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September 23, 2018

Irregular procurement case nets six Tana River officials

A cargo train moves through the Kibarani dumpsite in Mombasa on Friday / JOHN CHESOLI
A cargo train moves through the Kibarani dumpsite in Mombasa on Friday / JOHN CHESOLI

Six former and serving top Tana River county officials were on Friday charged with improperly awarding a Sh30 million tender.

The officials were arrested by Ethics and Anti-Corruption officials on Thursday evening.

The suspects together with four others who are still at large allegedly engaged in procurement irregularities involving the award of a Sh30 million tender for the construction of collateral water tanks.

Those charged include Salad Bashora, a former director of procurement, Abas Bute a procurement official in the department of water who is still serving, Eng Thomas Chula, the former director of Roads who is currently in the Infrastructure department in Mombasa county.

Others are Abbas Butte, a procurement officer, Kidoe Jeremia, the current Roads inspector in Tana River county.

The court has issued a warrant of arrest for those still at large including Guracho Mohamed, former chief officer of Water, Abdul Godana, former county secretary and now serving as the executive for Fisheries in Lamu county.

On Thursday, EACC Upper Coast regional director Gichangi Njiru said the arrest was made after investigations which began in 2016.

Speaking to journalists in his office, he said the suspects will be arraigned in court to be charged with willful failure to comply with the procurement laws, fraud and uttering false documents.

He said they are still pursuing four other suspects, among them top county executive members working in different counties.

Njiru said the EACC has been investigating the cases since 2016 which involve tendering of collateral water tanks that had been budgeted at Sh5.1 million, but the suspects inflated the amount to Sh30 million without following due process.

He said investigations revealed the company which was awarded the tender did not meet the qualifications.

Further, Njiru said there was no professional opinion from the procurement officer in the report.

“Further investigations have revealed that despite the company not having met the requirement to be awarded the tender, they went on to exaggerate the price for each collateral tank,” he said.

The EACC had summoned the county officials in their Malindi regional offices, but after long interrogations, they were held and taken to Malindi police station awaiting to be taken to court.

Immediately after being sworn into office, Governor Dhadho Godhana said the county was facing financial constraints “due to corruption by the former regime”.

 

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