Four senior Garissa County officials accused of embezzling a 233.5 million shillings grant from the World Bank have challenged his accusation on the grounds that the charges against him are malicious and motivated in bad faith.
While seeking to stop the charges, the four officials argue that no money was misappropriated, but that the funds were loaned and spent by other entities in the county, when Garissa was experiencing a cash flow shortage.
They allege that the money was refunded when the county received its disbursements from the Treasury.
The four include Garissa Municipal Board Manager Abdi Bulle, Finance Chief Ibrahim Nur Shurie, Treasury Chief Mohamed Abdullahi, and Ahmed Aden (the board’s chief accountant). They have been charged along with Garissa’s boss, Ali Korane.
In the petition, the four awaiting the start of the trial said that all the borrowed money was returned on time without exception.
“The decision to prosecute is unreasonable, irrational, and with a clearly alien purpose, as the World Bank and the state Department of Housing have never filed any complaint before notice or the attention of petitioners,” the petition says.
Officials said the law allows loans and repayments and, generally, the blending of county funds.
They said that the transactions that led to the charges did not amount to the reallocation of allocated funds as alleged by the prosecution.
“The prosecution instigated by the complainants is not in the general public interest. In fact, the actions in making the transactions were done in good faith and for the public good of Garissa, ”said his attorney Katwa Kigen.