternative sentence on March 04, 2019

Ms Gwendo was last year sentenced to two years in jail by Chief Magistrate Douglas Ogoti over the theft. She quickly appealed at the High Court and was released on a Sh400, 000 cash bail, pending the hearing of her appeal.

On Tuesday, High Court judge John Onyiego said it was wrong for the trial magistrate to impose a jail term without the option of a fine.

The court also considered the fact that a plea bargain, which she failed to honour, had no no provision for compensation.

OPTION OF A FINE

The Judge said Mr Ogoti was wrong by failing to state reasons for failing to give her the option of a fine.

“To that extent, I agree with the applicant that the court erred,” the Judge said.

The former nominated Senator was sentenced to serve a two-year jail term after being found guilty of fraud and abuse of office.

Ms Gwendo had been charged with five counts including abuse of office, issuing bad cheques and stealing.

In a plea agreement, Ms Gwendo agreed to pay the amount in four installments.

Further she was to plead guilty to abuse of office but the state was to drop charges of stealing and issuing bad cheques.

The former nominated Senator was accused of forging a Sh200,000 cheque drawn from a Kenya Commercial Bank account in favour of Kivuli Development Initiative and signed by Willy Kipkorior Bett.

The charge sheet stated that on October 23 2016 at Chinga Parish in Kisumu East, Ms Gwendo used her position as a state officer to confer herself a benefit of Sh2,226,800, the property of Kisumu East Cotton Growers Cooperative Society through Kivuli Development Initiative.

She failed to honour the agreement and Mr Ogoti described her as a dishonest person.

“..It is noteworthy that she executed a plea bargaining agreement yet she was sure that she could not honour the same. She was hoodwinking the court and therefore lied,” Mr Ogoti said.