The Anti-Corruption Court in Nairobi on Tuesday, February 1, sentenced former Water Resources Authority (WRA) Finance Manager, James Ambuso, to 24 years in prison.
Magistrate Eunice Nyutu found Ambuso guilty of soliciting and receiving bribes amounting to Ksh910,000 from (WRA) regional managers between 2012 and 2013.
Alternatively, the magistrate offered the ex-financial manager a Ksh7.6 million fine. She noted that Ambuso failed to execute his mandate as a public officer to safeguard public resources.
“The accused was a public officer when he committed the offence. He had a duty to safeguard public resources, but he did the opposite and used the resources to benefit himself,” Nyutu stated.
“Such actions are to be frowned upon and I want to send a strong message to public officers that the use of public resources for personal enrichment shall not be tolerated,” she added.
The ex-boss was charged with six counts of fraud but was convicted on four including fraudulently requesting Ksh445,000 from the Mombasa Regional manager.
This was allegedly to facilitate the disbursement of operations and development funds to his office.
He was further accused of receiving Ksh160,000 from the former WRA Nanyuki Regional Manager and Ksh465,000 from the Tana River office to facilitate operations.
The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) levelled a second charge against the WRA ex-official of receiving a benefit, within the mentioned dates, which is contrary to the Anti-corruption Act.
In June 2021, the Ethics And Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) rejected the appointment of Ambuso as a member of the Kenya University and Colleges Central Services (KUCCPS) board, citing a pending corruption case in court.
Ambuso’s sentencing comes a day after former National Social Security Fund (NSSF) investment manager Francis Moturi was sentenced to 14 years in prison. Ambuso was found guilty of conspiracy to defraud taxpayers billions of shillings.
Chief Magistrate Lawrence Mugambi slapped the former investment boss an option of paying Ksh2.6 billion fine in lieu of the jail term.
Former NSSF boss Francis Moturi alongside former DSL employees appearing before the court in Nairobi.