Five Kenyan businessmen whose detention sparked angry protests in Kenyan capital, Nairobi recently are implicated in one of the country’s biggest corruption scandals and scam, Hot in Juba has learned.
Last week families and friends of the detained Kenyans in Nairobi took to the streets to demand intervention by the Kenyan government and ask for their immediate release stressing that they were innocent and should be released or charged. The families have said they are not in communication with their detained sons and were not allowed to visit them over months.
The five, Ravi Ghaghda, Peter Nkonge, Boniface Chuma, Anthony Wazombe and Anthony Munialo are allegedly involved in a 200million dollar scam in the office of the president. They are accused of forging documents in the name of South Sudan government which they used to defraud the Central Bank of Kenya and several other banks of $200m.
According to a report published in Juba Monitor last week, the 5 men were businessmen working for Click Technologies, an ICT company owned by a security officer named Agau who was detained months back for allegedly forging president’s signature to get millions of dollars from the central bank. The case which led to the subsequent sacking and arrest of two senior staff members of the office of the president is said to be under investigation.
President’s office chief administrator Mayen Wol and executive director Yel Luol were sacked and later arrested to be investigated for involvement in the scam where a security officer assigned to the presidency is accused of forging the signature of president Kiir.
“The scam of looting $200m is a big thing that involves both countries of South Sudan and Kenya. Investigations are currently being based on the actions of individuals and not on their personalities. We are still trying to find out if more parties are involved, for those whose charges are confirmed legal action will be taken. Presently I have no knowledge whether the five Kenyan nationals are still in detention or they have been handed over to Kenyan government,” The spokesperson for the ministry of foreign affairs Mr. Mawien Makol was quoted by Juba Monitor.
According to another report by Kenya’s Daily Nation newspaper dated 29th July, The Kenyan ambassador to South Sudan Cleland Leshore stated that about 80 companies owned by senior government officials are also involved in the scam not just the five Kenyans.
“Action is yet to be taken as this is a very big case. Many people are involved, many countries are involved so investigations will take some time and the charges either confirmed or dropped,” said ambassador Cleland.
The ambassador also confirmed the five Kenyans were being detained at the South Sudan’s National Surveillance headquarters and that they were being treated well.