Authority now blames EACC for dragging probe

Lake Basin Development Authority (LBDA) Chairman Odoyo Owidi with other board members addresses press on April 4, 2019. [Denish Ochieng/Standard]

Top officials of the controversial Sh4.1 billion Lake Basin Development Authority Mall (LBDA) have blamed Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) for dragging investigations into the multi-billion shilling project.

The project is in a spot for having been built at an inflated cost. EACC estimates that nearly Sh2 billion could have been stolen in the cost.

A questionable loan of Sh2.5 billion secured from Co-Operative Bank using a title deed of the mall's land is also of concern.

The officials yesterday told a Senate committee that the mall in Kisumu lacks tenants because of negativity from the inquests.

“Six years down the line, EACC has not taken anybody to court. It should stop attracting negative publicity to the mall through its unending investigations,” said LBDA Chair Odoyo Owidi (right).

Kisumu Senator Fred Outa petitioned the Senate Committee on Devolution and Inter-Governmental Relations on the protracted investigations. He claimed there could be a deliberate effort to frustrate payments to the contractor, who built the mall so that it could be auctioned.

The committee has since summoned EACC to appear before it next week Tuesday.