PROBE TEAM APPOINTED

Sang suspends 16 top officers in graft probe

Three CECs and two chief officers among those removed.

In Summary

• Sh4 million worth of tyres stolen during Easter.

• Police allegedly stumbled upon stolen building materials in official's house during search for tyres.

Nandi Governor Stephen Sang
SUSPENSIONS: Nandi Governor Stephen Sang
Image: FILE

Nandi Governor Stephen Sang on Tuesday suspended 16 senior county officials, among them three CECs and two chief officers, in a graft purge. 

In a quick response to allegations of graft threatening his government, Sang announced the appointment of a seven-man ad hoc committee to investigate his administration.

Those shown the door include executives Hillary Koech(Transport), Valentine Chumo (Education) and Stanley Baliach (Lands).

 

Others suspended are chief officers for Infrastructure and Education Jona Biwott and Daniel Sang and their respective directors David Kemei and Julius Too.

Chumo had been recommended for the sack by the county assembly but obtained court orders restraining Governor Sang from firing her.

Nandi assembly had blown the whistle after her department failed to account for Sh114 million supposedly spent on projects.

However, the executive claimed the funds were misappropriated before she was moved to the department in a mini-reshuffle last year. 

The purge in the Transport department was instigated by the theft of about 100 tyres meant for road construction equipment during the Easter holidays. The theft is suspected to have been an inside job.

Sang said his government would co-operate with the police and DCI in the on-going investigation on the theft of tyres and ECDE construction materials.

Those suspended have recorded statements with the DCI, among them Baliach who arrived from interrogation to be handed a suspension letter.

 

“I will never condone corruption or spare anyone found culpable in any form of graft in my government,” the governor said. 

He immediately named Sports CEC Elly Kurgat to act in Transport, Agriculture's  Kiplimo Lagat to act in Lands while Jacob Tanui (Trade) will act in Education. 

Investigators have detained eight county staff after obtaining orders from a Kapsabet court to hold them for another 10 days over the theft of the tyres and other materials.

An agitated governor said it was a big betrayal by people he had entrusted as custodians of his flagship development programmes.

“Those who will be found to be innocent will be considered back to work, while others must face the full force of the law, “ he said. 

(Edited by R.Wamochie)