Former Kenya’s ambassador to Russia, 51-year-old Hillary Ngondi Kyengo, was on Tuesday arrested over allegations of attempting to extort an unknown amount of money from TSC boss Nancy Macharia.
The former ambassador was arrested alongside two other suspects, James Ndirangu Kagecha and David Mwaniki Maluki, after they were secretly filmed demanding bribes.
According to a source from Nation, the three walked into Macharia’s office and told her that they had a damning dossier on a scandal involving corruption in teachers grading and promotions.
It is reported that Macharia alerted the DCI detectives after Kyengo allegedly offered to drop the investigations if she agreed to cooperate by giving them money.
According to Kenya’s embassy to the Russian Federation, Kyengo was recalled in September to Foreign Affairs ministry headquarters after serving in Moscow for three years.
Moscow is considered one of the high profile diplomatic postings in the league of Washington DC, London, Beijing, Berlin, and is served by the country’s best and most experienced diplomats.
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.
The former 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.
Kyengo was instrumental in establishing relations with Ukraine, with his efforts culminating in the first ever high-level 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.
Kyengo served on several desks at the ministry headquarters, including Americas & Australia, Asia, Horn of Africa, Protocol and the Great Lakes Region.
According to the DCI, the three suspects would be arraigned in court soon to face charges of obtaining money by false pretence.