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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 26 October 2014

MILLIONS GOES MISSING FROM COUNCIL OF GOVERNORS KITTY

Our Reporter

There is a looming fallout amongst the Council of Governors Forum over mismanagement of funds by a few governors.
Sources well-versed with the operations at the CoG offices have now revealed that there is a serious financial scam that is now threatening to tear apart and split the already fragile Pesa Mashinani campaigns.
It is emerging CoG chairman, Isaac Ruto, Kakamega governor Wycliffe Oparanya, Kericho governor Paul Chepkwony, Kiambu governor William Kabogo and their Meru counterpart Peter Munya have been named in a scam that is now threatening to cause a major split ahead of their referendum vote.
Sources say that the bone of contention is the payment of Sh9.3 billion which Ruto ordered to be paid to an aviation company associated with Kabogo for use of the company’s chopper by the governors during their campaigns.
The big question is how the procurement of the chopper was done as it is suspected that those behind it did not follow procurement rules under the due diligence clause. To complicate matters, other governors were not consulted resulting into a five man decision as to the hiring of the choppers.
Ruto has been using the choppers alongside other governors during the campaigns although some governors have been silently complaining that as a council, they did not approve the use of choppers since most parts of Kenya were accessible by road. Other governors have also been wondering why they had to hire the chopper from Kabogo and not from other aviation firms.
Another suspect expenditure is the millions of shillings the CoG paid out to some media houses to give their rallies live coverage. One such rally was held at Njoro Muache area which was poorly attended with only Ruto and Oparanya as the only governors.
Later in the day, they flew to Busia where the hosting Governor Sospeter Ojamoong was the only governor present.
It is also said that the Sh40 million annual rent paid by the CoG for office space at the ultra-modern Delta Corner House in Westlands and the recruitment of staff to man is too, suspect. Ruto  is accused of favouring his cronies to be in charge so that he can manipulate to have them pay. Some governors have been opposed to the expenditure saying it was not worth it. The building has office space for all the 47 governors, the council’s secretariat and technical committee.
Last year, when the idea was first mooted, some MPs opposed it, arguing that the governor’s place of work was in the county.
The Senate has also been opposed to financing of governors’ offices in Nairobi.
Back to the chopper use, Ruto had at one time been taken to task to explain why he had to use a chopper to tour his county. One thing that is not clear is whether he was using the chopper hired by the CoG or a chopper paid for by the Bomet county.
The Senate Finance Committee had been tasked to look at the alleged daily use of the helicopter by the governor. Bomet senator Wilfred Lesan raised the matter in the house when he asked the sessional committee on devolved government to give a statement on the use of the helicopter by Ruto while travelling within the county.