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Kisumu report accuses officials of looting funds

By Protus Onyango | Published Sat, February 21st 2015 at 00:00, Updated February 23rd 2015 at 12:34 GMT +3
Governor Jack Ranguma

Kisumu County Assembly and the County Executive are characterised by mutual suspicion, hostility, non-cooperation and backstabbing, according to a report by a task force.

The report by a task force appointed by the ODM and chaired by Oduor Ong'wen states that 90 per cent of the conflicts and tensions in Kisumu County Assembly revolve around procurement of goods and services for the assembly.

The report revealed high levels of corruption and misuse of public resources where MCAs openly flout procurement laws while awarding themselves or their cronies' tenders.

The report was handed over to party leader Raila Odinga on Wednesday, and Raila has handed it over to investigative agencies to nab the culprits.

In its finding, the report notes that each of the key protagonists; the Speaker Ann Adul, the Governor- Jack Ranguma and the Leader of Majority Edwin Anayo, do not appreciate the spirit of devolution and the principles as outlined in the Constitution. Each of them is, to a great extent, driven by the need for personal advancement or self preservation. This is what has led to turf wars, fought either directly or by proxy, the report states.

Those accused:

Governor Jack Ranguma

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According to the report, Speaker Adul feels her problems started right away as the Governor was out to undermine her from the onset. According to her, the Governor's office decided to use financial strangulation to settle scores and make her work difficult.

For instance, the Speaker says that the sitting allowances of MCAs at Sh3,000 per sitting of, eight sittings per week (Sh24,000) was not paid in the period March –June 2013, making MCAs financially vulnerable. The Governor, it is claimed, used this vulnerability to "buy" the MCAs. According to the Speaker, the governor used Sh2.2 million to engineer her impeachment.

It was also alleged that the Governor's office had frustrated a proposed investment in Waste

Management by a German firm because the Governor allegedly wanted a kickback amounting to Sh100 million, which the investor, a firm called Madam R, is said to have declined. Madam R is said to be now implementing the same project in Busia, Meru and Murang'a.

In defence of the Executive, the Governor and chief officers dismissed the allegations while the deputy governor supported some and dismissed others. The governor admitted that Adul was not his preferred candidate for the position of Speaker, but once she was elected, he put the matter behind him as a democrat.

"I have never solicited bribes from Madam R or any investor,"Ranguma said.

Speaker Ann Adul

MCAs accused her of delaying their allowances, which are a very critical part of their income. She is also accused of being partial in nominating members for tasks with allowances and trips with generous per diem allowances. She was accused of abusing the process of vetting and approval Executive nominees to fight her wars with the governor.

 

The report alleges that Adul unprocedurally purchased  furniture for her official residence. The Assembly's chief financial officer was allegedly asked to provide duly signed blank cheques, which were later used to the tune of Sh3.7 million. Later, a sum of Sh80,000 was allegedly paid for transportation of the furniture but the goods were not brought to Kisumu.

Contacted to comment on the matter, Speaker Adul echoed Anayo's sentiments saying the matters are being investigated by other constitutional bodies.

"I can't comment on a report that I haven't seen, but I know that issues of procurement are being investigated by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC)," Adul said.

She termed the allegation of her accepting money in relation to the procurement of goods and services as speculation.

The Leader of Majority Edwin Anayo

He is accused to be the conduit through which the Governor's cash hand-outs to the MCAs are channelled. The task force alleges that between June 6, and June 24, last year, the Assembly paid a total of Sh17.3 million to Factor Connect.

"As far as I am concerned, I have not influenced any awarding of tenders. I can't comment about Factor Connect because the company is being investigated by EACC) for corruption related matters," Anayo said.

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