Kisii County Assembly graft claims whistle blower receives death threats

KISII: A whistle blower on the corruption and embezzlement of funds allegations facing members of the Kisii County Assembly, the Speaker Kisii County Assembly Kerosi Ondieki and the county's Public Service Board has received death threats a day after he spoke to the Standard.

On Sunday night, leaflets were dropped at his home in Kisii town warning him of extrajudicial execution for reporting the theft of public funds.

"The leaflets threatened that I will be hunted down and eliminated wherever I will be found, whether in Kenya or outside the country," Peter Makori, the former Kenyan-based journalist, said.

Last Friday, Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko ordered the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) to initiate investigations into a series of scams in the county after receiving documented evidence from Makori and another civilian identified as Teresa Ondari.

The allegations include a payment of Sh600 million for "rented space" to MCAs yet they do not occupy offices outside the county assembly and extortion of job seekers by top county assembly officials.

The order for investigations comes less than a fortnight after the Court of Appeal sitting in Kisumu upheld a recommendation that the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission investigate the conduct of the Speaker of the Kisii County Assembly and the Kisii County Assembly Public Service Board.

The Speaker, Ondieki, and the Kisii County Assembly Public Service Board had gone to court opposing a ruling made on May 23, 2014 by the Industrial Court sitting in Kisumu seeking the EACC to investigate their conduct and confirming James Nyaoga as the assembly's clerk.

Nyaoga had gone to court after the Speaker and members of the Kisii County Assembly Public Service Board ejected him from office.

Omwoyo had sought a permanent injunction restraining the Speaker and Kisii County Assembly Public Service Board from appointing and/or constituting Daniel Omwoyo as the interim Clerk and Accounting Officer of Kisii County Assembly.

According to court documents, problems for the clerk started after he refused to authorize illegitimate payments requested by the Director of Legal Services, Litigation and Corporate Affairs, Gideon Nyambati.

In his letter, Nyambati had requested for Sh178, 000 to be used to pay for the renewal of practicing certificate for the year 2014 for the speaker and himself.

The Clerk wrote back refusing to authorize the payments stating that the sums related to private matters of the Director of Legal Services, Litigation and Corporate Affairs.

After refusing to agree to the requests, the Speaker a week later wrote to the Transition Authority requesting for the clerk to be recalled over what he termed as incompetency.

The judge ruled that EACC should investigate "leadership and integrity issues exposed in the case with respect to the respondents' actions and omissions that culminated into the undermining of the petitioner's performance as the Clerk, authorized officer and Accounting Officer at the Kisii County Assembly."

The judge also barred Daniel Mbaka Omwoyo from acting or purporting to act as the interim clerk of the Kisii County Assembly.

On May 21, a three-bench Court of Appeal sitting in Kisumu threw out an appeal by the Kisii County Speaker and County Public Service Board over the ruling.

On Monday, the Kisii County Speaker Kerosi Ondieki did not respond to our request for information on the allegations into his conduct. He instead, replied to one of the messages sent by the Standard stating that he was busy in hospital taking care of his sick daughter.