Kil­ifi Assem­bly sus­pends busi­ness to probe graft

MCAs will fo­cus on loss of Sh51 mil­lion from the county’s main ac­count

The Star (Kenya) - - Front Page - ELIAS YAA @yaa­juma

The Kil­ifi assem­bly has sus­pended busi­ness to con­cen­trate on al­leged cor­rup­tion and ir­reg­u­lar spend­ing within the county gov­ern­ment.

Assem­bly speaker Jimmy Kahindi on Fri­day said the re­cent al­le­ga­tions in­volv­ing county of­fi­cials calls for spe­cial at­ten­tion.

Tak­ing cen­tre stage will be the re­ported loss of Sh51 mil­lion from the county gov­ern­ment ac­count and the Education depart­ment’s un­spent Sh1.2 bil­lion meant for 206 modern ECDE cen­tres.

Kahindi said the assem­bly will from yes­ter­day con­cen­trate on un­rav­el­ling the mys­tery rock­ing the county.

The money was al­legedly si­phoned from the Kil­ifi county main ac­count at the Cen­tral Bank of Kenya through the In­te­grated Fi­nan­cial Man­age­ment Sys­tem and in­ter­net bank­ing.

“We have agreed as a House that from Mon­day [yes­ter­day] only com­mit­tees will be sit­ting to in­ter­ro­gate and in­ves­ti­gate the theft of more than Sh51 mil­lion from the county gov­ern­ment. We will also sit and make a re­port on the Education depart­ment, which has been ac­cused of de­lay­ing pro­jects.” The speaker said no stone will be left un­turned.

The sus­pen­sion of House busi­ness comes amid up­roar from the public, blam­ing the assem­bly for do­ing noth- ing as the county loses mil­lions of shillings in du­bi­ous deal­ings.

To­day, the assem­bly com­mit­tee of the whole house chaired by the speaker will ques­tion 10 of­fi­cials sus­pended after their pass­words were used in ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties in­volv­ing Sh51 mil­lion.

“We have 23 com­mit­tees, which have been car­ry­ing out var­i­ous in­ves­ti­ga­tions in dif­fer­ent de­part­ments. We want to give them time to make their re­ports and ta­ble them. From Thurs­day to Satur­day the Com­mit­tee on Education will make its re­port on the in­ves­ti­ga­tions over the un­spent Sh1.2 bil­lion in the Education depart­ment,” Kahindi said.

The re­port will be tabled on Mon­day or Tues­day next week, he aid.

Dur­ing last week’s sit­ting, the assem­bly ex­pressed fears that more cash could have been lost.

“It is shock­ing that a com­pany gets a ten­der to build a class­room but the money is paid to a to­tally dif­fer­ent com­pany. This is lax­ity from the Fi­nance depart­ment, we must have it stream­lined or we will con­tinue los­ing money,” Jilore MCA Daniel Chai said.

The assem­bly is also ex­pected to sum­mon man­agers of banks where the money was wired and with­drawn with­out their rais­ing an alarm.

“This could be a big chain, be­cause there must be some­one who phys­i­cally walked into the bank to with­draw the money. The law says you can­not walk into a bank and with­draw more than Sh1 mil­lion with­out the bank rais­ing the red flag,” Kahindi said.

/ ALPHONCE GARI

The new look of Kil­ifi county assem­bly. The assem­bly has sus­pended its busi­ness to probe cor­rup­tion al­le­ga­tions

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