EACC probes Rasanga's government over Sh1 billion roads

Siaya Governor Cornel Rasanga. The EACC is probing construction of roads worth Sh1 billion in the county. [Photo, File]

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) have launched investigations into the construction of roads worth Sh1 billion in Siaya County.

The Standard has established that detectives have pitched tent at the County Headquarters since Monday and have been seeking relevant documents in relation to the investigations.

Kisumu Regional EACC manager Ignatius Wekesa confirmed to The Standard that they were investigating the construction of several roads across the county.

“It is true our officers are on the ground since Monday to establish some suspicious activities in relation to the construction of the said roads,” said Wekesa.

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The officer noted that some of the issues of contention include the companies that have been winning the tenders for construction as well as the tendering process.

“The tenders were awarded to particular company but investigations are still ongoing,” said Wekesa.

The move comes as the county government plans to upgrade several roads and have included them in this year’s development budget which was capped at Sh2.5 billion.

The planned projects includes the upgrading of the 10km Bar Kowino-Nango road at Sh350 million, the 2km Opoda-Nyakasumbi road at Sh70 million, and the 6km Segere-Ogaso road at Sh210 million.

About two weeks ago, residents irked by the failure by the County Governments to tarmack some of the roads staged protests and accused their MCAs of blocking plans to construct the roads.

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 One of the investigators  who sought anonymity said that they have questioned several officers at the county and will spend the next few days concluded their investigations.

“We may be forced to work even on Jamhuri Day because of the nature of the case,” said the detective.

Among those that have been put on the spot include officers in the procurement department as well as those that are working in the department of Roads.

The roads include those that have been listed in budgets of number financial years with the detectives questioning the procurement procedures and the award of tender for the constructions.

The investigations is set to give Governor Cornel Rasanga a fresh headache barely a few days after the High Court in Kisumu dismissed his list of cabinet that he presented to the County Assembly a few months ago.

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The users of the Segere-Ogaso road, which connects Ugunja and Alego/Usonga constituencies, held protests against their MCAs Leonard Oriaro (Central Alego ward) and his Ugunja ward counterpart Odero Rambula whom they accused of blocking Rasanga’s plans to tarmac the road.

Speaking to The Standard, the angry residents demanded that the road be tarmacked, noting that it would ease accessibility and boost trade.

“We are the ones who suffer on this road especially during the rainy seasons. We are warning the MCAs to stop cheap the arguments that have been doing rounds that Rasanga only wants to tarmac the road because it passes near his home,” said a resident.

The protest comes barely a week after boda boda operators in Bondo sub-county also held demonstrations to demand for the tarmacking of the Bondo-Kopolo-Nango road, which had also been earmarked for construction through the supplementary budget that the MCAs shot down.

But Mr Oriaro dismissed the insinuation that they were sabotaging the executive. “We are aware that the governor has resorted to sponsoring youths to hold demonstrations against the MCAs and we are warning him that this is bound to fail.”

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Apart from the road constructions, EACC detectives also told The Standard that they are investigating the purchase of relief food by Rasanga’s administration.

Rasanga was unavailable for comment as his mobile phone went unanswered.

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EACCEthics and Anti-Corruption CommissionSiaya CountyThe StandardJamhuri DayGovernor Cornel Rasanga