REPUBLIC OF KENYA
IN THE HIGH COURT OF KENYA
Criminal Appeal 84 of 2009
RICHARD OLOO NGESA …………………………… APPELLANT
[From original conviction and sentence in Criminal Case number 61 of 2009 of the Senior
Resident Magistrate’s Court at Ukwala]
The appellant, Richard Oloo Ngesa, was charged with obtaining credit by false
pretences contrary to Section 313 of the Penal Code, in that on the 29th January 2008 at
Ugunja Siaya District, with intent to defraud, obtained from Paul Omitha Otieno the sum of
Kshs. 3,000/= by falsely pretending that services of ploughing the said Paul Omitha Otieno’s
land had been rendered.
On appearing before the Resident Magistrate at Ukwala, the appellant pleaded not guilty to
the charge. He was thereafter tried, convicted and sentenced to three (3) years imprisonment.
Being dissatisfied with the conviction and sentence the appellant preferred five (5) substantial
grounds of appeal contained in the petition of appeal filed herein on 4th June 2009. He
basically complains of inadequacy of the prosecution evidence and infringement of his
constitutional rights under Section 72 (3) (b) of the Constitution of Kenya by being detained
in police custody longer than is required.
At the hearing, the appellant represented himself and contended that he was hired by the
complainant to plough his piece of land with a tractor which did not belong to him(appellant). However, the owner of the tractor said that it was defective even though he (appellant) had already received Ksh. 3,000/= for the ploughing and given the amount to the said owner of the tractor.
Miss Oundo, Learned Senior State Counsel, appearing for the respondent contended that theappellant was to plough the complainant’s land and was paid Kshs. 3,000/= for that purpose.
However, on receipt of the money, the appellant was not seen again. He later alleged that the
ploughing tractor was defective even though the complainant had seen it being used to plough
another parcel of land.
The learned State Counsel said that the appeal lacks merit and should be dismissed.
The obligation of this court in terms of the decision in the case of Okeno =vs= Republic
 E. A. 32, is to re-consider the evidence adduced at the trial court with a view to
arriving at own conclusions while bearing in mind that the trial court had the advantage of
seeing and hearing the witnesses. (See also, Achira =vs= Republic  KLR 707).
The prosecution case was that on the 27th January 2009 and not 29th January 2009 as indicated
in the charge sheet, the complainant. Paul Omitha Otieno (PW1), a farmer at Ugunja
forwarded to the appellant a sum of Kshs. 3,000/= vide the mobile phone M-Pesa money
transfer services for purposes of ploughing his (complainant’s) parcel of land.
The complainant and the appellant had already agreed that the appellant would plough the
complainant’s two acre piece of land and that a deposit of Kshs. 3,000/= would be paid. The
two visited and viewed the land to be ploughed.
At the time the sum of Kshs. 3,000/= was forwarded to the appellant he was at Bumala but
confirmed receipt thereof. On being called by the complainant on the following day he
alleged that the ploughing tractor had a problem. He never showed up at all and instead
switched off his mobile phone.
he complainant proceeded to Bumala in search of the appellant but all in vain. He then
reported the matter to the police.
The appellant was arrested at a later stage by P. C. Chrispine Lumwachi (PW2) of Ugunja
P. C. Lumwachi stated that the appellant was taken to him on 17th February 2009 for a
different complaint but in the process the complainant herein also appeared and presented his
fter interrogating the appellant, P. C. Lumwachi charged him with the present offence.
In his defence, the appellant stated that he was a farmer and an agent of the owner of the
ploughing tractor. He admitted having received the money from the complainant but
contended that the tractor had a mechanical problem. He thereby implied that he could not
undertake the ploughing due to the defectiveness of the tractor. He said that he was taken to
the police station and the court without knowing what was happening.
From all the foregoing evidence, it was apparent that the receipt of Kshs. 3,000/= was not
denied by the appellant. It was evident that the amount was payment for ploughing services
to be undertaken by the appellant for the benefit of the complainant.
The complainant indicated that prior to the payment of the amount the appellant had
represented himself as a person capable of ploughing the complainant’s parcel of land. He
was therefore given Kshs. 3,000/= as a deposit for the job. However, the job was never done.
The appellant instead started playing “hide and seek” with the complainant. He conveniently
switched off his mobile phone so that he could not be reached by the complainant. The
complainant went in search of him in Bumala but in vain. He was only traced and arrested
after another person had made almost a similar complaint against him.
The appellant’s conduct after he had received the money from the complainant clearly showed
that he had acted dishonestly and falsely pretended to the complainant that he was able to
plough the material parcel of land. His defence that the tractor developed mechanical
problems was in the circumstances unsustainable.
In any event, the complainant stated that just about the same time he saw the same tractor
ploughing another parcel of land at Bumala.
The appellant obtained credit from the complainant by deception.
By telling the complainant that he was in a position to plough the land, the appellant was in
fact representing that he had the power and means to carry out the job. The representation
later proved to be false.
The appellant’s conviction was therefore sound and safe.
The sentence imposed by the learned trial magistrate was reasonable and lawful.
Consequently, this appeal lacks merit and is hereby dismissed.
Dated, signed and delivered at Kisumu this 30th day of November 2009
J. R. KARANJA