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Anti-corruption commission grills senior Nairobi County officials

By JAMES MWANGI | February 16th 2015

NAIROBI: The anti-graft body has started investigations into alleged corruption at the Nairobi County Government.

Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission investigators grilled two top county officers following allegations against them.

Nairobi County Finance Chief Jimmy Kiamba and County Secretary Lilian Ndegwa appeared before the commission on Friday, two days after Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko tabled documents alleging financial scams at City Hall.

Kiamba reportedly recorded statements over unexplained hundreds of millions of shillings frozen in his accounts. EACC spokesperson Yassin Amaro said they took statements from him regarding unexplained wealth.

The grilling came as reports emerged of controversial payments to Peposi Freight Kenya Limited by City Hall.

Already, two directors of Peposi Freight Ltd have been charged with fraud and forgery claims alongside other City Hall employees.

The two directors were arrested and released on bond, pending to be arraigned in court to face four counts of conspiracy to defraud, forgery, altering of documents and obtaining money totaling to Sh7.6million by false pretext.

Sonko said he wrote to EACC on February 2, 2014 demanding that Kiamba be interdicted. The anti-graft replied four days later promising quick action. Kiamba however refuted the claims, challenging Sonko to table evidence.

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A probe report presented to Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero indicates the firm was not contracted for such works and the documents used to register and process payments were all forged. However, the county government went ahead to sanction the payment of Sh7, 612, 540 to the fraudulent firms.

Some county senior officials have since been grilled over the contentious payment.

Detectives have established that the firm was registered on December 16, 2014 using a fake certificate and an account opened on December 20, on a Saturday when the payment was done. It is unclear how the payment was transacted on a no working day.

On December 30, 2014, after the bank raised questions, the cheque was recalled. The file has since been forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions office.

The report from the Nairobi County Assembly Public Accounts Committee recommends investigation and trial of persons responsible for loss of county funds through falsification of Dandora Dumpsite records.

Similarly, a report from the Auditor General indicates Sh337. 2million was paid to private garbage collectors out of which sh154. 59 million was paid before transition period and Sh11. 29 million paid during transition.

The audit shows over Sh166million was paid to firms that were not in the prequalified list.

Nairobi City County has perennially been plagued by multimillion financial scams revolving around fraud and ghost supplies. Auditors revealed that rogue contractors have devised crafty ways of fleecing the county through falsification of records.

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