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August 22, 2018

Court to sentence seven over Bungoma wheelbarrows

Bungoma youth view one of the wheelbarrows purchased at 109,000 Shillings each on October 15, 2015. /FILE
Bungoma youth view one of the wheelbarrows purchased at 109,000 Shillings each on October 15, 2015. /FILE

Seven former Bungoma county government officers implicated in a wheelbarrows scandal will be sentenced in Kakamega today.

They were charged with violating procurement rules when they bought nine wheelbarrows for Sh933,880.

On Thursday, Kakamega chief magistrate Bildad Ochieng’ found the suspects guilty.

Former acting county secretary John Matsanza, tender committee members Oscar Ojwang, Howard Lukadilu, Ayub Tuvaka, Arlington Shikuku, Reuben Cheruiyot and Jacqueline Namukali committed the offence in 2013.

Their conviction is one of the biggest achievements by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission in Western region in recent times.

The magistrate cancelled the offenders’ bond and ordered their detention at the Kakamega GK Prisons, pending sentencing.

“The market survey of the wheelbarrows’ prices ranged between Sh2,500 to Sh3,500 at several hardware stores,” Ochieng said.

“Even with the special adjustments that included having an extra wheel and being made of stainless steel, EACC officers found that a wheelbarrow would have cost Sh6,000.”

The tender was awarded to Jagla Enterprises, which sold each wheelbarrow at Sh109,320, after other suppliers were disqualified.

Among them were Biovet, which quoted Sh136,700, Economic Crescent (Sh140,000 ) and Chemiaty Enterprises (Sh122,000 ) for a wheelbarrow.

Ochieng’ said the prosecution proved its case beyond reasonable doubt.

The magistrate said the accused ignored recommendations by the evaluation committee to undertake fresh tendering, when it appeared that the prices were way above market prices.

 

 

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