(Above) The accused persons appearing in court before their sentencing in June. Among them are four Kenyans whose families now want the Kenyan president to intervene in the matter (Paanluel.com).
[Nairobi, Kenya, TCT] The families of the four Kenyans who were jailed in South Sudan allegedly for stealing money from the President’s office are now appealing to President Uhuru Kenyatta to intervene on their behalf.
The families of Anthony Mwadime, Ravi Ramesh, Boniface Muriuki and Anthony Keya have asked the Kenyan government to intervene on their behalf because they believe that they were wrongly accused and sentenced to life imprisonment.
“I believe my brother is innocent because if he had all the money they are being accused of stealing, I don’t think his family would be in the condition it is in right now,” said one of the family members, speaking to the NTV Kenya.
“My dad hardly talks, when you ask him he is just mute, he is just too affected and everyone in the family is asking, until when are we going to go through this?,” said a sister to one of the jailed Kenyans.
They claim the Kenyan government had promised to engage the South Sudan government diplomatically to secure the release of the four, but this has yielded nothing so far.
“These boys are suffering in a military country… On behalf of my family and the other families as well, I am asking for the intervention of our head of state,” she said.
The families say they have gone through a lot of anguish and suffering as they wait for word from South Sudan about their relatives. They say the Kenyan government’s reassurance to work behind the scenes and help their relatives has taken too long since they were first arrested more than a year ago.
The four Kenyans were employees of a South Sudan company, Click Technologies Ltd, a company registered and owned by John Ogou, who used to work as a senior security officer in President Salva Kiir’s office.
Earlier, the Kenya Human Rights Commission had gone to court to challenge the arrest and detention of the four Kenyans and to compel it to act on behalf of the four Kenyans. The commission wants the Kenyan court to declare that the Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs CS Amina Mohamed and the Principal Secretary in the ministry have been grossly negligent in enforcing and promoting the rights of the arrested persons as provided for by the Constitution and international law.
“Through the foreign policy of Kenya, the government is entitled to ensure, protect and vigorously defend the rights of Kenyans,” said a representative from the commission.
Information from court records in South Sudan show that the four were arrested for allegedly defrauding the South Sudan government of $14 million (Sh1.4 billion). They were jailed together with 12 other South Sudanese for 67 years cumulatively. The money is said to have been stolen from the president’s office as well as withdrawn from bank using fraudulent cheques.