WAR ON CORRUPTION

EACC probes Mutua over dams, donor cash

Sh89 million contract was awarded on January 5, 2016 but detectives believe no work was done

In Summary
  • County government has so far paid Sh70 million for the suspicious work
  • Questions surround expenditure of Sh50 million given by Danida
EACC offices.
EACC offices.
Image: FILE

 The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission is investigating an alleged twin dam scandal in Machakos county that could thrust flamboyant Governor Alfred Mutua into the eye of the graft storm.

At the heart of the investigations is a Sh89 million deal for the de-silting of Marumba dam and another Sh50 million that was pumped by the Danish International Development Agency.

 

The Sh89 million contract was awarded to Waki Clearing and Forwarding Agents on January 5, 2016 but detectives believe no work was done.

“One of the things we are investigating is that the firm was removing soil from the dam and heaping it on the sides. When it rained, everything was swept back. Essentially, it’s like zero work happened,” EACC   Spokesman Yassin Amaro told the Star on Wednesday.

Documents in possession of the Star indicate that part of the scope of the work was to excavate soil to a depth of three centimetres and disposing the same to a site approved by the county engineer.

The work also involved construction of an access road to the Marumba  dam site, clearing of bushes, landscaping and soil stabilization as well as planting of trees and grass.

Amaro said the Machakos county government has so far paid Sh70 million for the suspicious work.

The first tranche of the payment amounting to Sh35.5 million was approved on March 15, 2016

This was after Stephen Ndwiki, an engineer in the Water department, was satisfied that 40 per cent of the value of the work was satisfactorily done.

 

However, it has also emerged that on March 1, 2016, Waki Clearing and Forwarding managing director Obadiah Kibara wrote to the county demanding the final payment of Sh53.4 million.

Questions are now being raised at the speed at which the work was done.

“We have done 80 per cent of the work and the remaining 20 per cent should be secured by the 40 per cent performance bond,” Obadiah wrote.

Kilonzo Muthama, an accounting officer from the county department of Water, then requested the county treasury to effect the pay.

The probe now makes Mutua’s administration among tens of devolved units under EACC radar amid claims counties have become the new graft bastions.

Amaro said Sh50 million was given to Machakos county by Danida but there are questions surrounding its expenditure.

There are unconfirmed claims the donor cash could have been wired into private accounts.

In September last year, Mutua survived by a whisker the anti-graft purge over the alleged fraudulent purchase of 16 motor vehicles for the county government.

This followed a consent recorded at the Court of Appeal between the Director of Public Prosecutions, EACC and Mutua’s lawyer Wilfred Nyamu.

EACC has waged a relentless anti-graft war on governors that has seen several grilled at Integrity Centre.

Among governors under probe are Kiambu’s Ferdinard Waititu, Tharaka Nithi’s Muthomi Njuki and Kitui’s Charity Ngilu.

EACC detectives have also been probing Nyamira Governor John Nyagarama over possible abuse of office and Taita Taveta’s Granton Samboja for suspected forgery of academic papers.