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Citizen Weekly

Sunday 28 September 2014


Kisumu  governor Jack Ranguma has been challenged to come out clean and explain the reason why his assembly  is spending Sh800 million on the construction of new assembly headquarters, yet Sh11.9 million was used to renovate its premises barely 10 months ago.

The residents view the project’s cost as excessively exaggerated and inflated for the sole purpose of creating room for kick-backs. The project cost, the residents said, was originally projected to cost only Sh250 million and the residents are now wondering how the cost skyrocketed.

The residents are also questioning the system used in awarding the project tender to the contractor, which they said was single sourced contrary to the procurement regulations which demand due diligence.

They have called upon the government to intervene and stop the project and involve experts from the Works ministry. Rumour doing rounds in Kisumu and its environs has it that the project’s tender was done singlehandedly by the assembly speaker.

Other complaints have surfaced  with claims that MCAs who were inherited from the corruption-ridden defunct Kisumu municipal council are the ones who have ganged up and are misinforming the governor and his new team on how to go on with financial impropriety and embezzlement of the public funds. The ex-councillors have formed a powerful cartel of brokers whose activities are meant to fleece the county government through procurement the same way they did during their days as elected councillors.

Other sources say by inflating the cost of the construction, the MCAs are calculating to make a kill. At the same time they are said to have already budgeted for the purchase of cars and other luxurious items.
A cross section of Kisumu residents have appealed to the government to cancel the tender and call it afresh with the involvement of the Works ministry getting to the bottom  and unearthing the rot in the  entire exercise. They said the government must put tight barriers over its money and ensure it is utilised properly for the interest of its citizens.

Other residents were heard murmuring that the devolution system of government has created room for the overnight millionaires and billionaires as the taxpayers money is being channeled to wrong priorities, which only benefit individuals and not the public.

The construction of Kisumu county assembly should not be a priority because the county government is able to carry its day-to-day business in the existing premises without any problem, they feel. They say those rushing the project had the ulterior motive of corruptly ripping off the government through projects that were not a priority but to create loopholes  to steal. The governmentm, they said, must put in place safeguards on taxpayers’ money from greedy MCAs.

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