A Kenyan Councillor in the UK, who was earlier this week charged before the Nairobi Chief Magistrate with various counts of fraud and forgery, has been suspended by his Labour Party pending the outcome of the trial.
Councillor Daniel Munyambu of Vange Ward, Essex, was on Monday charged before the Nairobi Principal Magistrate Esther Maina with three counts of fraud and forgery.
He is alleged to have forged receipts and obtained £18,000 (Sh2.37m) under false pretences on various dates in November 2008.
When contacted, Basildon Labour Group Deputy Leader Phil Rackley said: “Daniel Munyambu is suspended as a labour councillor pending the outcome of the trial. If it takes more than six months to go to trial and he is unable to return to the UK, there would have to be a by-election because a councillor cannot miss meetings for that time,” Rackley said.
But Baroness Angela Smith of Basildon, who has worked closely with Munyambu on local issues said: “This is a bolt of the blue, but a great concern, and we will have to wait the outcome of the trial.”
A Basildon council spokesman said they were concerned to hear a member of their council had been arrested and charged with criminal offences in Kenya but were not willing to make further comment.
“However, we will be following this case closely,” he said.
Munyambu, a source told The Standard, will remain a councillor until the outcome of the case despite his suspension by the Labour party.
Vying in kenya
The civic leader was remanded by the Chief Magistrate until April 10 when a ruling on his application for bail will be made.
The cases centres on a vehicle export business the councillor ran from his home in Clickett End, Basildon.
He was elected a councillor last year with a 52.3 per cent majority votes and has been active in Kenyan politics too. Rumour has it that he was intending to ditch UK politics to vie for Gatundu North parliamentary seat.
In UK, he was a darling to the locals for his relentless campaign against sell-off of playing fields by David Cameron’s Conservatives administration. He has also been campaigning against the closure of a drug rehabilitation centre in his ward.
By Joseph Ngugi in London, The Standard