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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 30 November 2014


There are fears in Machakos county  that the Ethics  and  Anti-Corruption  Commission  led  by Mumo Matemu  has been compromised to look the other way as taxpayers’ money is diverted into individuals’ pockets in greed unparalleled anywhere in Kenya.
This  comes  in the wake of  letters addressed to the commission by members of the public concerned that Governor Alfred Mutua might be overseeing the grandest theft of public money ever seen in the 47 counties so far. On the residents’ radar are the governor’s county executives, chief officers and senior procurement officers. Their bank accounts  are  also being monitored with some having questionable colossal amounts of money suspected to have been siphoned from public coffers .
Top  on the  list  are  the governor’s  chief  of  staff  Mwengi  Mutuse, chief officer in charge  of decentralised  units  Nimrod Mbai,  county executive  in charge  of roads  Kioko Luka who has been shuffled to  lands  portfolio in last week’s  reshuffle and county engineer  Morris Aluanga. The cartel is said to be behind fraudulent transactions and flouting tendering procedures in awarding contracts and suppliers for the county government. They  have also been accused of employing ghost workers raising the  county wage  bill  to Sh289 million   a month a move that has seen the governor order the sacking of over 400 workers employed irregularly leading to protests last week.
At the centre of employment  syndicate  is one Musyoka Kala who was transferred from labour docket to education after it emerged that he ignored advice of the county public service  board  in employment  were  members  of  same  families benefitted. In the reshuffle, Mutua according to a source threatened to sack the chief officer who wass saved by his mother who is a Wiper nominated rep in the assembly. The rep pleaded  with the governor to save her son who had  resigned  from NSSF to  join the county government. Fiscal analysts say the county is in financial crisis due to theft and dwindling  local revenue collection  with cash  going to  individuals’  pockets. The said cartel is allegedly bragging of getting protection from the governor himself whom they say cannot operate without them since they acted as his strategists in last general election.
The governor’s name has featured prominently in some of the deals where his name is invoked to raise the bargain and scare contractors to give huge kickbacks.
According to an insider in Mutua’s office the former government spokesman acquired properties valued Sh237 million in his first year in office. It is alleged on March 12 2014 the governor sealed a deal to purchase a four-star  hotel situated in the beach front of Watamu in Malindi. The deal cost a whopping Sh145 million barely one year in office. The deal has brought  to focus the Maendeleo Chap Chap slogan with many saying it is a gimmick to hoodwink the already gullible citizens of Machakos county while at the same time condoning theft perpetrated by outsiders. The right slogan, they say, is kujitajirisha chap chap. It is said that Mutua has investments worth Sh1.6 billion ever since he became governor.
Mwengi Mutuse comes from Makueni county where he is currently  putting up a five-star hotel going by the name Savannah Paradise Hotel opening this December. It has 200 rooms with a presidential suite going for Sh75,000 a night. The luxurious hotel which has  attracted the eyes of anti-graft sleuths is located in Makindu along Mombasa road. Mwengi is also said to have bought a home at Green Park Estate in Athi River and another house at Highrise Estate on the way to Kajiado from Kitengela. In May, a bank advised Mwengi against depositing huge amounts of money in one account. Mwengi reportedly deposited over Sh400m in less than four months which raised eyebrows. Those who know Mwengi  say he is preparing to contest Kibwezi West parliamentary seat come 2017 and he is not bothered whether Machakos county people get services or not. He was the same person used by the governor to pay reps each Sh300,000 to impeach his deputy Bernard Kiala three months ago.  Mwengi’s wife is the procurement officer at department of decentralised units where Nimrod Mbai is the  chief officer. His brother Ngeto Mutuse is the revenue officer in Mavoko subcounty where revenue has drastically droped with claims that much is banked in personal accounts which later lands in his brother’s hands.
Mbai a former Mutua bodyguard  in his days as a spokesman is also swimming in money. In his 18 months in office, Mbai has bought four villas in Kitengela, a 150-acre ranch in Nzombe, Kitui county where he comes from and is putting a big hotel in Kitui town, the first of its kind. Mbai once told  his confidante that he has made enough to last him for life. He is preparing to contest Kitui governorship. That the man is in big money is seen in the branded balls used in his football tournaments.
He is seen every weekend in Kitui where he has rolled up a massive youth campaign programme across the county sponsoring 12 football  teams and paying each Sh10,000 monthly allowance. For the last six months Mbai has contacted over 15 harambees allegedly contributing  over Sh500,000 each. Where a man who was a struggling Administration Police gets the cash remains a mystery since his county salary is Sh230,000 per month. Luka who has been transferred to lands docket is also on the spot for colluding with Aluanga to oversee  construction of Machakos Stadium where shoddy work was done. Despite pocketing huge bribes and kickbacks from contractors who have so far complained of intimidation and blackmail from the engineer in cahoots with the former roads county executive, no action has been taken against him.

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