APPEAL TO EACC AND THE DCI

MCAs call for probe into detention of Homa Bay fire engines

Say Sh3.8 million was paid for clearance fee yet vehicles still detained at the Port of Mombasa

In Summary

•Some Homa Bay MCAs have called on the investigative agencies to probe the detention of the county two firefighting engines at Mombasa port.

•The fire started at about 6:30 pm when Shambi and his family members were in the house. Shambi said no one was injured but that everything was burnt down.

Homa Bay MCAs have called on the ethics watchdog and Director of Public Prosecutions to investigate the detention of two county firefighting engines at the Port of Mombasa.

 

The ward representatives said they engines were donated to the county government by Cumbria County Council in the UK in May.

The council also donated an ambulance to the county.

 

But the vehicles have been detained at a yard in the Port of Mombasa because they have not been cleared, the MCAs said.

On Sunday, county commissioner Harman Shambi's residence was burnt in a fire whose cause was not immediately established.

The fire started at about 6:30pm when Shambi and his family members were in the house. Shambi said no one was injured but that everything was burnt down.

MCAs Juma Awuor (Homa Bay East), Julius Nyambok (Homa Bay Central) and Mola Ochola (South Kasipul) said property would have been saved if the county's fire engines were in the town.

Ochola who is the county assembly's disaster and emergency management committee chairman, said the engines have not been released yet the county had paid Sh3.8 million for their clearance.

 

“This is a matter of urgency and residents need to know why the engines can’t reach home. Let the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission and the DCI unearth the reasons why they are detained at the port,” Ochola said.

In June, Deputy Governor Hamilton Orata announced the had received two fire engines with a capacity of  18,000 liters each.

 

“At least 15 youth would be trained on how to operate the machines to curb frequent fire outbreaks,” Orata said.

On Monday, Awuor accused the county government of deceiving residents. He said some officials in the executive were behind the detention of the two fire engines.

“Who are these people who deny Homa Bay residents their right to acquire the donated fire engines? Let them be exposed because we can’t continue losing property in fire outbreaks yet there are firefighting engines," Awuor said.

The MCAs demanded an explanation from the county government on why it has taken too long for the machines to reach the county.

“Through our oversight role, we’ve realized that an official tried to use dubious means to access the vehicles. Where is the money paid for clearance?” Nyambo asked.

Homa Bay has had numerous fire incidents in which property have been lost.

On Sunday, the fire at Shambi's residence started in one of the bedrooms in the upper floor of the storeyed house. "It rapidly spread to other rooms. I thank God nobody was injured,” Shambi said.

In 2017, the offices of finance and procurement were razed in what remains a mysterious fire outbreak.

Residents Paul Omondi, Philip Opundo, and John Ramogi threatened to stage demos at the disaster management offices if the fire engines are not taken to the county headquarters.

“It’s pathetic for a government to deceive its people. We want the vehicles in the county because public resources have been spent to acquire them,” Omondi said.

 

edited by peter obuya