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Nandi County officer kills self after flagging loss of millions

By Rael Jelimo
Updated Tuesday, September 26th 2017 at 00:13 GMT +3
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Kevin Kemboi, Nandi procurement officer who committed suicide citing stress at work place. PHOTO. COURTESY.

 

Police are investigating the death of a procurement officer following an ongoing audit of the county’s financial accounts.

The body of Kevin Kemboi was found hanging inside a cowshed at his home in Kabutie village, Kapngetuny location.

Before his death, Mr Kemboi worked as a procurement officer in the Departments of Health and Lands.

A note in his sitting room addressed to his wife cited stress at work.

Funds loss

“Of late, I have been having stress at my work place...,” read the note.

A day before Kemboi’s death leaked, official documents from the two departments cited massive loss of funds through illegal procurement procedures.

The leak followed the commissioning of an audit by Governor Stephen Sang to determine the extent of corruption in various departments in the county government.

In a signed document, Kemboi sought to absolve himself from blame in corruption schemes within the two departments, stating that millions had been paid to several contractors without his approval.

The leaked document, dated September 4, 2017, was addressed to the head of Supply Chain management in the county, and the Chief Officer of the Lands and Environment department.

In the document, Kemboi accused certain senior officials in the affected departments of sidelining him in the procurement process and forging his signatures to acknowledge receipt of undelivered supplies.

“Signatures were forged to pave the way for payments. I however do not acknowledge receiving goods,” he wrote.

He also listed several suspicious tenders, which he said were illegal but had received payment.

Kemboi’s boss, John Chumo, regretted the death but termed the leaked documents “fabrications”, saying he was not aware of any corrupt schemes in the lands department. “We are however calling on all anti-graft and criminal investigations agencies to investigate the death and shed light on the reasons behind it,” said Dr Chumo.

Raised concerns

Sources in the county government raised concerns that the procurement officer may have been a victim of murder by people who wanted to stop him from revealing corruption schemes.

In the police report, Kemboi’s wife, Joan Busieney, reported that her husband woke up at around 1am on Sunday, saying he was going to the sitting room to watch a football match on TV.

Later in the morning, she discovered that her husband was missing. She said she found the one-sentence suicide note on the living room table.

Police are awaiting a postmortem and forensic report to establish the cause of death.

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