Kenya: Kisumu County Assembly request EACC to probe five chief officers over alleged misuse of 14million from Ward development fund Kitty.
Posted by African Press International on October 14, 2016
By our investigative reporter.
The spotlight is again on five Kisumu County chief officers over allegations of graft.
The Clerk of Kisumu County Assembly Philip Adundo has written to the Ethics and Anticorruption commission asking the body to conduct forensic audit and thereafter take appropriate actions depending on the findings of the investigation.
The Assembly Clerk also in another letter in our possession asked the County Secretary Mr Humphrey Nakitari to ensure due diligence during the investigation to be conducted by the auditor general.
The five officers are members of the county Ward development fund management committee.
Earlier there were claims that shs 14 million from the fund had been misappropriated .
Because of these allegations, the house reportedly appointment an ad-hoc committee to investigate the matter. According to the Assembly Clerk, the team prepared a report and the report was adopted by the house.
The Clerk told this writer that the Assembly then resolved that the five chief officers namely Cephas Kasera ,chief officer finance, also the fund chairperson, George Anyonga,the fund administrator and chief officer economic planning, Samuel Ondola,member and chief officer transport and infrastructure, Jacob Muga, member and chief officer water and Lilian Atieno member and chief officer mining and Energy be probed .
In his letter dated 4 Oct this year addressed to Kisumu regional manager f ethics and anti corruption commission, the clerk requested, based on the resolution of the house, that a comprehensive forensic audit be done an these allegations.
” the purpose of the letter is to request you to conduct forensic audit on misuse, abuse of office and fraudulent use of the Kisumu County Ward development fund . the Assembly adopted an ad-hoc committee report ” reads part of the letter.
In the letter to EACC , the account held by the fund to be probed include Family Bank Reliance Branch in Kisumu no .025000030526 and equity bank supreme branch no.1700267649.
In another letter signed by the Clerk and addressed to the county secretary, the Clerk penned that the said officers are expected to step aside or be suspended from duty until the exercise of the investigation is completed by the relevant bodies .
When we sought comments from the officers mentioned , only two responded.
Ondola said in a text message to this writer that he wasn’t a signatory. He also asked the writer to investigate who signed the minutes that authorized the withdrawals. He also wanted the journalist to find out if the Matter had been procedurally handled by the Assembly and whether PIC and PAC also investigated the matter.
The Assembly Clerk told this writer that the house adopted the report and passed a resolution.
in a text message he wrote ” the house resolved that the five be investigated . you can confirm even with the Assembly speaker who presided over the sitting “.
Chief officer economic planning in a text message said he wasn’t aware of the issue and asked this writer to seek clarification from the county secretary. Later he sent another SMS asking the journalist to see him in his office for further interview on the matter. But this never happened. He couldn’t meet the journalist because he was held up in another meeting.
We had not heard from him again by the time of filling this report.
The others never replied to the SMS sent to them.
Efforts to get comments from the county secretary on this matter was also futile. He did not respond to our inquiries through SMS.
It also emerged that some MCAs were suspended during the debate on the matter.Those suspended will miss sittings which varied on the nature of the offences for which they were thrown out.
The decision to suspend some of the MCAs was passed by the county Assembly speaker Ann Adul.
This led to some youths storming the Assembly but were repulsed by the anti riot police.
African Press International (API)