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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 14 September 2014

EACC SLUETHS HEAD TO MIGORI TO PROBE SH400M SLEAZE IN COUNTY



Sleuths from the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission have been dispatched to Migori county to investigate alleged corruption through skewed procurement loopholes using unsupported documentation where a whopping Sh400 million taxpayers’ money is said to have gone down the drain and in the pockets of the corrupt in the county.


 It is worth to note that this is happening after a senior officer resigned in unexplained circumstances. Sources both in Nairobi and Migori quoted an official of EACC George Nyabuga as having confirmed the deployment of the sleuths to Migori county offices to probe the extravagant withdrawal of money and in some cases where payments were made to phantom people and some organisations.

The reports painted the county government as having gone on with recklessness and extravagant spending without following due diligence procedures. Among the organisations considered as undeserving to have benefitted from the county is the legendary Gor Mahia Football Club, which is reported to have received Sh168,000 under unexplained reasons.

A management report already in the public domain shows how a clerical officer working as a personal assistant to the governor called Caspal Obiero extravagantly claimed a total of Sh16 million for travelling and accommodation allowances. The officer is reported to have at one time drawn three huge claims on one day from the cashier.

The report shows that the county staff extravagantly drew unsupported impress amounting to Sh32 million. Queries and eyebrows have been raised about the air tickets bought for Governor Okoth Obado and a delegation on both local and international travels.

“Payment voucher number 1842 issued on December 24 2013 and paid for in cash to Elsuco Tours and Travels through Invoice number 218 dated December 23 2013 indicates that the tickets were bought for the governor’s wife a Hellen Obado and 12 other persons to travel to Mombasa amounting to a sum of Sh616,200 for unspecified reasons.

The audit report is questioning the identities of the 12 people who had travelled with the governor’s wife to Mombasa on the eve of Christmas day and their designations, role and assignment to county government.

The report further revealed that the delegation were booked at posh hotel - Amani Tiwi Resort and the Migori county government footed the accommodation bill amounting to Sh1.7 million for their accommodation and meals.

Other questionable payments which the auditor queried include the Sh147.9 million for the unauthorised purchase of motor vehicles and the Sh1.8 million allegedly used for the preparation of tender documents, Sh15.3 million for the undelivered vehicles and other payments that  include Sh24.4 million in travelling and accommodation expenses. Another Sh10 million was spent on the alleged hire of equipment for unspecified work and Sh10 million for the purchase of plastic water tanks.

There was another trip by the governor to USA accompanied by one Moses Chamwada where the air-tickets were bought for them at Sh947,588 which has been questioned by the auditors after the passports of the two were not provided or produced to justify and confirm the claims whether the trip actually took place.

The report observed that the county government may be buying air tickets for people who are not its employees. However, Governor Obado on his part has rubbished and dismissed the report as witch-hunting and the work of his political detractors.