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Thursday June 25, 2020 – Slain city tycoon, Jacob Juma, played a very big role in the Sh297 million maize scandal that has caught up with Sirisia MP, John Waluke, and his co-accused, Grace Sarapay Wakhungu.
According to court documents, Erad Supplies and General Contractors Ltd, which was the company that was awarded a Ksh778 million tender to supply 40,000 tonnes of maize, had the late Juma listed as a Director
It was later brought to light that the Sirisia MP and Wakhungu were listed as Juma’s co-directors.
The deal turned sour after Erad failed to deliver the maize, which it claimed was coming in from Ethiopia, thereby leading to the termination of the contract despite pocketing at least Ksh300 million even before it delivered a single grain of maize.
The National Assembly later adopted a report by the Public Investment Committee (PIC), which established that the NCPB management had awarded the tender to Erad without consulting the Attorney General as required by law.
However, not one to go down without a fight, Juma promptly took the NCPB to court over what he termed as a breach of contract and sought compensation for various storage costs and potential foregone profit.
“I advise Kenyans to Google NCPB case; Erad Supplies Vs NCPB.”
“All the court judgements are there.”
“It is about a breach of contract, not supply,” he said on February 17, 2016.
Juma won the case in the High Court, bagging Ksh 577 million compensation in the process.
The late Juma made it known to all and sundry that he was going to auction Government property after his company won the case on a breached contract.
However, the cereals board paid the initial Ksh312.8 million to Erad’s account, while the remaining Ksh264.8 million awaited a ruling by the Court of Appeal after the board appealed.
A year later, March 2017, the maize scandal saga took a new twist with the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) coming out with a statement accusing Juma’s company of using forged court documents to win compensation from the Government.
Just two months later, Juma was shot dead in Nairobi, on May 6th, 2016, leaving his co-directors with the task, which turned out to be a poisoned chalice.
Waluke and Wakhungu now face the possibility of spending a considerable amount of time behind bars, with the legislator grappling with the possibility of losing his seat in Parliament if he is jailed for more than six months.
The Kenyan DAILY POST