Sleuths from the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission (EACC) have summoned Bungoma Members of the County Assembly (MCAs) in 600 jerrycan scam so that they can shed light on Sh2 million they received as part of allowances.
Standard reports that the integrity agency is investigating 56 MCAs who are said to have received Sh30,000 and Sh40,000 each on April 18, 2020 to halt the probing of the money spent on the purchase of jerrycans said to be used in the fight against COVID-19 in the county.
Apparently, so far 12 MCAs were interrogated on May 13 and more are expected to appear before the agency pertaining the same.
Further, the publication reports that an MCA whose identity remained anonymous explained that the funds they received came from an international non-governmental organization and was to be used for public sensitization amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
This desk has learnt that there is a drift among the county reps as there were MCAs who refused to pocket the money and thus vowed to investigate the matter.
In an interview with a local vernacular radio station, 20 MCAs from different parties claimed that the money was misappropriated and ideally supported the governor, Wycliffe Wangamati on the need to investigate the matter.
“The County Assembly should take stern action after completing investigations on how the money was spent,” said Governor Wangamati.
A month ago, Kahawa Tungu reported that the EACC had unmasked details indicating Sh6.9 million was spent in Bungoma county in just a single day to purchase equipment to fight COVID-19.
Reports indicated that the jerrycans said to have been purchased at Sh10,000 each were to be used as handwashing tanks.
According to the EACC, the suppliers were paid in cash on March 18, with nine cheques of Ksh776,223 each drawn from the county’s account at Kenya Commercial Bank.
“The big withdrawals are very suspect and are in violation of public procurement law. Anything above Ksh10,000 requires tendering and we don’t withdraw cash to pay suppliers. The money should be wired,” said a manager at EACC Bungoma office as quoted by the Nation.
This was later traced to have been received by Carolyne Nabalayo, Kizito Wabwile, Noel Nalyaka, Kevin Namulala, Pamela Serut, Martin Nyongesa and three hospital employees.
Prior, Governor Wangamati had claimed that the 600 handwashing jerrycans were donated, but was unable to name the donors.
“We have acquired the following and are being stored at Mabanga Farmers Training Centre: 600 bottles of sanitizers; 600 bottles of handwashing soap; 600 units of 20-litre taped jerrycans and 20,000 information flyers,” Wangamati’s adviser Ms Carolyne Buyela was quoted according to minutes of a meeting held on March 23.
This desk had initially reported that the jerrycans were bought at Sh1,400, meaning the difference could have been pocketed by gluttonous county officials.
The governor was said to have been dodging summons to explain the expenditures and blamed it on the current COVID-19 menace.