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Citizen Weekly

Sunday 28 September 2014


Residents of Migori county are up in arms against their county government for financial impropriety, misuse of taxpayers’ money, corruption and embezzlement.

They want the ongoings forensic auditing of the county government’s accounts and the probe being undertaken by the Ethics and Anti Corruption sleuths to cast their net wide to include investigation about claims that Migori governor Okoth Obado bought a bed for Sh1.2 million without following the proper procurement processes.

Furthermore, the residents also want to know the source of Sh4 million which Governor Obado is said to have spent while ferrying a delegation of 300 which visited State House, Nairobi and tendered their apologies to President Uhuru Kenyatta over an incident two weeks ago when hired goons heckled the governor and interrupted a presidential function during Uhuru’s tour of the region on an official mission to launch development projects in the area.

It has now emerged that while the Migori delegation of 300 people were still waiting at the Uhuru Park, Nairobi for the confirmation of their appointment with the president at State House,  the word of the appointment and their presence  at Uhuru Park went around Nairobi and political goons usually idling in the city streets and job-seekers  joined swelling  the delegation to 600.

Other reports claim that Obado paid the delegation Sh7,000 for two days per diem, after the amount was beefed up with Sh500,000 which was coughed out by Nairobi governor  Evans Kidero. Each of the delegates was paid another Sh750 which was brought by the presidential political adviser Joshua Kutuny. He brought Sh1 million from Uhuru for the delegates to pay for their night accommodation so that he would meet them the next day. But the majority of the delegates preferred to keep their money and spent the night inside the buses that had ferried them from Migori to Nairobi braving the chilly city night.

 Only a handful booked themselves in the city hotels for accommodation. At the end of the meeting the president dished out another Sh1,500 to each member of the delegation.
The other complaints raised by the delegation is that while the ordinary member of the  team was paid Sh7,000 as allowance for two days  outing, Governor Obado made another special allowances payment of Sh40,000 to each member of the county executives.

Speaking in Migori town,  Kakamega senator Bonny Khalwale who is the chairman of the Senate Public Accounts and Investment Committee disclosed that his committee has already summoned governor Obado to appear before its members and explain several issues contained in the government audit report including that of him allegedly purchasing a family bed worth Sh1.2million while using the public money without following the procurement processes.

Other unconfirmed report currently going on in the public within Migori is that governor Obado is currently constructing a multi-million double storey palatial house with 38 rooms in his rural Rapogi home. His personal assistant Caspal Obiero who is mentioned adversely in the audit report for having withdrawn unexplained Sh16 million is also building another palatial house at his Ombo Kokelo rural home in Central Kanyamkago location, Uriri district.

The report also contained  the startling claims that the Migori county government made a down payment of Sh15.3 million to Kericho Toyota Motor for the purchase of two Land Cruisers ambulances, but six months down the line, the vehicles have yet to be delivered to the county government, and fears persist that the deal could turn out to be another phantom as the ambulances may not be delivered at all to county made that down payment to the tune of Sh15.3.

Governor Obado is said to have recently acquired two new tractors for his personal use, and the residents wanted the source of these tractors also investigated so as to ascertain whether they were bought with the county government money or by his own finances.

The audit report, a copy of which is securely in our hands, also unearthed that the Migori county made irregular payment for Sh10 million for the purchase tractors, motor cycles without following the laiddown procurement processes.

The county government also paid Sh7.9 million to Amaco Assurance Company. This company single sourced and the deal was therefore not competitive as required by the procurement laws and regulations that require due diligence in this case.

On the issues of travelling expenses, and allowances paid to the delegation that visited Nairobi, Obado insisted that some of the delegation paid for their own transport and that the money was contributed by friends and wellwishers. However, judging by the strength of the majority of Migori town business community, one would come to a conclusion that the traders there do not have capacity of parting with Sh4million which included hiring and fueling several buses from Migori to Nairobi therefore.

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