The Star (Kenya)
DPP ORDERS ARREST OF GARISSA GOVERNOR ALI KORANE OVER SH233 MILLION PROBE
He becomes the sixth sitting governor to be hauled to court
The DPP has ordered the immediate arrest and prosecution of Garissa Governor Ali Korane and four top county officials over Sh233 million grant fund.
Korane becomes the sixth sitting governor to be hauled to the corridors of justice as the government tightens the noose on corruption in counties.
Korane, a first-time governor, is accused of colluding with the county officials to illegally divert Sh233,506,000 grant given by the World Bank to finance an urban programme.
Investigations by the Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission revealed that the funds were irregularly diverted from the county coffers.
The money was to be used on specified projects under the Kenya Urban Support Programme.
The cash was to fund the construction of Qurahey market, rehabilitation of Garissa Township CBD roads, construction of stormwater drainage system and pedestrian walkways.
However, a probe by EACC detectives revealed that the money was diverted and misappropriated by Garissa county officials.
After examining an investigation file by the EACC, an independent team appointed by DPP Noordin Haji recommended that Korane and four other officials be charged.
The county officials are Finance chief officer Ibrahim Nur Malow, head of Treasury Mohamed Ahmed Abdullahi, county executive officer for Municipality Abdi Shale and head of accounting at the municipal Abdullahi Aden.
Korane and the officials face charges which include abuse of office, conspiracy to commit an economic crime, willful failure to comply with the law and misappropriation of public funds.
On Thursday, EACC chief executive officer Twalib Mbarak told the Star that the commission will pursue governors implicated in graft without favour.
“The EACC will pursue all governors implicated in corruption and theft until the rot is fully addressed,” he said.
“Governors’ attempt to muzzle and frustrate the media is futile.”
According to the DPP, Korane abdicated his responsibilities as mandated by facilitating the misappropriation of the funds.
The DPP said Korane failed to deposit with the county assembly speaker the intergovernmental participation memorandum agreement he signed with the Kenya Urban Support Programme and the national government.
This, Haji concluded, led to lack of oversight by the county assembly of Garissa, leading to the misappropriation of the millions.
“Instead of utilising the funds for the intended specific municipal projects, the money was instead diverted on different occasions between February 2019 and September 2019,” Haji said in a statement.
He revealed that he appointed an independent team of prosecutors to review the EACC file to eliminate conflict of interest given that he comes from Garissa county.