EACC starts investigations into Bungoma jericans saga

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has launched investigations into the controversy surrounding the purchase of 600 20-litre jerricans at Sh10,000 each by the county government.

Besides the jerricans, the county government also bought personal protective equipment, including face masks, gloves and thermos guards at questionable prices.

The items were meant to enhance the county's preparedness in the fight against coronavirus spread.

Yassin Amaro, a commissioner at the anti-graft body, said yesterday they had started gathering crucial evidence that would help unravel the matter.

“We have embarked on investigations with the intention of prosecuting officers involved in the syndicate. We shall leave no stone unturned," he said.

Mr Amaro said the county would serve as an example to other devolved units that may be tempted to misuse resources raised towards combating Covid-19.

He said the affected officers would be arrested and arraigned once EACC has gathered evidence.

The move comes barely three days after Governor Wycliffe Wangamati absolved himself from blame over the purchase of the jerricans, insisting the containers were a donation to his administration by well-wishers and the Bungoma Business Community.

However, the county could not give names of the well-wishers.

EACC investigations have narrowed down to 10 officials who cashed cheques worth Sh6.986 million in a day at a local bank.

Governor Wangamati has insisted that the county received 368 jerricans as a donation from friends.

The jerricans were to be distributed to at least 600 markets for hand-washing as a measure to control the spread of coronavirus.

“Let it be known that we don’t have 600 jerricans out there but 368," said Wangamati.