15 TOP OFFICERS SUSPENDED

Team starts probe into Sh200 million loss in Nandi

Focus mainly on education department after construction material worth Sh140 million went missing

In Summary

• Probe team expected to complete its work in 30 days.

• DCI and EACC carrying out independent investigations.

Governor Stephen Sang in Nandi on March 3
CRACKING THE WHIP: Governor Stephen Sang in Nandi on March 3
Image: MATHEWS NDANYI

A team appointed by Nandi Governor Stephen Sang to probe the possible loss of more than Sh200 million has begun work.

The focus is mainly on the education department after construction material worth Sh140 million went missing and was recovered in the homes of senior county officials. 

The material was for building 65 ECD centres.

Ten suspects were arrested and charged with theft last week. They denied the charge and were released on bond.

Sang appointed a team comprising Timon Lel, Edwin Maiyo, Mary Kemei, Amon Muge, Nancy Jeruto, Nelson Lagat and Carol Lagat to investigate the scandal. The group is to make recommendations on how to seal graft loopholes.

"The team is expected to complete its work in 30 days so that we can know the weaknesses in our systems. All county officers will account for their actions," Sang said.

The governor has since suspended three county executives and 12 other senior officers to pave the way for the probe. However, some MCAs have opposed the governor’s move and vowed to have a separate probe team.

The team appointed by the governor will hand in its report after 30 days. The DCI and EACC are however carrying out an independent probe on the loss.

Last Friday, police dispersed a group of residents who had planned to carry out demonstrations in Kapsabet town over the graft revelations.

But another group of elders and youth led by Stephen Kiprop said they fully back the governor on measures he had taken to deal with graft in the county.

 

“We will not accept those with other political interests to undermine the governor,”  Kiprop said.

Sang has denied claims that he has been engaging in corruption and urged his rivals led by Senator Samson Cherargei to let the police complete investigations.

But Cherargei rejected the action by the governor and instead blamed Sang for the mess in the county.

Sang says his opponents are taking advantage of the theft of the materials to make wild claims over non-existent issues.

“It’s not possible to misuse county public funds as easily as they think. The auditor has not indicated anywhere that Sh2.5 billion cannot be accounted for in Nandi and open lies will not help some of our leaders as they think”, Sang told the Star.

He said the county was operating as required under the law and individuals involved in graft will carry their own cross.

“We have made it clear to the officers in my office and all departments that anyone engaging in theft or graft will pay the price on their own”, he said.

Youth leaders from Nandi led by Ben Maiyo and Josephine Limo also defended the county boss accusing his opponents of seeking political mileage from fake claims.

“The governor has taken action against his own officers alongside the investigations being done by the DCI. It’s only mature that the senator and his allies allow the probe to be done instead of coming up with fake claims hoping to earn some political mileage”, Limo said.