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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Another Sh180m rip-off rocks Machakos county

Youth who participated in the just concluded water mapping exercise in Machakos county have not been paid for the work. They are now petitioning with the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, Public Procurement Oversight Authority and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations to investigate and audit the entire water mapping programme and other irregularities they say have become the order of the day in Machakos county.
Youths from the upper region of the county - Mavoko, Kathiani, Matungulu, Machakos Town and Kangundo constituencies say they have that Machakos county government budgetted that they be paid each Sh2,000 per day during the entire water mapping exercise but to their dismay, the county water officials directed they be paid Sh600 each per day. The whole water mapping programme cost the county Sh180,000,000  but the actual amount paid to was Sh54,000,000. 
Although Governor Alfred Mutua has been claiming through the media that the county employed 15,000 youths to carry out the water mapping exercise, details have emerged that there were less than 5,000 and the 15,000 figure was just a public relation stunt meant to pilfer millions from the county coffers.
 The youths now wonder what really happened to the balance of Sh126,000,000. “Let the governor pay us our money. Why steal from the poor, less fortunate and jobless young people?” one of the youths asked.
It is claimed that the loot was shared by people in the governor’s office with Mutua himself pocketing Sh100m and the rest being shared out by top water officers in the county led by Francis Wambua Maliti, Lemmy Muia Nzuma among others both in governor’s and county treasury offices.
“For sure, we have been earing of the allegations about Governor Mutua looting public coffers of  Machakos county without believing thinking it’s politics but now we have seen and experienced for ourselves! Let Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission, Public Procurement Oversight Authority, Director of Criminal Investigations and other investigative government agencies move swiftly to carry out thorough investigations and audit our county to save it. There have been reports that Mutua has been only implementing big projects that only make big monies for his pockets. This mapping proves the allegations,” claimed a lady who gave only one name Alice and who says she walked in the hot February sun doing work she did not know was not going to pay and instead was going to enrich fat cats at the county offices.
Mutua through water department headed by Maliti and another officer Lemmy  have made big money allegedly through fraud and corruption. Some of the county personnel claim that only contractors who pay big kickbacks to Mutua and some selected county executives are paid promptly under the influenceMaliti and Lemmy.
“We wonder why Mutua carried out another water mapping when a year ago the county contracted a company to carry out water mapping which the company did and handed to the governor. To date that company has never been paid any single cent but instead another water mapping exercise was quickly and suspiciously carried out and already all the Sh180,000,000 spent,” an employee in water department said.
“We as the poor youth who were exploited by Mutua,  Maliti and Lemmythrough fake water mapping exercise that they only used to enrich themselves will come together, mobilise other youths and residents to deal with these three fellows! Whether they pay our monies or not, whether the EACC, PPOA, DCI and other government investigative bodies act or not or whether the governor buys his way out, whether the governor, Maliti and Lemmy listen to us or not, we’re determined to fight our way to the end and one day, these three senior county officials will face the consequences of the law. Our sweat is not for wasting leave alone for others to benefit from,” another youth fumed.
After the water mapping exercise, some youths were paid after blocking roads, burning tyres and holding demonstrations which were always dispersed by police officers who were and are still in Mutua’s financial pockets! Police bosses in Machakos county, it is claimed, are on the payroll of Mutua.
During the water mapping, residents were told they would have water pipes into their homes. Most of those who did the work have however not been paid to date yet the governor is always in the media misleading Kenyans that the exercise has created jobs for youths.
“To us there was nothing like water mapping but three quarters of the time we spent in explaining to residents what Mutua has achieved and issuing his campaign stickers to residents who in most cases rejected with residents regretting why they wasted their time electing Mutua as governor! It’s very very unfortunate and unforgettable to have this kind of governor who loots without shame and mistreats young people merciless!” said a youth who is yet to get a cent for the backbreaking work. Meanwhile, parents of the youth are cursing Mutua for misleading their children to leave lesser-paying but reliable jobs to do work for Mutua only to be duped. Ironically, the water mapping seems to be working against Mutua with residents saying that they will vote for him only if water flows to their homes before elections.