Senior Kericho officials linked to Sh39 million Kazi Mtaani scandal

A section of Kericho town. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

Ward Representatives in Kericho want the Sh39 million County Kazi Mtaani project investigated.

The County Assembly recommendations came after the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) announced that it had opened a probe into the tendering and payment of the money to five companies linked to senior county officials.

EACC, in communication to the media, said it had opened investigations into tenders awarded to seven private companies owned or linked to the top county officials in the Executive.

On Tuesday, a report by a special committee tabled in the Assembly by Kapsaos MCA Paul Bii recommended that the five companies namely Eagleris, Edikiche Investment Limited, Sitron General Works, Vetken Enterprises Limited and Morich Enterprises Limited be investigated.

The report noted that the companies were given work despite not being pre-qualified contrary to the Public Procurement and Assets Disposal Regulations 2020 (PPADA).

The MCAs established procurement irregularities in the award of the tenders, and that the payments were unlawful.

The findings of the committee recommended that the work done by Kihaki and Edikiche companies be re-evaluated for duplication of works and a recovery process be instituted for works duplicated.

The report further recommended that Toboit Enterprises Limited, Morich Enterprises Limited and Skyridge Business be investigated for work done and action be taken.

"Out of the 46 days actual contract, the contractors worked for only 26 days but were paid for the whole 46 days period. They should be investigated and the process of recovery instituted," said Bii.

The report further directed that pending payment of Sh2,757,349 to Skyridge Business be halted until the authenticity of the bill is ascertained.

The committee tasked the accounting officers of Litein and Kericho municipalities to follow up with the contractors and ensure all the youths, women and vulnerable people who were engaged in the Kazi Mtaani project are paid.

The report recommended that the payment be done within 90 days after the verification and validation report is submitted to the Assembly.

The committee established that a total of Sh100,317,144 was budgeted for both municipalities in financial years  2022/2023 and 2023/2024 for development and recurrent expenditure. 

The amount comprises Sh45.5 million for the financial year 2022/2023 and Sh54,817,144 for the financial year 2023/2024.

However, in the two financial years, the documents submitted to the committee revealed that a total of Sh39,336,872.42 and Sh36,579,523.42 was paid to 14 companies in the two financial years respectively.

The committee further observed that there was no specific amount allocated for the Kazi Mtaani project.

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