BY COAST CORRESPONDENT
Former legislator Danson Munagtana and six others were on a 5million bond after appearing before a Malindi court over charges of graft on April 11, 2019.
The suspects were arrested by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) detectives who presented them before chief magistrate Julie Oseko where the former Garsen MP pleaded not guilty over the charges against him.
The other suspects John Kahindi Kalume, Paul Teido Mwazo, Josephine Felix Mramba, Ibrahim Mwanje Zia, Lucy Wanjugu Kibogo, and Benaya Kisaka Mugavana also denied having committed the alleged crime.
Danson, Lucy, Benaya and Jahazi Investment Company were charged that on October 7, 2016 the first accused (Mungatana) and the directors of the said company respectively acquired Sh6,102,950 from the the county Government of Kilifi knowing the funds were proceeds of crime.
Apart from this, the MP was also charged with conspiracy to commit an economic crime contrary to section 47 A (3) and section 48 of the anti-corruption and Economic Crimes Act.
Other charges leveled against him were acquisition of proceeds of crime contrary to section 4 and section 16 (1) a, b of the proceeds of crime and anti-crime money laundering.
Again Lucy Kibogo, Anne Kibogo, Zohali Services Limited and Danson Mungatana on October 3, 2016 respectively acquired Sh5,390,520 from Kilifi County coffers.
The court was also told that three suspects Mungatana, Lucy and Zohali Services Limited acquired Sh3,840,125 from the same county government of Kilifi.
Earlier the lawyer representing ex-MP, Ndegwa Njeru told the court that his client was not fit to take plea and should be given two weeks to grieve after losing his wife who was buried on April 6, 2019.
However, the prosecution opposed the application asking the court to allow the suspects take plea but on considering both arguments from the prosecution and defense Magistrate Oseko ruled that the suspects should proceed with taking plea since the other six suspects had ready done so.
On the bail terms ruling, the prosecution proposed a Sh10 million to each of the suspects considering the seriousness of the matter before court a move vehemently opposed by defense that told the court that it should consider reasonable bond and cash bail terms to the suspects.
However, the chief magistrate released the suspects on bond of Sh5 million each or cash bail of Sh3 million each.
But Mungatana’s lawyer stood up and said that his client was not in a position to raise Sh3 million and prayed for him to be remanded at the Malindi police station, a move which was opposed by the prosecution. This forced the Magistrate Oseko to direct they sort out the matter outside the court. The case will be mentioned on May 2, 2019.