A team formed to scrutinise pending bills has discovered a scheme to steal Sh157 million through suspect water trucking contracts.
The task force that was studying Sh2 billion claims inherited from the previous administration cited impropriety in the management of a water trucking programme in December 2016.
The programme started after a prolonged drought swept across the county killing hundreds of animals and pushing pastoral communities out of their villages in search of water and pasture.
The most affected areas were Wayu, Chifiri Bangale, Madogo Haroresa and Waldena on the border of Tana River and Kitui counties.
But the team found that some officials falsified documents and inflated figures in the multi-million shilling programme that ran between 2016 and early 2017.
It also emerged that the entire programme lacked clear guidelines and did not follow the law.
According to the report, there was no documentation to support and justify payments while in some cases, there was massive inflation of claims and distances covered by the trucks to influence monies paid to contractors.
Some contractors were also paid before delivering the water.
Receiving a report from the seven-member team on Friday, Governor Dhadho Godhana said action would be taken against officials and contractors adversely mentioned in the report.
Although Dr Godhana declined to name the suspects, among those likely to be investigated are former county officers said to have built apartments in Hola, Malindi and Mombasa during their tenure, procurement officers and a number of county directors.
"We shall do as much as possible to implement the recommendations," he said.
Briefing the media after a meeting with the task force members, Godhana said his administration would only pay genuine contractors out of the Sh289 million bills that have been presented for payment.
He said a closer scrutiny of the bills revealed that the county owed only Sh132 million.
Godhana inherited pending bills amounting to Sh2 billion from his predecessor, Husein Dado, including a Sh289 million debt arising from water trucking.
He had declined to pay the water trucking bill before the claims were verified.
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