Garissa Governor Ali Korane is on the spot after a watchdog group teamed up with Human Rights Activists and filed their petition demanding the Senate Public Accounts Committee to make public the Auditor Generals Financial reports and audits about the county.
“As an independent public watchdog group, we are still concerned with the continuous looting of the public funds in Garissa County and lack of community participation in all projects being approved by the Governor,” Garissa Community Development Watchdog Group and human rights activists states in their petition.
On 26th July last year, DPP had directed the National Police Service to conduct a thorough probe into Garissa County and forward the findings to his Office.
The watchdog group has also petitioned the Director of Public prosecution to make public the findings and DCI’s investigations into illegal misuse of public funds by the Garissa County.
How Governor s loot
If you are well-connected in the governor’s corridors, it is very possible to get payment for services not rendered while genuine suppliers languish in wait of payments for years.
Crafty tenderpreneurs are getting paid for work not done or for supplying air and then later distributing the loot with their benefactors from the counties.
Take for instance, in Homa Bay County Assembly, almost half a billion shillings was looted from 2013 to 2017 through fishy deals in which hot air was supplied in plenty.
“What happened in Homa Bay was similar to the NYS scam. But the difference is that the suspects transferred the cash through various bank accounts but finally to their personal accounts or their company accounts. The funds were traced into their accounts,” former EACC boss Halakhe Waqo said during the conclusion of investigations in March 2017.
In Nairobi, former Governor Evans Kidero still has a court case together with seven others charged with conspiracy to commit an offence of corruption, namely fraud, leading to loss of public funds in the sum of Sh213,327,300 for services not rendered.
In Mandera, Governor Ali Roba’s government is being investigated over various contracts amounting to Sh1.8 billion. Among the contracts in question is a claim of roads that are complete on paper but which residents claim were never done.
In March this year, EACC officers grilled Garissa Governor Ali Korane over diversion of funds from the World Bank meant for infrastructure development projects.
Speaking to the Nation, EACC Spokesman Yassin Amaro said the governor was questioned for almost four hours on Monday.
“The governor was invited to appear before the commission on February 17, 2020 to shed light on the diverted funds but he did not turn up until Monday, March, 2,” Mr Amaro said.
EACC accused Korane of transferring the grant, amounting to Sh233 million, to departments for which it was not intended. The slueths also linked all the named firms to people close to the governor.
The money was, “withdrawn in cash by county officials associated with the Governor and used for some projects which could not be verified on the ground.”
Under KUSP, the World Bank is undertaking a Sh23 billion five-year infrastructure project being implemented in 45 counties with the exemption of Nairobi and Mombasa.
Public Finance Management Act of 2012 stipulates that official county government accounts should have more than one signatory, some counties have designated one individual to be a signatory.
The corrupt county officials then work with bank officials who authorize the withdrawal of funds without poking a nose on the lack of other signatories as required by law.