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Bungoma wheelbarrow procurement team put on defence

By Jack Murima | Published Thu, January 25th 2018 at 00:00, Updated January 24th 2018 at 23:56 GMT +3
One of the wheelbarrows that was at the centre of the procurement saga. [Chrispen Sechere, Standard]

A court has ruled that seven people facing corruption charges relating to the procurement of wheelbarrows for the county have a case to answer.

Chief Magistrate Bildad Ochieng’ put the suspects, who were members of the tender committee that oversaw the procurement, on their defence after the prosecution closed its case citing fraud in the inflated wheelbarrow prices.

A 2015 audit report indicated that the county government procured 10 wheelbarrows for slightly more than Sh1 million.

In a preliminary objection through lawyer Sylvester Mandialo, the accused successfully applied to have the matter dropped, saying the investigations were not properly or constitutionally conducted.

Mr Mandialo said the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission was not properly constituted during investigations, and that the suspects were charged a few days after retired Bishop Eliud Wabukala was appointed chairman.

State counsel Paul Ochieng’ opposed the application, saying investigations commenced and ended while the commission was fully in office.

The accused include John Juma Matsanza, Howard Lukadilu, Oscar Onyango Ojwang and Ayub Tuvaka China.

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Others are Arlington Shikuku Omushieni, Jacquiline Nanjala Namukali and Reuben Cheruiyot Rutto.

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