Wednesday, 27 September 2023, 10:59

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Tugetab Kalenjin

Sh100m Kericho airstrip tender scam suspect charged with fraud

A construction company director was charged on Tuesday with fraud in a Sh100 million Kericho airport tender scam.

Jonathan Rono, the owner and director of Jemororan Construction Limited, appeared before Chief Magistrate Bildad Ochieng and was charged with five counts related to fraud and forgery.

The offence was allegedly committed at the Kericho County government offices between March 27 and April 13, 2018.

Court documents show that Mr Rono misrepresented facts on a registration certificate from the National Construction Authority to a tender evaluation committee on April 13, 2018 to influence the awarding of a contract to upgrade the Kerenga airstrip.

Mr Rono allegedly forged the certificate in order to get a Sh14,993,542 tender for routine maintenance of the airstrip.

He is also accused of forging a completion certificate for a Sh12,398,198 tender for routine maintenance of the Kenyatta stage-Kayamba Primary School road in Njoro sub-county in the same period.

He allegedly forged another completion certificate for a Sh114,199,800 tender to improve and gravel the Keekorok Lodge-Mara River road, purporting it to be a genuine certificate issued by Narok County.

Mr Rono is also accused of forging another completion certificate for a Sh13,995,869 for grading and murraming the Kichwa-Shauri Yako Dispensary road in Menengai West, Rongai, in Nakuru County.

He pleaded not guilty to all the charges and was released on a Sh5 million bond or an alternative cash bail of Sh2 million.

Mr Rono was arrested on Monday in Tarakonik village, Njoro, by sleuths from the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission following an arrest warrant issued by the Kericho court two months ago.

The EACC started investigating the case following complaints that the airstrip tender procurement process was marred by corruption.

At least six other people have been charged in court in connection with the scandal.

They are David Rono (a director at Jemororan), Joash Chirchir (county engineer), Nelson Ng├ętich (county procurement officer), John Mibei (county surveyor), Everlyne Morogo (county accountant) and Geoffrey Komen (government surveyor).

They are out on a surety bond of Sh200,000 each.