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Nandi shaken to core as MCAs vote to smoke out Covid-19 funds looters – Weekly Citizen

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A special audit report tabled at Nandi county assembly last week has revealed massive looting of funds meant for the mitigation of Covid-19 vagaries. “Everything that could go wrong went wrong,” said nominated MCA Teresa Maiyo who chaired the special committee to investigate appropriation and expenditures of the Covid19 pandemic funds and other related matters. The report reveals damning and incriminating facts on abuse of office, disregard of the law and financial impropriety of monumental proportions. The report dated April 21 2021 was unanimously adopted by the assembly and will have far reaching implications on the fledgling county government that has been endlessly stumbling on one scandal after another for the last four years. The report recommends the suspension and immediate probe of health chief executive committee member Ruth Koech over the acquisition of malfunctioning oxygen plant, missing ICU beds and unaccounted for Covid19 emergency funds. Also recommended for suspension is the health chief officer Paul Lagat accused of conniving with suppliers to loot the county coffers with abandon. Finance CEC CPA Alfred Lagat was also fingered for suspension for perennially disrespecting the powers of the assembly and the opaque way in which he spent the Covid19 emergency funds.

Ruth Koech

Finance CO Meshack Malakwen is also recommended for suspension to pave way for investigations and forensic audit to ascertain the manner in which public funds were siphoned out. “That the Ethics and AntiCorruption Commission and the Directorate of Criminal Investigation be invited to investigate the irregularities and take appropriate action,” the report reads. The county assembly probe that took close to three months unearthed fraud of a colossal amount of money and underground dealings that saw funds finding their way to the pockets of county staff. For instance, it is reported that Sh52 million was spent to buy face masks which translates to 10 million masks for 2000 frontline health workers. This would have translated to 33 masks per health worker per day for the months of March, April, May, June and July. The truth, however, reveals otherwise. “This was a pure theft,” said a source privy to information to operations at the county. Another case of conspiracy to defraud involves a construction company that supplied ICU beds and faulty ventilators and related monitors. The company also constructed Nandi Hills Hospital mortuary. How a construction company supplied medical equipment puzzled the assembly members.

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Meshack Malakwen

“The company should have been flagged off at the evaluation stage but then again Nandi is a garden of “Do you know anybody” and the rest as they say is in the details. “Thieves should sometimes be clever and avoid playing into the hands of authorities,” said Kapsabet ward MCA Fred Kipkemboi. “You can imagine even at the height of Covid-19 pandemic thieves holed at Governor Stephen Sang’s office had the courage and audacity to deny doctors, clinical officers and nurses PPEs and other equipment so as to line their pockets,” he wondered aloud. He felt short of linking the governor to the mess in the county and wondered why he had not halted the worrying state of maladministration in the devolved unit. Meanwhile, EACC has already stated piecing together the details of theft at the county as recommended by the assembly.

Stephen Sang

In a letter seen by Weekly Citizen and signed by North Regional director Japheth Baithalu and addressed to the county secretary requesting for documents related to Covid19 funds and construction of the mortuary to be provided immediately. “The commission through its North Rift Regional office, Eldoret is conducting investigation into allegation of irregularities in procurement of ICU beds at Nandi county government,” the report reads. “To facilitate the investigations, you are kindly but urgently requested to provide us with certified copies of documents with respect to procurement, supply and distribution of ICU covering the entire supply chain from identification, delivery, payments and physical distribution,” the letter reads. The supplier is said to have been suspiciously paid Sh30 million in record three weeks contrary to what always goes on in Nandi county. This could have raised questions according to a source that declined to be named.
Nandi

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Malava MP Malulu gets another opponent – Weekly Citizen

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Church and youth leaders from Malava constituency in Kakamega county have endorsed the candidature of Nelson Taliti for the position of MP which is coming as a shocker to the incumbent Malulu Injendi. Led by Bishop Saul Barasa, the leaders accused Injendi of sidelining some churches in matters development and giving priorities to those believed to have huge following for political purposes. He has been holding donations for the Friends (Quarkers) and Catholic churches where he is a member as other churches seek support from well-wishers and these has not gone down well them triggering divisions. Speaking in Malava town after their meeting, they requested Taliti to heed to the call of the people and vie against Injendi who is serving his second term. Taliti hails from the populous Abashu clan while Injendi is from Abasonje that is second in the constituency and should they vote him to the last man then he will emerge victorious.

Malulu Injendi

Meanwhile, Injendi is a worried man as his popularity wanes away day and night with no more lies to sell to the voters as his development record is wanting and has now resorted to party hoping in soul-searching mission and his recent moves have left the electorate more confused than ever before. Recent closure of schools due to poor infrastructure and poor road network in the area despite the Kenya Rural Roads Authority funding that is disbursed through his National Government/Constituency Development Fund office are among other issues likely to cost him a third term. Injendi’s move to dump William Ruto less than two months after hosting him at his Lugusi home, we have information, is due to pressure from the youthful Benjamin Nalwa who has hit the ground hard just few months after declaring interest to unseat him and leaning towards the Ruto camp and the MP fearing an imminent defeat is looking for a soft landing spot in a party that will give him a direct ticket.

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Caleb Sunguti

Injendi has never been subjected to any party nomination process since he first vied for the position and in 2017, he asked the deputy president to prevail upon his challenger in Jubilee party Caleb Burudi to step down in his favour two days to nomination day and millions of shillings were paid to Burudi who indeed stepped down for him. It had become evident that Injendi was likely to lose in the process. Currently he has joined the Musalia Mudavadi led Amani National Congress where his close allies say he has been assured of a direct ticket even as the party has candidates in the area among them Caleb Sunguti. Many view his moves as last kicks of a dying horse as his goose is already cooked. Nalwa recent moves have caused ripples among other teams in the area as he has rolled out programmes that touch on the lives of common citizens.

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More faces join Vihiga county Mwibona ward race – Weekly Citizen

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The race for Mwibona ward seat in Luanda sub-county, Vihiga county has hit the fever pitch as the incumbent MCA Zakayo Manyasa vows to record a political hattrick by retaining the seat for third term.The race for Mwibona ward has been reduced to two political heavy weights Manyasa and Hudson Owase aka Joe the shrewd Luanda businessman.In 2017 general elections Manyasa, who contested on former Vihiga governor Moses Akaranga’s PPK, defeated Joe with slim margin of votes, with now nominated MCA Dorcus Anupi coming third. Anupi who is popularly known to many as Iswi, is also determined to give the opponents a run for their money. Manyasa won the seat for the second term despite vying on the little known PPK party.

Zakayo Manyasa

Manyasa is said to be shopping for another political party for 2022 after PPK has folded out of active politics. “Everyone knows very well that 2017 elections for Mwibona ward were very competitive because I faced strong opponent from Joe of ODM. I survived because my people looked at my performance and reelected me,” said Manyasa. Manyasa is among the MCAs who rescued Governor Wilber Ottichilo from impeachment something that has made his ward benefit from development from the county government. Many roads have been done,water supply improved and bursaries given to needy students through his efforts.Joe vied for Mwibona ward MCA on ODM ticket and emerged second but he says he is planning to make thunderous political come back with victory at his heart.Joe who is well resourced and the proprietor of the famous Luanda’s Tripple T Hotel and Restaurant gives Manyasa sleepless nights as the clock ticks towards 2022 elections.

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Hudson Owase

Joe has taken the ground by storm with his frequent funds-drives to support youth and women groups in Mwibona something that has won him support. Joe who comes from a humble family background, has formulated policy of offering good leadership for his Mwibona ward people if elected MCA.Speaking to the press at his home in Mwibona, Joe said he had lost interest in politics but due to demands from his people particularly the youths and women he will be back in the race come 2022.Joe promised that Mwibona ward residents will feel the fruits of devolution if elected because he is a good manager and he knows how to handle resources.Joe has completed his Degree in Computer Science and Business management. Dalton Amukoa popularly known to many as Namulie Abantu is also in the race. Amukoa is a Luanda businessman. Amukoa is eyeing the seat on Deputy President Manyasa Owase William Ruto’s UDA party.

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Matiang’i now loneranger – Weekly Citizen

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Interior cabinet secretary Fred Matiang’i has parted ways with Gusii leaders led by Kisii governor James
Ongwae who had endorsed him earlier as the Abagusii community spokesman for his interference in the Bonchari constituency by-elections next week.

Fred Matiangi

Matiang’i is fronting for Jubilee’s Zebedeo Opore while Ongwae has vowed to have ODM’s Pavel Oimeke win the seat with widowed Teresa Bitutu threatening to remove her pants and go to the streets for having been conned psychologically during the burial of her beloved husband Oroo Oyioka where all and sundry assured that she was to inherit her husband’s for the seat. With a section of leaders and residents of Bonchari already accusing Matiang’i of favouring Opore, the CS finds himself in an awkward position since the by-election has put him on a collision course with Governor Ongwae and Senator Sam Ongeri.

James Ongwae

In fact, it is Ongwae who has been single-handedly propping up Matiang’i for the Gusii spokesman’s position by marshalling the support of the other elected leaders from Kisii and the council of elders which Ongwae’s government has been financing and housing at their premises. It has emerged that Matiang’i has been issuing thinly veiled threats against some leaders, warning them that they will soon face unspecified criminal and civil cases if they do not toe the line and abandon campaigns for their party candidates to support his.

Zebedeo Opore

Recently, a serious altercation ensued between the bully CS and Ongeri on phone where the elderly politician read the riot act to the Matiang’i. “I have been in government for the longest time holding very senior cabinet positions in several political regimes, you can’t threaten me,” Ongeri is said to have told the minister.Attempts by the CS to seek to clarify his position to the senator failed after Ongeri is said to have declined further engagements with
the CS until he withdraws threats against local leaders. Ongeri’s word is taken seriously and he enjoys huge following across the community.

Pavel Oimeke

Some leaders including Bogiakumu ward MCA Ishmael Bosire and Kisii county ODM organising secretary Henry Moracha have since claimed that Matiang’i was using his position to direct the police and local chiefs to intimidate the UDA and ODM candidates ahead of the by-election. “ODM and UDA are being targeted and prevented from campaigning for our candidates by government operatives who are favouring the Jubilee candidate. We can’t allow this to happen and the CS should come out clear on why his officers are disregarding our rights,” Moracha said at Gesonso Police Station.

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Teresa Bitutu Oroo

The allegations came in the open after MCA for Riana ward Ariemba Moisabi who is drumming up support for the ODM candidate, was arrested last Monday after an altercation with an assistant chief at a burial ceremony. It is claimed that the assistant chief had disrupted the funeral ceremony shortly before Ariemba was called to speak and the MCA tried to snatch the microphone from him, but the chief called the police, feigning assault. Ariemba’s arrest came immediately after police raided the home of ODM candidate Teresa Oyioka and arrested five of her campaigners. The race to succeed the late Oyioka is basically a three-horse race involving ODM candidate Oimeke, Bitutu of UDA and Opore of Jubilee.

Sam Ongeri

Other candidates who are in the race include former Kisii county women rep Mary Otara, Charles Mogaka, Jonah Onkendi, David Ogega, Victor Omanwa and Erick Oigo. Following the arrest of the politicians allied to ODM and UDA candidates in the campaigns, Moracha and Bosire asked Matiang’i to restrain the police from using unnecessary force in an attempt to tilt the ground in favour of the Jubilee candidate. They questioned the selective arrests where only UDA and ODM supporters are being targeted by the police who are reportedly applying the ministry of Health Covid-19 protocol selectively.

Mary Otara

Uncertainty is rife in Bonchari as the campaigns reach home stretch and stakes are high since the handshake partners, Jubilee and ODM are locking horns in the contest. Unlike in the recent by-election in Kiamokama ward where Jubilee did not field its candidate in favour of ODM, in Bonchari both parties have sponsored candidates. Kisii is perceived to be an ODM zone and the move by Jubilee to front Opore has been attributed to a wider scheme by Matiang’i, apparently to test his popularity in the region. Initially, it was believed that the handshake parties were to join hands in the Bonchari by-election naturally.At one time, when Oimeke received the ODM ticket and Jubilee appeared undecided, pundits opined that the ruling party was opting out of the race until too late when Opore was finally given the Jubilee ticket, only a day before the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission window lapsed. By then, Matiang’i was not in the picture until three weeks ago when he reportedly summoned Ongwae, Ongeri, ODM treasurer Timothy analysis Oimeke- ODM Otara- UGM Margret- MCC Matagaro- Mwanga

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