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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

EACC summons 30 Homa Bay officials over loss of Sh400m

Homa bay county assembly./ROBERT OMOLLO
Homa bay county assembly./ROBERT OMOLLO

At least Sh400 million is said to have been lost at the Homa Bay county assembly in two years from 2014.

The EACC in a report on Friday said the money was lost on awards of tender and payment of ghost workers in the county assembly.

The agency was investigating misappropriation of funds at .

The prime suspects in the loss are assembly clerk Bob Kephas and two senior officials in the assembly Public Service Board.

The tenders worth millions of shillings were lost through irregular payment to construction companies.

The companies are associated with people involved in the saga.

“Kephas realised later that he could use his own companies to do the construction work,” the EACC said.

The anti-graft agency said Kephas resorted to using another construction company called Nyangume, owned by his wife Evelyn Ogutu.

“The information we have is that Kephas is the one authorising payment of the money to his wife. Therefore, he is the one leading the cartel,” the EACC said.

The money was also lost through payment of ghost workers.

The EACC gave an example of Kephas wife, who is being paid Sh600,000 per month, despite not being a staff at the county assembly.

Evelyn works in the executive arm of the county government, where she is also paid. She is an administrator and is supposed to earn Sh50,000.

A number of people who do not work at the county assembly were also paid salaries based on how they relate to Kephas.

The EACC has summoned 30 assembly staff members, including eight MCAs, to record statements regarding loss of the funds.

Among those summoned are Kephas, Evelyn, principal procurement officer Titus Okore, senior legal counsel Lina Akoth, chief finance officer Caroline Sang, Edwin Omondi and Leah Leita.

They will record statements from March 23, 2017.

Three weeks ago, EACC South Nyanza regional head Abraham Kemboi raided the assembly offices and obtained documents, which he said were helpful to their investigations.

“Our investigations are headed in the right direction. We’ll ensure legal action is taken against those found culpable of the misuse of public funds,” Kemboi said.

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