EACC launches investigations into Sh40M county branding consultancy

Kisumu County Executive Member for Tourism and Sports Achy Alai (left) with Kisumu county director of culture Kenneth Otieno (centre) and director of tourism during Kisumu County talent search at Dr Aloo Gumbe in Kisumu East Constituency on May 6, 2019. [Collins Oduor, Standard]

The anti-graft agency has started investigating a Sh40 million initiative aimed at branding the county to make it attractive for tourism.

According to documents explaining the plan, the branding would see a change of the county logo, corporate colours, and other publicity designs.

It was to be carried out in two phases. Phase one, which was to be implemented during the 2018-19 financial year, was to consume half of the cost. The second phase that would take up the remaining half would be implemented during this financial year.

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has now written to the county leadership demanding that the implementation of the initiative stops.

EACC claims the tender to undertake both phases of the initiative were irregularly awarded.  

In a letter addressed to Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o and copied to County Secretary Geoffrey Kigochi, EACC’s Western Kenya Regional Manager Mogare Oira has ordered that no procurement regarding the initiative should take place.

Further notice

“Please note failure to adhere to this requirement, the commission reserves the right to take legal action on the officers who will be involved without further notice to you,” read the letter.

“Also note that this letter may be presented as evidence in court.” The letter is dated March 18, 2020. Mr Oira said the investigation was launched after his office received complaints about the project’s questionable procurement process.

The commission has now demanded original copies of at least 16 documents from the county government, which it said will enable it to conduct its probe.

County Director of Communication Aloice Ager confirmed EACC has requested for the documents with a view of launching investigations. “The county has received the EACC letter. We’ll supply the information demanded,” said Ager.