Corruption

Kiambu Governor Nyoro In Bribery Saga

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Barely one month after an Audit Report revealed that Kiambu governor James Nyoro had spent a whopping Sh1.69 million to buy 11 mobile phones for unknown individuals, the county chief is again on the spot for failing to pay contractors and demanding 10pc kickbacks before authorising payment.

About 70 contractors who were contracted between 2017 and 2019 for an ambitious programme to light up the county said they were issued tenders worth over Sh490 million but they have not received payment even after completing the job. They said they did the projects to the required standards and satisfaction of the county government which after inspection issued them with certificates of completion.

Despite the county government having taken over the completed projects after subjecting them to numerous inspections and audits, including one by the Auditor General, the contractors said the county is yet to pay them. They noted that Nyoro has ignored a directive by Uhuru Kenyatta, who hails from the region, to counties to pay suppliers before embarking on new projects.

James Nyoro

They accused Nyoro of paying a company by the name Rerec Sh60 million to embark on a new street-lighting project. They added that a company belonging to Nyoro’s cousin, Stephen Karanja Kung’u going, by the name Site General Contractors Limited, which was registered in 2019, has been paid over Sh50 million for minor jobs, noting that it was a conduit for siphoning funds from the county.

The contractors demanded the county government to honour its obligation and pay them for services and work rendered. “Let it be noted that majority of these firms are SMEs and had to seek financing to aid them in executing the works and now find themselves unable to service their obligations and are facing the threat of being auctioned or have already been auctioned,” they said.

They added that the governor and his cronies have been demanding a kickback of 10pc of the value of each contract for payments to be approved. “We have, therefore, instructed our lawyers to write to the Treasury and the ministry of Devolution to stop any further disbursement of funds to the county of Kiambu until they commit to pay all streetlight works executed in the county,” they said.

William Kabogo

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“We have further issued intent to prosecute, should we not receive any response to our demands within the next 14 days and instructed our lawyers to pursue any and every legal means possible to recover our dues from the county government,” they added. Last month, former Kiambu governor William Kabogo voiced his concerns over corruption at the county.

Through a tweet, the former governor wondered why his successors had decided to go on a rampage as far as misusing public funds is concerned. “I avoid speaking about Kiambu but I wonder, did these folks replace me to work for the people or work for themselves through stealing…? he tweeted in an apparent reference to Nyoro after he was accused of using a Sh1.69 million to purchase mobile phones. Kabogo further told the corrupt leaders to beware of prison: Chungeni, Kamiti si mahali poa, he ended the tweet.

According to an audit report, Nyoro used Sh1.6 million to purchase mobile phones. The report dubbed ‘Management Letter’, said Nyoro made the irregular purchases in the 2019/2020 fiscal year. “The list of whom the mobile phones were issued to was not provided for audit. The store records; S3, S11, S12, and S13 for the phones were not provided for audit. Therefore, it could not be confirmed whether the mobile phones were recorded/entered in the stores,” the report read in part.

Ferdinand Waititu

The mobile phones purchased by the county were; 2 iPhone XS (Max) each for Sh198, 440, an iPhone X for Sh198,000, and an Ipad at a cost of Sh170,689, 2 Samsung S10s at a cost of Sh146,160 each, a Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and an Ipad Pro at a cost of Sh145,000 each, and a Samsung Galaxy S4 at a cost of Sh84,100. The report indicated that all the phones surpassed the Sh80,000 cap advised by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission. The letter was presented to the county executive committee member for finance, Mburu Kang’ethe with the inscription, “the purpose of this letter is to bring to your attention the findings that were revealed during the audit.” The audit report also revealed several other suspicious financial activities in the county for the financial year 2019/2020.

In January 2020, Ferdinand Waititu was impeached as governor after the senate upheld the decision of Kiambu county assembly which had voted to oust him. Waititu was facing three charges among them, gross violation of the constitution, abuse of office and crime under the national law.


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