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December 14, 2018

We’re not to blame for the corruption rate – Wambora

Embu Governor Martin Wambora at the Senate hearing on February 10, 2014, to be questioned on the county assembly passing a motion of no confidence against him / FILE
Embu Governor Martin Wambora at the Senate hearing on February 10, 2014, to be questioned on the county assembly passing a motion of no confidence against him / FILE

Governor Martin Wambora has said the national government contributed to Embu being ranked second-most corrupt county.

Wambora said most of the services said to have been attracting bribes are under the national government, including seeking IDs, birth certificates, releasing impounded goods, solving land conflicts and passport requisition. The governor said neither his government nor departments have been featured in last week’s report by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission.

Speaking to the press in Embu town on Saturday, Wambora said his government has put in place adequate measures to prevent corruption, especially in the public service. “It’s erroneous for the EACC to rank Embu as the second-most corrupt county,” he said. Wambora said corruption is minimal in the county and that’s why development partners have been working with his government in development projects.

For people to have their impounded goods released, Kenyans were parting with an average bribe of Sh33,500, the report said, while for one to obtain a tender, one is forced to part with an average bribe of Sh275,000.

For people to have their impounded goods released, Kenyans were parting with an average bribe of Sh33,500. Embu and Narok counties, which were ranked second and seventh most corrupt, while still remaining in the top 10, have reduced incidences of of bribery, compared with 2012, the survey says.

Wambora said World Bank, Germany and the US are currently carrying out projects in the county since they have confidence and trust in the government. He said those involved in bribery allegations or asking residents to pay for services will be punished.He said workers will be shuffled, especially in the Finance docket, to guard against bribery.

The EACC ranked Embu with a mean of 2.53 (number of times bribe was demanded), after Murang’a’s 3.78. However, Embu assembly speaker Justus Mate disagreed with Wambora, saying corruption is all over and that the executive must own up and seek solutions. Mate said there is a report in the county assembly showing massive fraud in the Water docket and in construction of ECDE centres.

Mate said MCAs approve projects in the county assembly which are never implemented by the executive. He asked the EACC to arrest and prosecute corrupt officials, not just give reports. The Embu Mwariama council of elders said they are not surprised by the report, although they are disappointed. Chairman Njagih Kumantha said the governor and Senator Lenny Kivuti should take responsibility.

“The average bribe by county has gone up from Sh20,075 in 2012 to Sh80,000 in 2015,” the report says. The most corrupt departments in the county governments were health at 29.1, lands and physical planning at 14 per cent, public service board at 11 per cent and office of the governor at 7.5 per cent. Counties with the least amount of bribe money were Sh6.63 in Meru, Sh6.96 in Narok, Sh7 in Nandi and Sh7.4 in Nairobi.

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