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January 16, 2019

No service disruption as DCI probes county, says Elachi

Nairobi Speaker Beatrice Elachi during a press conference at her office on August 28, 2018. /EZEKIEL AMING'A
Nairobi Speaker Beatrice Elachi during a press conference at her office on August 28, 2018. /EZEKIEL AMING'A

Speaker Beatrice Elachi has said investigations are still underway at the county assembly by the DCI to unearth financial malpractices.

This comes as five assembly officials and a businessman were charged before a Nairobi anti-corruption court.

Elachi told a press conference yesterday that she has written to the Auditor General’s office and the Public Procurement Oversight Authority to identify gaps in the assembly’s procurement system and the correct process to be followed.

"The investigations are normal processes happening in all government institutions, according to the directive by President Uhuru Kenyatta, so we should accept whatever outcome," she said.

Elachi said the assembly owes Sh7.3 million to the Kenya Revenue Authority, arising from withholding of tax to suppliers.

"I am appealing to all the institutions that we owe to bear with us. I know that KRA can confiscate our accounts or impose a penalty due to the debt, but I am talking to the Controller of Budget and the Central Bank to intervene," she said.

On Monday, clerk Jacob Ngwele, deputy Adah Onyango, senior finance and planning officer Fredrick Macharia, senior procurement officer James Kariuki and principal accountant Philomena Nzuki were charged with conspiracy to defraud the county of Sh997,926.

They were arrested last Friday after DPP Nordin Haji approved an investigation file presented by the Director of Criminal Investigations.

The assembly officials were released on bail, but were barred from entering the assembly until the case is heard and determined.

There were concerns that the could interrupt services at the assembly, but Elachi said services will continue uninterrupted because other officers will step in.

"Officers who have been working with them will continue with the work as this is a seamless government that will move regardless of the office holders. It doesn’t mean that when an individual moves, nothing continues," she said.

The speaker payment of salaries and allowances will not be disrupted by the arrests.

"We will be done with paying salaries to our staff by next week. We always commence processing of salaries from the 15th of every month before releasing it to our employees," she said.

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