Joy Ngwendo

Ex-Senator Joy Gwendo jailed for 2 years for Sh1.7m fraud

Former nominated Senator Joy Gwendo has been jailed for two years by a Nairobi court for stealing Sh1.7 million from a cooperative society in Kisumu.

Ms Gwendo, the first former/ sitting senator to be locked up, was handed the sentence on Friday for abuse of office and failure to honour a plea bargain she entered into with the state to pay Sh1.7-million she fraudulently received.

Sentencing the former legislator, Chief Magistrate Douglas Ogoti said she was a dishonest person, especially after failing to honour a plea bargain requiring her to return the money as part of settling the case.

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In the plea bargain, the prosecution had agreed to withdraw two counts of forgery and stealing and the former lawmaker had agreed to return the money in four instalments of Sh432,930.

In her mitigation before sentencing on Friday, Ms Gwedo said she was remorseful and was willing to settle the debt.

The plea bargain was reached after the former TNA senator pleaded guilty to charges of abuse of office and issuing bad cheques.

The court directed her to serve two years for abuse of office and six months each for forging and issuing bad cheques.

During the trial, the first charge stated that on October 23 2016 at Chiga Parish in Kisumu East, Kisumu County, she stole Ksh2,226,880 belonging to Kisumu East Cotton Growers Co-operative Society.

The court further heard that she forged a Sh200,000 cheque drawn at Kenya Commercial Bank, purporting to be drawn in favour of Kivuli Development Initiative and signed by Willy Kipkorir Bett.

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BAD CHEQUES

The third and fourth accusations stated she issued two forged cheques of Sh300,000 and Sh950,000, respectively.

On the fifth count, the former legislator had denied abuse of office.

The charge stated that she used her position as a state official to confer a benefit of Sh2 million to the society.

She allegedly committed the offence on October 23, 2016 at Chiga Parish in Kisumu.

On Friday, Ms Gwendo admitted issuing the two bad cheques to Kisumu East Cotton Growers Cooperative Society.

The court heard that she drew the cheque through CFC Stanbic Bank’s Kivuli Development Initiative’s account, yet she knew that the account did not have sufficient funds.

She allegedly committed the offences on December 5, at her office at KICC building in Nairobi.

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