EACC probes loss of Sh2b in Samburu tender scam
Dozens of Samburu County officials will be required to explain sources of huge sums of money sent to their accounts.
The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) investigators have uncovered transactions involving firms they believe are linked to the county employees.
The agency is investigating claims that Sh2 billion was spent in irregular tendering.
EACC chief executive officer Twalib Mbarak yesterday said investigations showed gross financial misappropriation and conflict of interest where 19 officials received money.
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“No works were done. Investigations reveal most of the money was withdrawn in cash and shared out among various county officials,” a statement by Mbarak said.
He added: “In other cases, contractors were irregularly awarded contracts worth over Sh1 billion for works partly or never done, after which they paid top county officials.”
A chart provided by investigators shows a senior county official, through a firm, received Sh73 million from Sh673 million paid to firms directly owned by county staff.
An officer in the Department of Health is said to have been paid Sh346 million, followed by two members of the county executive committee (CECs), who received Sh41.3 million and Sh7.4 million respectively. An aide to one of the top county officials allegedly pocketed 13.4 million.
A revenue officer was paid Sh42.5 million, with a staff in the agriculture department getting Sh25.6 million. A payroll officer is said to have been paid Sh6 million, a member of the county assembly Sh6.9 million, an aide to a former Speaker Sh24.3 million and another MCA Sh27 million.
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A Health Department administrator received Sh19 million, while an aide to the county’s Speaker got Sh16.4 million. An accountant was paid Sh4 million, a former legislator Sh13.6 million, an officer in finance Sh2.1 million, two other MCAs Sh1.5 and 1.1 million respectively while an officer in the Roads Department, closing the list of 19, got Sh367,500.
A second chart indicated that Sh86.3 million might have been paid to senior county staff as kickbacks by firms that secured tenders worth Sh970 million.
On Wednesday, detectives raided the homes of Governor Moses Lenolkulal in Nairobi’s Karen estate and in Samburu.
Homes of Chief Officers, the governor’s PA Simon Etiene Lelesit, Speaker Solomon Lempere and various CECs were also raided.
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“The searches are in furtherance of investigations that the commission has been carrying out, which have revealed that the county has lost over Sh2 billion in the last four years,” said Mbarak.
Mbarak said the commission had evidence that millions of shillings were paid in bribes to various county employees by firms that were awarded contracts. “Investigations further revealed the officers under investigation invested the embezzled funds in real estate.”
Besides filing criminal charges upon completion of the probe, the commission has now commenced a process of freezing and forfeiture of the assets to recover public funds lost at the county. They were armed with search warrants at the time of the searches.
The governor was in Nairobi at the time of the raids. He was taken for questioning before he was set free.
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EACC officials said they would send their probe files to the office of the DPP with recommendations for action. The governor could not be reached for a comment on the issue.