Task force unearths Sh157 million water scam in Tana River

Tana River County Governor Dhadho Gaddae Godhana in an earlier event. He received graft investigation report from the team formed to investigate Sh157 million water scam in the County. [File, Standard]
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.

SEE ALSO :Drought fears hit Kilifi residents

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.

SEE ALSO :Leaders want census halted in Tana River over skewed hiring

Name suspects

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.

SEE ALSO :Plot owners to lose land over unpaid rates

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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tana river countygraft probecorruption chargesGovernor Dhadho Gaddae Godhana