Tobiko directs Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission to probe Kisii County Assembly over corruption

Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko has ordered for investigations into alleged corruption and embezzlement of funds at the Kisii County Assembly.

Tobiko also wants the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) to investigate MCAs over allegations that they are receiving Sh600 million for “rented space” yet they do not occupy offices outside the county assembly.

He further wants the EACC to probe allegations of abuse of office by top county assembly officials.

The DPP’s directive was captured in a letter dated June 3 sent to EACC chief executive officer Halakhe Waqo.

In the letter, the DPP says that he received complaints from two civilians from the county namely Peter Makori and Teresa Ondari.

Makori is a former Kenyan-based journalist who now resides in the US while Ms. Ondari lives in the county.

Makori sent to the DPP documented evidence of widespread looting of taxpayers’ money and extortion of job seekers by top county assembly officials.

The DPP said upon perusing the documents sent to him by Mr. Makori and another one from one Teresa Ondari, he believed there were reasonable grounds for the EACC to launch investigations at the county assembly.

In a letter dated May 5, Makori asked the DPP to investigate a wide range of misappropriation of public funds, starting with alleged theft of Sh9 million meant for insurance cover involving county assembly officials and an insurance agent based in Kisii town.

Makori also asked the DPP to investigate alleged extortion of hundreds of thousands of shillings from job seekers to secure employment almost one year ago. Despite individuals pocketing more than Sh100 million from job seekers, the employees have never been paid a penny yet they are still working at the county.

Sources at Kisii County assembly intimated that a probe committee appointed by Governor James Ongwae, had recommended that the more than 400 employees be dismissed because they were recruited corruptly. The recommendation by the probe committee which was headed by David Kombo has not yet been adhered to, apparently for fear of inevitable backlash.

Makori told the DPP that based on available evidence; he believed the public may have lost a total of Sh150 million on top of the unaccounted Sh30 million for the insurance scheme.

Makori questioned circumstances under which the Kisii County Assembly’s Justice and Legal Affairs committee recommended the removal from office of all the assembly’s public service board members but left out the Speaker, Mr. Kerosi Ondieki.

He said, “Ordinarily, the Speaker who should take responsibility of these scandals seems to have worked hard to insulate himself from blame.”

The DPP was also asked to investigate alleged questionable expenditure of Sh600 million spent by county assembly officials on office spaces outside Kisii town purported to be for use by MCAs. The MCAs allegedly never moved into the “rented” premises.