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ALLEGATIONS OF CORRUPTION

Reprieve for three Bungoma CECs after court stops impeachment

Walela and Sabwami were impeached by MCAs who accused them of abetting corruption.

In Summary
  • Walela and Sabwami were grilled on Monday by a select committee to shed light on the allegations levelled against them.
  • Agriculture CEC Chirasha was accused of going against the Employment Act by engaging in politics.
Bungoma Public Administration CEC Richard Sabwami with his lawyer Henry Makhakara
ORDER: Bungoma Public Administration CEC Richard Sabwami with his lawyer Henry Makhakara
Image: JOHN NALIANYA

The Labour Relations Court in Kisumu has stopped the impeachment of three Bungoma county executives.

Health and Sanitation CEC Antony Walela, his Public Administration counterpart Richard Sabwami and Agriculture CEC Mathews Chirasha obtained orders barring the assembly from kicking them out.

Judge Mathews Nderi Nduma issued stay orders on Monday, which give the trio a reprieve as they continue discharging their duties.

Last week, Walela and Sabwami were impeached by MCAs who accused them of abetting corruption and other vices.

Walela was accused of overseeing channelling of Sh6.9 million from Bungoma County Referral Hospital to the Finance department. The money was meant for the fight against Covid-19.

The emergency response committee was accused of buying 600, 20-litre jerrycans at Sh10,000 each.

Sabwami was accused of returning to the Treasury, money that had been allocated for the recruitment of village administrators. He was also alleged to have overseen the embezzlement of Sh6.9 million, being the chairman of the emergency response committee for fighting Covid-19.

Walela and Sabwami were grilled on Monday by a select committee to shed light on the allegations levelled against them.

Agriculture CEC Chirasha was accused of going against the Employment Act by engaging in politics. He was set to be impeached on Wednesday and his name was already featured in the Order Paper.

Health CEC Walela and his counterpart Sabwami of Public Administration denied misappropriating the Sh6.9 million Covid-19 funds during a hearing by the committee of the whole house.

The duo denied wrongdoing before two special committees appointed by the assembly Speaker Emmanuel Situma to probe them.

Walela and Sabwami, who were represented by advocate Henry Makhakara, claimed their impeachment was witch hunt as they never handled the money.

Sabwami who appeared before the committee chaired by Chwele-Kabuchai MCA Barasa Mukhongo said his work as the chairman of the disaster committee was to approve the budget from the Ministry of Health's technical team to fight Covid-19. He never handled the cash.

"I only approved the budget made by the technical committee from the Ministry of Health as the chair of the disaster committee in the county at that time. But I never went further to know how the money was spent," Sabwami said.

Walela who appeared before the committee led by MCA Ben Kipkut of Chesikaki ward said the MCAs were not fair to them as they never signed any payment vouchers for the money.

"Sir, our MCAs are just being malicious to us as we are innocent in this matter because we never signed anywhere authorising the payments, Walela said.

They asked the MCAs to go for the real culprits if they were sure that the money was swindled and leave them alone to serve Bungoma people.

The executives said under the law they were not allowed to involve themselves in procurement processes and wondered why the MCAs were targeting them.

Makhakara asked the special committees to overturn their impeachment, saying they were never given enough time to defend themselves when they appeared before the health committee.

"I beg that now you consider overturning the impeachment process because now you have found out who are the real culprits," Makhakara said.

The committee was expected to table their final report in the floor of the assembly before the lapse of 10 days as required by the law.

Edited by Henry Makori