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Eight Kisumu county officers, among them two chief officers on compulsory leave have recorded statements with EACC over a 25 million scandal

Posted by African Press International on October 2, 2017

By Dickens Wasonga.

The number key of officers of Kisumu County government are on the radar of the Ethics and Anti corruption commission over alleged runaway graft in county. The number of those being summoned to record statements by the anti graft agency continue to rise each day.

On Monday last week , the commission summoned yet another crop of officers , among them chief officers who were sent on compulsory leave by the Kisumu Governor Prof Peter Anyan’g Nyon’go soon after he was sworn in.

According to the County Secretary Dr Olan’go Onudi, EACC wrote to him asking that the officers should immediately record statements with the Commission’s officers in their Kisumu offices at Jubilee house.

A reliable source at the commission’s Kisumu office, county officers summoned last Monday recorded their statements over a controversial cyber security system where a sever was allegedly procured against procurement rules

We also confirmed that a total of Ksh 25 million was paid out in the questionable transaction involving the officers and the supplier of the equipment.Some of the officers are alleged to have received up to kSH 100,000 for training of staff picked from the IT and finance departments of the county government.

Although the county secretary declined to give the names of the affected officers under probe , he hinted that they were from the senior and lower cadres and promised to take action based on the recommendations of the EACC upon completion of the investigations

” Alot of investigations are going on. we have have been asked to notify the affected officers from time to time when called upon to do so by the anti graft agency and most of these investigations began even before we took office.” Dr Onudi said .

One of the affected officer whom we talked to during our interview over the matter narrated to this writer how he was summoned by a chief officer and another head of a department to sign a document authorizing the payment of ksh 25 million sometime in February last year even as he protested the move claiming his immediate boss was the one mandated to do so.

”It was not clear to me why they wanted me to sign while the requirement is that my immediate boss was the one mandated to sign the document to authorize payment. My boss that time was away in Nairobi and i could not understand the urgency and why i was being pressured to sign the document ” He said

The officer who wished not to be identified for fear of reprisals said he signed the document under duress adding that he recorded as much with the probe team when he was summoned last Monday by EACC.

Claims of senior officers getting involved in grand corruption was common in the county which was under the watchful eyes of the now immediate former Governor Jack Ranguma who lost the August polls to Nyon’go of ODM . He has since moved to court to contest the results of the elections.

During his reign a number of senior officers from the county government were accused of perpetrating corruption and a good number were summoned by EACC although none has ever been arraigned in court to answer to the charges alleged.

In the latest development , up to eight county chiefs , among them, two chief officers who were forced on compulsory leave appeared before EACC investigators to shed light over the controversial payment of Ksh 25 million allegedly paid for the purchase of a server.

Two officers from the IT department who were already in China attended a course had to discontinue from that engagement and immediately fly back to meet with the EACC probe team who needed them back in Kisumu.

The EACC is also investigating how an integrated system that would ensure all cash transactions and any payment made to the county coffers would be tracked to seal loopholes of corruption was procured.

The county government is understood to have used over Ksh 100 ,000 to procure the system.

Those who have since recorded statements with EACC over this alleged scandal includes a senior accountant , a lady whose name we have obtained but cant reveal as yet due to legal constraints. The lady accountant was also summoned in the Ksh 25 million server probe last week .

Many have high hopes that the new regime under Prof Nyon’go will crack the whip on officers who have the habit of pilfering public funds, most of whom have become millionaires so suddenly.

ENDS.

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