Connect with us


Obado’s proxies received Sh2.5bn in tender scams





The Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission is pursuing a trail of transactions involving an intricate web of suspected proxy companies through which beleaguered Migori governor Okoth Obado is believed to have siphoned billions of county funds to local and offshore accounts.

According to EACC documents filed in court, Obado and his associates registered about 30 companies soon after he became governor through which they have pocketed Sh2.5 billion in “fictitious” contracts.

The firms would be paid by the county for the “high value contracts” after which they would wire the money to Obado’s accomplices, especially one Jared Peter Odoyo Oluoch Kwaga.

Kwaga, investigations reveal, also made huge international transfers to, among others, Obado’s children in Australia, Hong Kong and China, as the Star reported exclusively on Saturday.

Read: Obado supporters hold protest, demand release from cells

 According to the documents, Kwaga’s companies have been paid Sh1.6 billion since 2013.

“These funds have been used to to acquire and construct properties worth over Sh1 billion registered in the governor’s and Kwaga’s names. We have traced these properties,” EACC said in court papers.

EACC which has been tracking the dealings long before Sharon’s murder saga, discretely obtained court order for a six-months’ freeze of six bank accounts and preservation of 37 parcels of land on December 1, 2017. 

The preservation order was again extended on June 21, 2018, for a further four months.
Of these properties mostly situated in Migori county, 22 are registered in Kwaga’s name.

Read: EACC freezes Obado accounts over graft

“Communication link analysis indicates that the governor is in constant communication with Jared Kwaga,” EACC said.

Sources told the Star that Kwaga lives large in Migori and was at one time being guarded by six police officers.

Another of the alleged Obado accomplices,  Ernest Omondi Owino, who also has a chain of firms has been paid a cool Sh722.8 million.

Others named as the governor’s associates who have allegedly benefited from fraudulent deals include Joram Opala Otieno, Patroba Ochanda Otieno, Beatrice Akinyi Ogutu and Kennedy Odhiambo Akello.

Kwaga, Opala and Ochanda are blood brothers while Akinyi is Kwaga’s wife and a close associate of Obado’s spouse, Hellen Adhiambo Odie.

Read: Obado to be charged with Sharon’s murder, DCI confirms
There was also a firm, Kajulu Business, registered in the name of Kwaga’s mother, Penina Auma.


“A small group of persons, well known to be proxies of Mr Okoth Obado, the governor Migori county, have registered a large number of companies and firms for the sole purpose of fraudulent acquisition of public funds through unmerited award of high value contracts, some fictitious by way of circumvention of procurement procedures,” EACC documents filed in court state.

The anti-graft detectives analyzed particulars of the suspected firms from the registrar of companies and established that the entities are indeed associated with only a few individuals.

For instance, Owino is director of Mbigo Enterprises Ltd and Janto Construction Company, both of whose accounts have been frozen.

Joram Opala is a director of Deltrack ICT Services and Seltrack Consultants while Ochanda is director of Joyush Business.

EACC has also analyzed the accounts to show the close association of the contractors.

In May 2015 for instance, Deltrack ICT Services was paid Sh17.71 million by Migori county government. But three days later, the entire cash was debited to Kwaga’s accounts.

A month later, Obado’s government paid another Sh7.2 million to Deltrack ICT Services at Co-operative Bank and after a few weeks Sh3 million was wired to Owino and Opala — each receiving Sh1.5 million.

In a clear indication that the supposed independent contractors are known to each other, Joyush Business, owned by Ochanda, received over Sh8.2 million in two tranches from the Migori county government on May 15.

However, five days later, the entire amount was debited to Kwaga’s account.

On December 30, 2015, Seltrack Consultants received Sh7.5 million from the county coffers and the entire amount was offloaded the following day to Kwaga’s accounts.

Owino and his firms also made payments to Kwaga and received huge amounts from the same man of up to Sh9 million in a single transaction.

But it is the probe on Kwaga’s accounts that has shocked detectives.

On November 25, 2015, Kwaga transferred Sh8.8 million to Achola Akoth and a further Sh1.9 million to the same person on January 26, 2016.

On the same day, another Sh819,280 was transferred to Okoth Scarlet Susan.

EACC has confirmed that Scarlet is Obado’s daughter and suspects that Achola Akoth is also one of his children.

EACC says it may apply for mutual legal assistance as provided under Kenyan laws following discoveries of international money transfers to his children and others in Australia, Hong Kong and China.

EACC has frozen the accounts of Janto Construction Limited (Sh4,000,317), Marowa Stores (Sh1,711,134) and Mbigo Enterprises (Sh2,067,058).

Also frozen are the accounts of Hellen Obado at Equity Bank, Awendo branch, which has Sh784,451 and an account identified as Kuku Ni Pesa at Equity Bank, Migori, which has Sh700,660.

Besides the frozen account, the EACC also obtained preservation orders over 37 parcels of land, mostly situated within Migori town, and suspected to be proceeds of graft.

Of these, 22 parcels belong to Kwaga, four to Owino, six to Opala and three to Akinyi.

Click here for the latest political news 



Continue Reading


Public officers above 58 years and with pre-existing conditions told to work from home: The Standard




Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua. [File, Standard]
In a document from Head of Public Service, Joseph Kinyua new measure have been outlined to curb the bulging spread of covid-19. Public officers with underlying health conditions and those who are over 58 years -a group that experts have classified as most vulnerable to the virus will be required to execute their duties from home.


However, the new rule excluded personnel in the security sector and other critical and essential services.
“All State and public officers with pre-existing medical conditions and/or aged 58 years and above serving in CSG5 (job group ‘S’) and below or their equivalents should forthwith work from home,” read the document,” read the document.
To ensure that those working from home deliver, the Public Service directs that there be clear assignments and targets tasked for the period designated and a clear reporting line to monitor and review work done.
SEE ALSO: Thinking inside the cardboard box for post-lockdown work stations
Others measures outlined in the document include the provision of personal protective equipment to staff, provision of sanitizers and access to washing facilities fitted with soap and water, temperature checks for all staff and clients entering public offices regular fumigation of office premises and vehicles and minimizing of visitors except by prior appointments.
Officers who contract the virus and come back to work after quarantine or isolation period will be required to follow specific directives such as obtaining clearance from the isolation facility certified by the designated persons indicating that the public officer is free and safe from Covid-19. The officer will also be required to stay away from duty station for a period of seven days after the date of medical certification.
“The period a public officer spends in quarantine or isolation due to Covid-19, shall be treated as sick leave and shall be subject to the Provisions of the Human Resource Policy and procedures Manual for the Public Service(May,2016),” read the document.
The service has also made discrimination and stigmatization an offence and has guaranteed those affected with the virus to receive adequate access to mental health and psychosocial supported offered by the government.
The new directives targeting the Public Services come at a time when Kenyans have increasingly shown lack of strict observance of the issued guidelines even as the number of positive Covid-19 cases skyrocket to 13,771 and leaving 238 dead as of today.
SEE ALSO: Working from home could be blessing in disguise for persons with disabilities
Principal Secretaries/ Accounting Officers will be personally responsible for effective enforcement and compliance of the current guidelines and any future directives issued to mitigate the spread of Covid-19.

Continue Reading


Uhuru convenes summit to review rising Covid-19 cases: The Standard




President Uhuru Kenyatta (pictured) will on Friday, July 24, meet governors following the ballooning Covid-19 infections in recent days.
The session will among other things review the efficacy of the containment measures in place and review the impact of the phased easing of the restrictions, State House said in a statement.
This story is being updated.
SEE ALSO: Sakaja resigns from Covid-19 Senate committee, in court tomorrow

Continue Reading


Drastic life changes affecting mental health




Kenya has been ranked 6th among African countries with the highest cases of depression, this has triggered anxiety by the World Health Organization (WHO), with 1.9 million people suffering from a form of mental conditions such as depression, substance abuse.

KBC Radio_KICD Timetable

Globally, one in four people is affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives, this is according to the WHO.

Currently, around 450 million people suffer from such conditions, placing mental disorders among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide.

The pandemic has also been known to cause significant distress, mostly affecting the state of one’s mental well-being.

Get breaking news on your Mobile as-it-happens. SMS ‘NEWS’ to 20153

With the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic attributed to the novel Coronavirus disease, millions have been affected globally with over 14 million infections and half a million deaths as to date. This has brought about uncertainty coupled with difficult situations, including job loss and the risk of contracting the deadly virus.

In Kenya the first Coronavirus case was reported in Nairobi by the Ministry of Health on the 12th March 2020.  It was not until the government put in place precautionary measures including a curfew and lockdown (the latter having being lifted) due to an increase in the number of infections that people began feeling its effect both economically and socially.

A study by Dr. Habil Otanga,  a Lecturer at the University of Nairobi, Department of Psychology says  that such measures can in turn lead to surge in mental related illnesses including depression, feelings of confusion, anger and fear, and even substance abuse. It also brings with it a sense of boredom, loneliness, anger, isolation and frustration. In the post-quarantine/isolation period, loss of employment due to the depressed economy and the stigma around the disease are also likely to lead to mental health problems.

The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) states that at least 300,000 Kenyans have lost their jobs due to the Coronavirus pandemic between the period of January and March this year.

KNBC noted that the number of employed Kenyans plunged to 17.8 million as of March from 18.1 million people as compared to last year in December. The Report states that the unemployment rate in Kenya stands at 13.7 per cent as of March this year while it stood 12.4 per cent in December 2019.


Mama T (not her real name) is among millions of Kenyans who have been affected by containment measures put in place to curb the spread of the virus, either by losing their source of income or having to work under tough guidelines put in place by the MOH.

As young mother and an event organizer, she has found it hard to explain to her children why they cannot go to school or socialize freely with their peers as before.

“Sometimes it gets difficult as they do not understand what is happening due to their age, this at times becomes hard on me as they often think I am punishing them,”

Her contract was put on hold as no event or public gatherings can take place due to the pandemic. This has brought other challenges along with it, as she has to find means of fending for her family expenditures that including rent and food.

“I often wake up in the middle of the night with worries about my next move as the pandemic does not exhibit any signs of easing up,” she says. She adds that she has been forced to sort for manual jobs to keep her family afloat.

Ms. Mary Wahome, a Counseling Psychologist and Programs Director at ‘The Reason to Hope,’ in Karen, Nairobi says that such kind of drastic life changes have an adverse effect on one’s mental status including their family members and if not addressed early can lead to depression among other issues.

“We have had cases of people indulging in substance abuse to deal with the uncertainty and stress brought about by the pandemic, this in turn leads to dependence and also domestic abuse,”

Sam Njoroge , a waiter at a local hotel in Kiambu, has found himself indulging in substance abuse due to challenges he is facing after the hotel he was working in was closed down as it has not yet met the standards required by the MOH to open.

“My day starts at 6am where I go to a local pub, here I can get a drink for as little as Sh30, It makes me suppress the frustration I feel.” he says.

Sam is among the many who have found themselves in the same predicament and resulted to substance abuse finding ways to beat strict measures put in place by the government on the sale of alcohol so as to cope.

Mary says, situations like Sam’s are dangerous and if not addressed early can lead to serious complications, including addiction and dependency, violent behavior and also early death due to health complications.

She has, however, lauded the government for encouraging mental wellness and also launching the Psychological First Aid (PFA) guide in the wake of the virus putting emphasis on the three action principal of look, listen and link. “When we follow this it will be easy to identify an individual in distress and also offer assistance”.

Mary has urged anyone feeling the weight of the virus taking a toll on them not to hesitate but look for someone to talk to.

“You should not only seek help from a specialist but also talk to a friend, let them know what you are undergoing and how you feel, this will help ease their emotional stress and also find ways of dealing with the situation they are facing,” She added

Mary continued to stress on the need to perform frequent body exercises as a form of stress relief, reading and also taking advantage of this unfortunate COVID-19 period to engage in hobbies and talent development.

“Let people take this as an opportunity to kip fit, get in touch with one’s inner self and  also engage in   reading that would  help expand their knowledge.

Continue Reading