- MPs claim the snarl-up facilitates emergence of illegal routes where state officers receive bribes.
- The lawmakers also decried the sorry state of the facility
A House team has raised the red flag over an elaborate scheme by state officers at Malaba border point to defraud taxpayers.
The lawmakers said the long snarl-up between Kenya and Uganda border is a cash cow for some state officers, who are not keen to have the border point completed anytime soon.
In the scheme to defraud taxpayers, National Assembly Finance Committee members say the snarl-up makes it possible for the proliferation of illegal entry points where the state officers are bribed to allow access.
They claimed this has caused the government to lose millions in taxes supposed to be paid at the border point.
Committee’s vice chairman Waihenya Ndirangu (Roysambu) said there are about three panya routes (illegal entry points) arising from the frequent snarlups.
“What is happening at Malaba border point falls in the realm of economic sabotage. We should look at this matter as conspiracy to create illegal routes. It is a conspiracy to defraud,” Waihenya said.
The committee chaired by Homa Bay Woman Representative Gladys Wanga also decried the sorry state of the border post, which has no electronic scanners to facilitate clearance of trucks into and outside the country.
There is also no clean water supply and the post relies on the nearby River Malaba, whose water is not fit for human consumption.
The committee came face-to-face with poor infrastructure that has led to 80km-traffic jam during a recent fact-finding mission.
The Homa Bay MP termed the stalled facility a national embarrassment.
The multi-million project started in 2012 but stalled in 2015 due to insufficient funding.
The committee was meeting Public Works PS Gordon Kihalangwa who admitted the facility was facing a myriad of challenges.
“There is no water supply in that town of Malaba. In fact, it is me who sunk a borehole when I was the DG [Immigration director general],” Kihalangwa said.
“It is only Malaba that has no parking for the cargo trucks. When I was the DG, we didn’t even have a scanner. The facility needs to be completed.”
Edited by EKibii