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

- JAMES MBAKA Business · Corruption · Crime · White-collar Crime · Politics · Garissa · World Bank · Kenya · Democratic Progressive Party · Ahmed Abdullahi

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.

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 ?? /FILE ?? Garissa Governor Ali Korane
/FILE Garissa Governor Ali Korane
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