A high ranking diplomat arrested by police over alleged extortion is also being investigated for being in possession of illegal ammunition.
Mr Hillary Kyengo, who until September this year was the acting Kenya’s ambassador to Russia, was arrested last week over allegations of attempting to extort an unknown amount of money from Teachers Service Commission chief executive Nancy Macharia.
He was arraigned last Friday charged with attempting to obtain money by false pretense but police got orders to detain him for seven more days to conclude investigation into an alleged possession of illegal ammunition.
According to his lawyer Daniel Maanzo, Mr Kyengo was found with bullets exceeding the number permitted to private gun holders, prompting police to ask the court for more time to verify how he acquired them.
“He was found with 96 bullets, while he’s only permitted to have 24 so police needed more time to interrogate him” Mr Maanzo who is also the MP for Makueni told the Nation on telephone.
He said his client was, however, granted a bond of Sh250,000 on December 24, 2018.
Mr Kyengo had been arrested alongside two other suspects, James Ndirangu Kagecha and David Mwaniki Maluki.
He is alleged to have approached Ms Macharia as a detective from the office of Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti, where he demanded money as a bribe to kill off some purported investigations at TSC.
Police have not divulged more information on where the arrests were made and how much money the three suspects had asked for.
However, sources told the Nation that the three walked into Ms Macharia’s office and told her that they had a damning dossier on a scandal involving corruption in teacher grading and promotions.
They allegedly offered to drop the ‘investigations’ if Ms Macharia agreed to cooperate by giving them money, prompting the TSC boss to alert DCI detectives.
The TSC boss is the complainant in the matter where the suspects were secretly filmed demanding bribes to “kill the case”.
DCI said the three suspects will be arraigned in court soon to face charges of obtaining money by false pretence.
According to Kenya’s embassy to the Russian Federation, Ambassador Kyengo’s three-year tour of duty in Moscow, where he served since January 2016, ended in September and he was recalled to Foreign Affairs ministry headquarters.
Moscow is considered one of the high profile diplomatic postings in the league of Washington DC, London, Beijing, Berlin, and it is served by the country’s best and most experienced diplomats.
Mr Kyengo was also the acting chargé d’affaires in the neighbouring Ukraine, where he handled all the functions of accreditation because Kenya does not have its Embassy in Kiev.
Mr Kyengo was instrumental in establishing relations with Ukraine, with his efforts culminating in the first ever high-level Ukraine–Kenya bilateral and political consultations in Kiev, on December 1, 2016.
He also led efforts to market Kenyan tea in Russia in a campaign that sought to create and raise awareness among Russians about the quality of Kenya’s tea.
Russia is the leading buyer of tea in the world while Kenya is number one exporter of black tea.
The tea marketing campaign dubbed “Think Tea Make it Kenya” coincided with this year’s World Cup tournament in Moscow.
Prior to the Moscow posting, he served in various senior positions in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Trade and also in missions abroad, including stints as Deputy Head of Mission in Kenya High Commissions to Botswana, Malaysia and Somalia.
Mr Kyengo served on several desks at the ministry headquarters, including Americas & Australia, Asia, Horn of Africa, Protocol and the Great Lakes Region.
The 51-year-old envoy began his diplomatic career in the early 1990s where he served for several years as the personal assistant to the then Foreign Affairs Minister Kalonzo Musyoka.