Former Kenyan ambassador to Japan admits faking letter for kin

Dennis Awori, (right) a former Kenyan ambassador to Japan, secretly authored a “fraudulent” letter to help a relative get a visa in Tokyo

Dennis Awori, (right) a former Kenyan ambassador to Japan, secretly authored a “fraudulent” letter to help a relative get a visa in Tokyo

Dennis Awori, a former Kenyan ambassador to Japan, secretly authored a “fraudulent” letter to help a relative get a visa in Tokyo, a trial court heard.

Mr Awori faked the letter to purport that his wife’s cousin was an embassy employee.

This came out during the hearing of an anti-corruption case facing former Foreign Affairs PS Mwangi Thuita and two former embassy officials charged in connection with the controversial purchase of the Kenyan embassy in Tokyo.

The letter of November 1, 2005 was addresed to the Japanese government purporting that a Mr Derek Mdome worked at the embassy as a clerk.

The former ambassador confessed he wrote the letter although Mr Mdome never worked at the embassy.

“He was offered the employment, but I never took him on,” Mr Awori said. He said he wrote the letter without involving the ministry.

He said he was aware an audit query arose long after he had retired but said he could not recall ever being questioned about the letter.

He said the letter required the immigration bureau to issue Mr Mdome with a re-entry permit “purporting that he was travelling to Kenya for annual leave”.

He was being cross-examined by lawyers defending Mr Thuita, Kenya’s ambassador to Libya Anthony Muchiri and former charge d’affairs Allan Mburu who face abuse of office and conspiracy charges over the purchase of the embassy.

He said that during his tenure, he had encouraged the purchase of the property that included the chancery and the ambassador’s residence, as the landlord had revised the price and a sum of Sh1.2 billion was set aside during the budget for missions.

“I was the one who requested the funds … additional funds were later requested to cater for the purchase of the chancery and the ambassadors residence,” he said.

He said the Sh1.2 billion that was being set aside would have also been appropriate for the purchase of a plot the Japan government had on offer and which he was proposing, but he denied having vested interests in the plot.
Mr Awori said he did not involve a lawyer in the negotiations since land owners in Japan preferred to deal with brokers and proxies and would only involve lawyers at advanced stages for documentation.

He also revisited the fire incident that occurred at the ambassador’s residence in February 2010 when he accompanied former Prime Minister Raila Odinga to Japan. He had already left formal duty in 2009.

The former ambassador said he was not aware of an inflated  Sh8.5 million claim a Kenyan official had lodged against an insurance service which had  included his personal effects since the items had been shipped away to Kenya when he retired a year earlier.

“I was asked by Mr John Njeru, who was a second secretary of finance, to sign a document for refund on the insurance policy so that the mission would get a refund against the household insurance policy which was still in my name despite having left,” Mr Awori said. The hearing continues.




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