Africa-Press – Kenya. Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission has launched investigations into the allegations of fraudulent acquisition of public funds amounting to Sh400 million in Siaya County.
The allegations also extend to abuse of office.
It is alleged that senior county officials made the withdrawals totalling the aforementioned amount, within 12 days of the August elections.
“This was in total disregard of moratorium stopping procurements, payment of allowances and pending bills by the new Governor,” EACC Head of Corporate Affairs and Communication Eric Ngumbi said.
He spoke at a hotel in Kisumu during an EACC Workshop for Journalists in the Western Region.
Ngumbi said there were claims that an official in the Finance Department received five payments, with four of them made on August 31, and the fifth one a week later September 6.
They include Sh225,000 for travel costs, Sh93,000 in tuition fees allowance, Sh200,000 in accommodation allowance, Sh250,000 for tuition fees and Sh120,000 for advertising awareness and publicity campaign.
“Another senior staff member is alleged to have received three payments including Sh200,000 for travel cost, Sh425,000 for daily subsistence allowance and Sh125,000 for bank service commission charge,” Ngumbi said.
There were also claims that a support staff officer received Sh748,000 for purported contracted technical services.
Further allegations indicate that Sh112 million was channelled from the County Executive bank accounts to clerks of various County Assembly committees.
Three of the clerks are alleged to have received up to five payments in one day ranging between Sh650,000 and Sh716, 000 under the imprest account.
Further, the antigraft body is investigating the loss of Sh72 million in the procurement of installation and equipment of an ICU unit at the Siaya Referral Hospital.
It is alleged that the funds were disbursed when the hospital opened an ICU Department but no equipment was purchased.
EACC was told the County Government went ahead and installed ventilators that had earlier been donated by Kijabe Hospital.
“It is further alleged that staff who objected to the fraudulent activities were transferred and replaced with new ones who were irregularly employed, without any advertisement,” Ngumbi said.
He added that the new team is reported to have gone ahead to facilitate the fraudulent scheme.
Ngumbi said the investigations are underway to inform appropriate legal action including criminal prosecution of any culpable persons and recovery of the stolen public funds.