The Court of Appeal in Nairobi has granted Sirisia MP John Waluke a KES 10 million cash bail pending the hearing and determination of his appeal against a 67-year jail sentence imposed on him in a KES 297 million fraud case.
This came even as Waluke insisted that the government owes him KES 300 million stemming from a 2004 maize supply deal that prosecutors claim was fake.
A three-judge bench comprising justices Asike Makhandia, Grace Ngenye and Sankale ole Kantai said keeping the MP behind bars may lead to the loss of his parliamentary seat and trigger a by-election.
“Once [Waluke] does not attend eight consecutive sittings, then he will automatically lose his seat. On that ground, we find the application for bail has merit and is allowed,” said Judge Ngenye, who read the ruling.
The judges also gave him the alternative of depositing a bond of Sh20 million. The bail terms are similar to those issued previously by the High Court.
“Assuming he is heard on appeal and he succeeds, he will not be able to capture his seat on account a by-election will have been conducted and [if he stays] in jail, he will not be eligible to stand as an MP. This will be prejudicial to him and his Sirisia people who elected him when [he was] out on bail,” the court added.
It went on: “In our view, we think that this presents unusual circumstances that could warrant considering this application to his favour.
“He is therefore released on the previous bond terms issued by the High Court of Sh10 million cash bail or Sh20 million bond terms with a surety of similar amount pending appeal.”