Githongo fined Sh27m for Murungaru graft link



Githongo fined Sh27m for Murungaru graft link

President John Githongo
Former Governance and Ethics Permanent Secretary in the Office of the President John Githongo. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Anti-corruption whistle-blower John Githongo Thursday suffered a blow after the High Court ordered him to pay former Cabinet minister Chris Murungaru Sh27 million for defamation in linking him to the Anglo Leasing scandal.

Mr Githongo had linked Dr Murangaru to the supply of security goods under the Anglo Leasing contracts, which were cancelled in 2003 after the State declared them irregular.

High Court judge Joseph Sergon noted that Mr Githongo had told the court that he was not aware the former minister had been charged with corruption, and neither did he have knowledge of monies being traced in Dr Murungaru’s accounts.

It was Dr Murungaru’s colleagues who told him that the minister was corrupt, but they too had no evidence to support their claims, the court heard.

Dr Murungaru was not charged by the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (KACC) over graft.

“In light of Mr Githongo’s testimony, it is clear that there was no factual basis to assert that Dr Murungaru was engaged in corruption,” justice Sergon ruled.

The court directed Mr Githongo to pay Dr Murungaru Sh20 million in general damages, Sh5 million in exemplary damages, and Sh2 million in special damages.

The activist was also ordered to pay full interest on the award until Dr Murungaru receives all his money, and the costs of the suit.

As President Kibaki’s adviser and Permanent Secretary for Ethics and Governance in the Narc administration, Mr Githongo had in 2005 prepared a dossier which linked Dr Murungaru, then vice president Moody Awori, and former Cabinet ministers Kiraitu Murungi and David Mwiraria to the scam.

Mr Githongo then resigned from the Cabinet and went into exile after the claims he had made threw Mr Kibaki’s Narc administration into a spin.

Dr Murungaru, who was keenly following in court, was visibly satisfied with the outcome of the judgment after it was delivered.


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