MP Richard Onyonka arrested over misuse of CDF cash

Kitutu Chache South MP Richard Onyonka

Kitutu Chache South MP Richard Onyonka

Kitutu Chache South MP Richard Onyonka was on Wednesday arrested by anti-corruption detectives following investigations into the misappropriation of millions in CDF cash.

Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission officials arrested him in Nairobi, held and later released him on bond, pending appearance in court in Kisumu on Monday next week.

An official said he was arrested in Nairobi and driven to Integrity Centre, the commission’s headquarters, where he was “processed.”

This means he was informed of the charges facing him and had his finger prints taken.

The charges would be filed in Kisumu because the offence facing him is said to have been committed within Nyanza region.

The arrest comes a week after Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko released a file authorising that Mr Onyonka be charged with using some Sh137 million CDF cash to buy sugar.

It is alleged that the sugar was to be distributed to IDPs in his constituency in 2009.

Through the purchase, Mr Onyonka is also said to have withheld Sh18 million VAT.

On Tuesday, the MP denied the accusations, saying he never bought sugar for his constituents.

“The allegations are false as there is no way I could have used the money to buy sugar. The CDF kitty is purely for development and not business,” he told the Nation by phone.

Instead, he accused unscrupulous businessmen of using a letter he wrote to Chemelil Sugar Company requesting to buy the commodity for his constituents who were displaced by the clashes of 2007/2008.

He acknowledged that he wrote the letter but denied buying the sugar, saying the company refused and requested that he get a letter from the Office of the President.

“The whole thing ended at that. I never bought the said sugar but it seems some people used the same letter to do their own business,” he claimed.

The anti-corruption agency has been investigating 10th Parliament MPs over widespread allegations that their CDF committees engaged in malpractices that allowed the siphoning of money set aside for development projects.

Last year, Ms Keino said her team had received over 200 cases involving misuse of funds and would recommend that those found to have siphoned public money be prosecuted, and that no one would be spared.




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