Mombasa County assembly minority leader Karisa Nzai, was on Monday charged with soliciting for bribes from a businessman in Jomvu, allegedly to help calm down planned protests against the businessman’s factory in his ward.
Nzai who is the county representative for Jomvu ward was arrested by detectives from the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission (EACC) last Tuesday at the Nakumatt supermarket in Likoni, after he received treated money from the businessman, who had involved the detectives without the MCA’s knowledge.
He first appeared before the Mombasa court last Friday but could not take plea as his lawyer Francis Kadima told the court that the MCA had fallen sick that morning, prompting the court to direct that he takes plea on Monday.
“Being a state officer, corruptly solicited for a benefit of kshs. 200,000 from Navesh Joyantilal Ranpura as an inducement so as to calm down an alleged planned demonstration by Jomvu ward residents,” the charge sheet read in part.
The charges alleged the bribe was also meant to ensure that a notice to close Ranpura’s factory, issued by the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) and County public health officials was not effected.
Karisa also faced another charge of corruptly receiving a benefit of kshs 100,000 from Ranpura.
He denied all charges and was released on a kshs. 200,000 bond or a cash bail of kshs.100,000, with hearing of the case set for November 17.
If found guilty, Nzai risks losing his seat as an elected MCA, besides facing a jail term.