The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has filed a suit in the High Court to recover Sh21,697,500 allegedly embezzled by a private company.
In a statement by Head of Corporate Affairs & Communication Eric Ngumbi at EACC, the private company, Mulwa Farm Limited, colluded with nine (9) officials of the State Department of Correctional services.
“During the Financial Years 2016/2017, 2017/2018 and 2018/2019, Mulwa Farm Limited, fraudulently and illegally received a total sum of Ksh21,697,500.00/= from the State Department of Correctional Services on account of goods (food and rations) not supplied,” said Ngumbi.
The Commission says it investigated allegations of embezzlement and misappropriation of public funds, abuse of office, breach of trust, and fraud.
“A fraudulent scheme was perpetrated jointly by all of the Defendants, involving the making of false procurement documents including requisition forms, Local Purchase Orders (LPO), delivery notes, inspection and acceptance certificates, and Invoices which were used to support payment vouchers,” said Ngumbi.
The commission further argues that the goods in question were not supplied.
“Payment vouchers as supported by the falsified documents were then used by the above-mentioned public officers at the State Department of Correctional Services to effect payments amounting to Sh21,697,500.00/= to Mulwa Farm Limited for goods not supplied,” said Ngumbi.
The statement further added that despite the EACC demand that they return the funds, the individuals failed to comply thus prompting the filing of the instant suit.
“On 16th August 2022, EACC issued a demand Notice to Mulwa Farm Limited, and nine (9) public officials to remit the above amount. The Defendants failed to pay back the amount as demanded by EACC prompting the Commission to file a recovery suit in the High Court on 4th October, 2022,” said Ngumbi.
EACC cried foul over efforts to frustrate accountability and transparency efforts in government transactions.
“EACC notes that despite the stringent and multiple stages of authentication and approval of payments in Government financial expenditure, cases of individual public officers embezzling huge amounts of public funds continue to thrive. This points to possible collusion, connivance or abdication of duty by Accounting Officers.” Said Ngumbi.
The integrity watchdog called upon all accounting officers of public entities to take up their responsibilities in protecting the public funds entrusted under their care and control.