EACC probing water malpractices in counties after firms accused of graft

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission has said investigations targeting water and sanitation companies are underway following cases of rampant sleaze.

EACC chief executive officer Twalib Mbarak disclosed that they are probing massive corruption, malpractices and poor management by the companies that have cost over 1 billion public funds at the county level.

"In exercise of preventive mandate, the commission has noted extensive malpractices in management of water and sanitation companies which has resulted in losses and negative working capital," said Mr Mbarak in a letter to all governors and Water and Sanitation Principal Secretary.

He said reports from various oversight bodies show corruption in some counties leading to water challenges.

In some instances, Mbarak pointed out, ownership and management of water services providers are transferred to private persons thereby denying the devolved units water revenue.

He noted blatant disregard for public procurement laws and regulations has led to the loss of public funds through collusion, overpricing of goods and services, unqualified firms and conflict of interest.

Further, the companies have been defying laws on the recruitment of officers. "The commission has found irregular recruitment of staff without involving the County Public Service Boards," said Mbarak.

He accused the companies of charging exorbitantly forcing customers to resort to illegal connections of water and bribery.