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Ex-senator Gwendo starts jail term for stealing Sh2.2m



Former nominated Senator Joy Gwendo Friday started serving a two and a half years jail term for failure to pay Sh2.2 million she stole at a church in Kisumu town after a fundraiser.

The sentence has no option of fine.

She stole the money at Chiga parish in Kisumu town after it was raised for Kisumu East Cotton Growers Sacco (KECGS).

Anti-corruption court chief magistrate Douglas Ogoti handed her the sentence after the ex-senator failed to honour a plea bargain pact she entered with the state to pay the money to the KECGS.

Gwendo had pleaded guilty to charges of forgery, issuing a bad cheque and abuse of office and agreed to repay during the pre-plea pact that helped her evade being charged.

The former senator admitted that on October 23, 2016, at Chiga parish in Kisumu, she used her position as a state officer to confer herself Sh2,226,880, money which belonged to the Sacco.

The politician was to deposit the cash in the complainants account but she diverted it.

She had issued the cheque of Sh300, 000 in favor of the Sacco on December 5, 2016 at her KICC office.

Other counts in the charge sheet include stealing the Sh2,226,880 at the Chiga Parish on October 23, 2016, forging a Sh200,000 cheque.

Gwendo agreed to pay the self help group the said cash, that was the exodus of the case.

She was required to pay the cash in four installments between September 6 and December 6.

By Friday, she had only paid Sh100,000 although she was supposed to have deposited Sh432,930 in the first installment.

She admitted that she issued a cheque of Sh300,000 in favour of the cooperative society through CFC bank.

Her account at the CFC bank registered under the Kivulini Development Initiative account did not have sufficient cash.

Her lawyer Johnson Udoto Friday pleaded for additional time to allow Gwendo dispose a piece of land to pay the cash.

He said Gwendo had contacted the complainants to give them Sh100,000 but it was late for the transaction.

But prosecutor Evah Kanyuira said Gwendo has made several promises to the court that she will pay and the court gave her time to make arrangements for the payment and ought to have finished.

“As we speak, there is nothing before the court to prove any of those promises is going to be fulfilled and even if they want to fulfill, they only want to pay a portion not the whole amount,” Kanyuira said.

Ogoti said the court granted her the opportunity as provided for in alternative dispute resolution but she has been hoodwinking it.

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