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Shollei charged over purchase of Sh310m Runda house for CJ

Former Chief Registrar of the Judiciary, Ms Gladys Boss Shollei, on Monday denied charges relating to the procurement of a house for the Chief Justice for Sh310 million.

Mrs Shollei was charged with abuse of office and improperly conferring a benefit to Johnson Nduya Muthama Holdings Limited, from whom the palatial house in Runda, Nairobi, was purchased.

She was also charged with wilful failure to comply with the law on management of public funds as the Judiciary’s accounting officer and engaging in the project without prior planning.

POLITICS

A defiant Shollei, addressing journalists within the court precincts soon after her release on bond, said she was a victim of “politics” and wondered whether the war on corruption was being used to shield “the real culprits”.

“I am in court because of politics. I am in court because I stepped on some toes and some people are determined to fix me,” she said.

She said she was both relieved and amused to be in court and “glad that my accusers have finally been forced to specify the charges that they have against me”.

Mrs Shollei is accused alongside her former deputy, Mr Kakai Kissinger, and five former members of the Judiciary’s tender committee, who approved the purchase.

Mr Kissinger, Mr Martin Okwatta, Mr Benedict Omollo, Mr Wycliffe Wanga, Mr Thomas Oloko Atak and Mr Nicholas Mbeba answered similar charges on August 5 in the absence of  Ms Shollei, who was said to be out of the country.

TENDER LAWS

 

They denied engaging in a project without prior planning, failing to comply with tender laws and going against the recommendation of the evaluation committee in the procurement.

“I am not charged with stealing money. In fact, I’m not charged with engaging in any corrupt activity or receiving bribes…these charges do not amount to anti-corruption or economic crimes but is designed to keep me locked in courts as political persecution,” Ms Shollei said.

The suspects, including Ms Shollei, have been released on a Sh600,000 cash bail with an alternative bond of Sh1.5 million each. The case will be mentioned on September 7  for the scheduling of a hearing.