State to recover millions, land from education official who created ghost school

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission has won a suit to recover Sh11.1 million and several parcels of land from a junior ministry of education official.

But the story, begins in 2017.

Joshua Ocharo Momanyi had served for years in the State Department of Early Learning and Basic Education within the ministry of education, before he was accused of stealing millions of shillings from the government.

On a monthly basis, the ministry of education wired millions of shillings to Mundeku Secondary school said to be in Khwisero Subcounty, Kakamega county.

By June 2018, the school had received Sh11.1 million meant for free day secondary education – only that, Mundeku Secondary school did not exist, in reality or in fact anywhere else.

It was the fertile imagination and creativity of Mr Momanyi who had been tasked with data entry at the Jogoo House.

Mr Momanyi is said to have swindled the Education Ministry by creating the phantom school several kilometres away in Kakamega county.

In May 2022, the anti-graft commission filed a suit to recover the Sh11.1 million and land parcels from the clerical officer at the Ministry of Education.

The commission accused Mr Momanyi of funding a non-existent Mundeku Secondary School, between August 2017 and September 2018.

During that period, Mr Momanyi was mandated with preparing the schedules of all schools set to benefit from Free Day Secondary Education funds.

It was then that Momanyi added an extra school; Mundeku Secondary school.

The Commission told the court, that the Equity Bank account used to receive the total Sh11,131,305,53 was opened and managed by the data entry officer.

From here the clerical officer transferred Sh3.3 million to his second bank account domiciled in Kakamega.

From the Equity bank account, he withdrew Sh3.6 million in cash and another Sh3.5 million from his KCB account. In total, Momanyi held Sh6.9 million of the proceeds in cash.

The commission argued before the court in Nairobi, that Mr Momanyi used these proceeds to purchase a parcel of land in Mavoko town where he paid Sh980,000 from his Equity bank account.

He then paid Sh1.6 million from his Equity account to acquire a vehicle where the balance of Sh750,000 was paid in cash.

“Further financial investigations revealed that he also purchased a motor vehicle Registration Number KCP 186L from Kencarz Ltd at a sale price of Sh2,500,000 payable by instalments.

At the time of the investigations, he had paid Sh2,350,000,” read court papers.

Momanyi, the court was told, bought a second parcel of land at Ol Donyo Sabuk where he paid Sh850,000 from his KCB account.

Justice Prof. Nixon Sifuna has granted the EACC orders to recover the millions of shillings, parcels of land and motor vehicles owned by Mr Momanyi.

After the landmark recovery against the junior Ministry official, the EACC has since forwarded to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) another file seeking to front charges five criminal charges against Joshua Ocharo Momanyi.

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