Sirisia MP John Waluke, facing a 67-year jail term, asked to be allowed to enjoy two special favours while in detention through his lawyers on Friday, July 3.
Waluke was sentenced and ordered to pay a Ksh 727 million fine for embezzling Government’s Ksh 300 million through a maize scandal.
The MP lost some of his privileges after being interdicted and pleaded to be cushioned against losing his seat if he misses eight sessions of Parliament.
Chapter 8 of the constitution states that an MP’s seat will be declared vacant if, during any session of Parliament, the member is absent from eight sittings of the relevant House without permission, in writing, from the Speaker, and is unable to offer a satisfactory explanation for the absence to the relevant committee.
“We filed an appeal for Waluke and also issued correspondence to the Speaker of the National Assembly informing him that we are exhausting the appeal rights. We did that to forestall the eight sitting sessions he may miss,” Waluke’s lawyer Sam Nyaberi stated.
Waluke’s lawyer also stated that the MP was cushioned against losing his seat as guided by Section 62 of the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act.
The Act states that a public officer or state officer who is charged with corruption or economic crime shall be suspended, at half pay, with effect from the date of the charge until the conclusion of the case: Provided that the case shall be determined within twenty-four months.
It adds that a suspended public officer who is on half-pay shall continue to receive the full amount of any allowances. The public officer ceases to be suspended if the proceedings against him are discontinued or if he is acquitted.
Waluke also wants to be allowed to govern Sirisia constituency albeit from jail.
“As this is going on, if it is possible, we asked the court to allow him to conduct virtual meetings from prison. He should be allowed to air his views and represent his people as he was their person of choice. They risk being shelved because of the incarceration of their MP,” attorney Nyaberi added.
Waluke is also at risk of losing his property if he fails to pay the fine or win an appeal. The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) is now ready to put up his property for auction to raise the money.
“Going forward, we will not only ensure that individuals are jailed. We will also recover money lost from public coffers,” the prosecutor stated on Friday, June 26.