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County trains guns on employees taking bribes from contractors

Elgeyo Marakwet Governor Wisley Rotich. [Christopher Kipsang, Standard]

Elgeyo Marakwet Governor Wisley Rotich has warned procurement officers against demanding kickbacks from contractors.

Mr Rotich said he had received information that senior county staff were asking for 10 per cent of contract value before awarding them.

The county chief also warned staff against awarding contracts to themselves and their cronies, saying those guilty will be sacked.

“I am aware there are staff who ask for 10 per cent from contractors so that they can be awarded tenders. Such staff risk sacking, prosecution and public shaming,” the governor warned on Saturday at a staff meeting in Iten.

The meeting, which brought together staff from the headquarters and the four sub-counties of Marakwet East, Marakwet West, Keiyo North and Keiyo South, was aimed at formulating new Standard Operating Procedures on the implementation of county projects.“Awarding projects verbally, receiving kick-backs, collusion with contractors, demanding money from them before paying them, issuing certificates of completion for incomplete projects will not be tolerated,” Mr Rotich said.

Rotich cited delayed procurement and implementation of projects, low absorption rates, shoddy works, conflict of interest, and malpractices in project verification and payment as setbacks that have derailed projects.

The meeting follows a projects verification exercise the governor ordered across the county last month, which showed that a number of projects had been poorly done while others were incomplete yet complete payments had been made.

Among the projects flagged include Kabirirsus ECD where a contractor had done shoddy work. “It is unfortunate that someone authorised payments to a contractor whose building is almost collapsing. This is what kickbacks can do,” he said.

He said the county staff forum sought to identify problems that have dogged the implementation of projects, as well as propose solutions as the county gears up to begin implementation of 2022/23 Financial Year projects.