Computer theft linked to Kisumu’s Sh50m scandal
QUESTIONS have emerged over the recent theft of computers from government offices in Kisumu. The more than 30 computers were stolen from the Ministry of Youth and Sports offices at the Kisumu East District headquarters and the State Law Office in the area. The theft has taken a new twist with claims that the loss at the Sports office may have been an attempt to conceal vital data regarding the close to Sh50 million for upgrading of Moi Stadium in Kisumu.
Yesterday, the Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission confirmed it is investigating the use of part of the money and the procurement procedures in the awarding of tenders for the work. This is after local leaders and residents through the Kisumu City Residence Voice chairman Audi Ogada raised queries on the tendering process.
Kisumu East chief procurement officer Luke Midamba could not be reached for comment as several attempts at his office and phone calls to him bore no fruits. “The procurement process for the works was not transparent and offends the Public Procurement and Disposal Act, ” said Kisumu East MP Olago Aluoch yesterday. ''The noble project for the Kisumu stadium's upgrade is already proving to be another conduit for loss of funds meant for the public and we are asking the Public Procurement Oversight Authority to investigate the matter,'' said the MP.
He said he authority should stop all work for the project for evaluation. Ogada alleged that there was conflict of interest in the tendering process for the works, noting that the tender was awarded to a company associated with the Provincial auditor Julius Pollo. Ogada faulted claims that already Sh11.6 million has been spent in the ongoing works at the facility adding that nothing tangible has been done.
However, the Provincial auditor Julius Pollo denied Ogada’s remarks that the tendering process favoured him. Pollo challenged those making the allegations to seek for clarification from the Attorney General’s chambers. “They should first move to the AG’s chambers to get clarification on the company awarded the contract whether it is associated with me or not,” said Pollo.
Pollo’s sentiments that clarification on the tendering process can be sought from the AG’s office was also seen by Ogada as mischievous being that another 23 set of computers was also stolen from the Province’s State law office last Week. “We sense a sinister motive since where the officer is telling us to seek clarification, some computers with vital information has also been stolen,” said Ogada. Assistant deputy public prosecutor in the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Patrick Gumo, said they lost vital data in the theft of the computers from the State law office.
Even as the theft of the computers from the government offices is linked to the move to conceal some data regarding the stadium upgrade in Kisumu, Nyanza Provincial director of sports Zachary Okora denied the allegations and maintained that the computers stolen from the Ministry of youths and sports offices in Kisumu belonged to the youth and not the sports department. “We share the same ministry but are two different departments hence we should not link the theft of the computers to the ongoing work at the stadium,” said Okora. World football team FIFA, the ministry of youth and sports and the Municipal council of Kisumu have partnered in a bid to give the Kisumu’s Moi stadium a facelift.