War on graft: Swiss ambassador welcomes historic ruling against Waluke, Wakhungu

President Uhuru Kenyatta and Swiss counterpart Alain Berset witness the signing of a framework agreement for return of stolen assets stashed in Switzerland to Kenya by Swiss Ambassador to Kenya Ralf Heckner and Attorney General Paul Kihara June 9, 2018/ NMG

Swiss Ambassador to Kenya Dr Ralf Heckner has welcomed the jailing/ fining of Sirisia MP John Waluke and his co-accused Grace Wakhungu.

Wakhungu is the mother of former Cabinet Secretary and current Ambassador to France Judi Wakhungu and sieter to former Vice President Moody Awori.

Captioning the headline in Friday’s Daily Nation, Ambassador Heckner said, “In my five years in Kenya, I have never seen any news on corruption like in today‘s newspapers. Well done.”

Waluke and Wakhungu were on Thursday slapped with fines amounting to Sh727.7 million and Sh707.7 million respectively or jail terms in the NCPB maize scandal.

Waluke received Sh50 million, while co-directors the late Jacob Juma and Wakhungu got Sh113 million and Sh40 million respectively.

The two appeared before Milimani Anti-corruption Court magistrate Elizabeth Juma, who found the two guilty of fraud over Sh313 million maize scandal.

While sentencing the two, Chief magistrate Elizabeth Juma said the offences they committed was serious. She added that the two and their company took advantage of a dire situation in the country, as Kenya faced a drought, to defraud the National Cereals and Produce Board.

Switzerland has been a close partner with Kenya in the fight against corruption, and the two states have been working together in the war on graft for a number of years.

For instance, Switzerland has blocked financial assets related to the Anglo-Leasing scandal and according to former President Alain Berset, the country has been waiting for the judicial proceedings to come to an end in Kenya.

“This would allow Switzerland to return the blocked assets to Kenya. Switzerland needs partners like Kenya in order to identify and freeze assets that have been acquired illegally and have found their way to Switzerland.”

“It is also through partnership that agreement can be reached on how best to return these assets, in a way that benefits the people of the country concerned,” Berset said in 2018.

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