The High Court has rejected an application by Sirisia MP John Waluke for the release of his passport.
Waluke had pleaded with the court to release his passport, saying he was going to the US as a parliamentarian, saw his application dismissed by Justice Esther Maina who said Waluke is a convict and cannot be allowed to travel outside the country. The Judge also added that Mr Waluke cannot expect to be treated like an accused person because he is no longer presumed innocent.
Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) through senior principal prosecution counsel Caroline Kimiri opposed the application saying Mr Waluke is no longer presumed innocent as he is now a convict whose conviction and sentence have not been set aside on appeal.
Ms Kimiri added that it was in bad faith and in conflict with the public interest for persons who have been convicted and sentenced to be allowed to enjoy freedoms of travel outside the courts’ jurisdiction at public cost.
The Judge agreed saying one of the conditions set by Justice John Onyiego, for him to be released on bond, pending the determination of the appeal was for him to deposit his passport in court. The Judge also noted that the MP had been ordered not to travel outside the country by the court.
Mr Waluke and his co-accused Grace Wakhungu were released on Sh10 million and Sh20 million cash bail respectively, after spending three months in jail for corruption.
The two convicts were imprisoned in June last year after they were found guilty of fraud and illegal acquisition of Sh297 million through shady deals at the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB).
Ms Wakhungu was sentenced to jail for 69 years after the chief magistrate Elizabeth Juma found her guilty of five counts in connection to theft at National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB).
Mr Waluke was equally found guilty and will serve 67 years in prison if he fails to pay more than Sh1 billion fine.
The two and their firm, Erad Supplies & General Contractors, received over Sh313 million from NCPB for fake claims, in an alleged botched deal to supply some 40,000 metric tonnes to the government in 2004.
The judiciary continues to support the war on corruption by putting stringent punitive measures against corrupt perpetrators. This move by the court will deter graft lords from looting public resources in order to enrich themselves. Every Kenyan accused of stealing public funds or misusing public resources should be curtailed from enjoying same rights as other citizens of right moral standing, unless acquitted by the court.