Sunday, Nov 23rd 2014

Laikipia Governor grilled over Sh3m office tender

Friday, January 17, 2014 - 00:00 -- BY KINGS WAWERU
QUESTIONED: Laikipia Governor Joshua Irungu with pupils at Tigithi Primary School in Laikipia Central subcounty when he visited the school last year. Photo/Kings Waweru
QUESTIONED: Laikipia Governor Joshua Irungu with pupils at Tigithi Primary School in Laikipia Central subcounty when he visited the school last year. Photo/Kings Waweru

Laikipia Governor Joshua Irungu has been interrogated by a team from the Controller of Budget's office over irregular deals in the county. A source privy to the investigations told the Star yesterday that Irungu spent close to three hours on Monday defending himself before the officers over a Sh3.3 million tender award for the construction of his office at Kinamba market.

He was also reportedly questioned on procurement of eight vehicles from CMC Motors, irregular employment of 188 workers in Rumuruti Township and the sacking of the county financial director mid last year.

On Tuesday, the investigating team led by chief internal auditor Joseph Tulula, was joined by another team from the Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission who interrogated two officers at the county secretary’s office.

“It is true we were at the Laikipia county government headquarters in Nanyuki town but I cannot tell you about our mission unless I get permission from my boss,” Tulula told the Star on the phone.

This was the second time since November last year that the EACC officers interrogated the county government officers. On Tuesday, they also interrogated a former revenue officer at Rumuruti Township, Josphine Njoki.

Others in the investigating team from the Controller of Budget's office were chief fiscal analyst Mark Kipkoech, legal officer Waweru Tuti, the controller in charge of Nyandarua and Laikipia counties Samuel Njihia and a Patrick Kebiro.

Others grilled by the team are Finace executive Joel Wamichwe, his Roads counterpart Virginia Nderitu, the county Public Service Board chairperson Wairimu Mutonyi and surveyor a Manyara.

“They only asked me about the irregular allocation of plots at Rumuruti and wanted to know what way forward,” Nderitu said when contacted. It is alleged that the firm awarded the tender to build Irungu's office was not prequalified by the county tender committee.

The investigators also wanted to know why the firm was paid Sh1.85 million from a bank account of the now defunct Laikipia county council, which was supposed to have been frozen.