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Huduma Centre clerk fined Sh500k for receiving Sh2,500 bribe

A single mother of two was on Thursday fined Sh500,000 after she was found guilty of receiving a bribe of Sh2,500 to facilitate the processing of a birth certificate for a parent.

Justinah Syonzua Malela, a former clerk at Huduma Centre in Kibera will spend two years in prison if she fails to raise the fine.

The court heard that Ms Malela committed the offence on September 8, 2016 while working for the Ministry of Interior as a clerical officer II.

She had asked for Sh3000 from Naomi Syombua Musyoka, who wanted a birth certificate for her nephew Wayne Musyoka, as he prepared to sit for his secondary education examinations.

Evidence tabled in court showed that Ms Musyoka met Ms Malela through a friend, who told her that she could assist her get the birth certificate.

She said she called Ms Malela who promised to deliver the birth certificate in a day, if she sent the money.

Ms Musyoka said she pleaded with her to reduce the amount to Sh1,500 but she refused and they finally settled on Sh2,500.

“I sent the money to her through M-Pesa but she failed to deliver the birth certificate as promised,” she said. She said she sent the details of the student through WhatsApp.

She said the former Clerk promised to get it the following day, alleging that it had not been signed. But when she called her the following day, she did not pick her calls.

The woman then decided to visit the Centre in Kibera and found Alice Shiundu, the manager, who advised her to report the matter to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC).

Ms Malela later sent back the money when she discovered that the matter was being investigated.

Ms Malela pleaded with the court for leniency saying she regretted the incident. In his ruling, Chief Magistrate Douglas Ogoti said that her actions was a clear indication of a corrupt act and took advantage of an innocent parent.

He directed her to pay a fine of Sh250,000 each for receiving a bribe and abuse of office or serve two years for each count.

The sentences will run concurrently, meaning that she will only serve for two years if she fails to raise the fine.