Officers from the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission are plotting more arrests at Homa Bay county. The move comes as word has it that state agencies more so, Assets Recovery Agency has profiled top officials’ bank accounts, properties both in their names and those believed to be of proxies and relatives, to be frozen once they appear in court.
Deeprooted corruption has milked all taps dry leaving the county crying for development after billions of shillings were lost in money minting rackets with not even a single latrine that has been built.
Looting in the county government of Homa Bay has been rampant over the years as county cries for development, owing to protection from top echelons of Ethics and Anti- Corruption Commission, but now it has been shaken by the current EACC under the blessings of Twalib Mbarak.
After word went round that the medium predator fish, one Keffa, Chris Agong and his wife were netted by a battery of DCI boys and EACC sleuths, residents of Homa Bay and its environs who have been walking heads down for a long time and counting their fingers in a manner to suggest their is nothing to smile about in Homa Bay, were scene gathering in various groups in several urban centres, markets and even in churches discussing loudly.
The three Homa Bay county officials were arrested over corruption allegations.
Kepha Rombe, Mary Agong and her husband Chris Agong were arrested for allegedly awarding county tenders to their own companies.
The arrest was coordinated by Homa Bay county DCI boss Daniel Wachira. The case is under EACC.
A report from the EACC seen by Weekly Citizen shows that sleuths are looking for other county government officials linked to several corruption claims.
Sometimes back, EACC invaded the county assembly that saw five people arrested over the loss of Sh26 million in Homa Bay county.
They included Micheal Ooro (former majority leader), Issac Nyandege (former minority leader) and Judith Omongi (nominated MCA).
Others are Caroline Sang (principal finance officer), Edwin Okollo(senior accounts controller).
They were among seven suspects that DPP Noordin Haji had ordered for their arrest. Haji said the officials were involved in a fictitious procurement and payment of MCAs’ allowances for the financial years 2014/15 and 2016/17.
They were charged with conspiracy to commit an offence of corruption, unlawful acquisition of
Public property, abuse of office, breach of trust and fraudulent payment from public revenue.
Otieno Kephas (then county assembly clerk) and Morris Amok (senior accountant) went underground to avoid arrest.
EACC raided the assembly claiming that at least Sh400 million had been misused.
Since the war against corruption began in May 2018, top county officers including some of their governors in Nyanza, hardly reported in their offices or stayed to serve the public lest they be ambushed and netted for prosecution.
Over the years, residents of the limping county, including leaders, have persistently accused Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission of being compacent and converting their woes into a looting spree as cartels in Governor Cyprian Awiti’s government turn off their eyes on the stinking rot.
EACC chairman Eliud Wabukala had been accused of handling corruption matters as sins committed in church yet in the secular world, which he has joined as a public servant operating within the confines of the constitution, laws and established policies must prevail.
Due to a longstanding chestthumping of the Asian trained cartels, the trend in the county of Homa Bay has been the norm, where their inspirational training in the art of thievery skills was instilled and empowered, picking billions from public coffers and throwing it into their purses is no big deal since they graduated of the same qualification. They have since developed big thick skins earning them a name reptiles.
The fulcrum was made of three officers; county secretary Isaiah Ogwe, former county commissioner Farah Kassim and then bruised deputy chief executive officer of EACC Michael Mubea who was removed from EACC helm leading to the current purge.
Mubea was the protector of Homa Bay cartel at EACC and has been linked and helped cause economic genocide to the Homa Bay citizens. However, the move by Directorate of Criminal Investigations to summon Ogwe and seven cartels to be in Nairobi to record statements respectively as well as putting a demand to avail documents used in May/ June 2017 in withdrawing Sh2.7 billion over the counter caused an earth tremor. Fearing DCI sleuths were to take over the case, EACC has been forced to strike.
A chief officer who hails from Ndhiwa constituency was overheard expressing deep fears that their kingdom is destined to crumble. The soft spoken chief officer who is equally under investigation by EACC on his former and current dockets is now blaming Ogwe for overdoing his dirty work after he engineered a strategy that incapacitated the governor completely.
The over Sh30 billion so far received from National Treasury whose 40pc for development translates into Sh16 billion has since disappeared into the thin air or a bottomless pit, carefully dug by the Ogwe. Golden Rays Hotel, a high-end hotel valued at Sh800 million is a small testimony of Ogwe’s overnight accumulated wealth from Homa Bay public coffers. Ogwe wants to succeed Awiti as governor.
Under his instruction, his chief cartels in the county treasury Daniel Ochieng’ Owuor alias Lieta, head of accounts and Noah Otieno, the chief officer finance are marked men. The cartel operate as a parallel government outside the county government of Homa Bay, takes Ogwe orders obediently to the letter like their command and ensure the monies are diverted, disbursed and distributed into various channels which end up into his purse as local banks management in Homa Bay town play the role of facilitators and get their fat cuts.
The county secretary whose wealth background is traceable to the defunct provincial administration, in which he worked in various capacities as an accountant/cashier where the then newly created Migori district’s coffers was swept clean under him, is said to be known to operate with impunity.
When he joined the county as secretary, he moved fast to open a channel through which protection fees flows freely and directly to his collegemate in India. At times Mubea, was used to engage in witchhunting of some officers who were not in agreement with Ogwe’s conduct of county affairs.
What the Ogwe camp did to have a free hand was to castrate and blindfold the dejure governor and took control as the defacto governor watched helplessly to the shock of the lonely and voiceless deputy governor Hamilton Orata.
To create a rift between Awiti and his deputy governor, Ogwe camp was instrumental in spreading word that Orata had poisoned Awiti by planting chemicals in the microphone so that he dies and he inherits the seat.
Surprisingly though, with millions of shillings swimming on their side, the Ogwae camp had shared women sexually, some suffers from chronic diseases, hence the current state of their health. Talk in Homa Bay county is rife that even when EACC was not striking to arrest the cartel, the pandemic HIV/Aids scourge struck, which has seen a majority of them not enjoy their overnight ill-gotten wealth.
Former Homa Bay county commissioner, Kassim, who was transferred unceremoniously and got redeployment in a junior position in the ministry of sports, provided fodder for the fulcrum by ensuring that all the intelligence information he received from the government or its agencies that could hit the cartels was deflected forthwith.
Even as the DCI was demanding the documents, it was a tall order to avail them because they believed Mubea was paid handsomely to kill the case. In September 2017, after being advised by the cartels to set on fire valuable records that were under investigations in which more than Sh5 billion was minted, the case was torn apiece.
But when their voices seemed to have not been heard properly, a civil society organisation, Homa Bay Bunge La Wananchi came in.
The worst thing is that over Sh13 billion disbursed by National Treasury for development cannot be traced because Mubea has been on the protection spree to collect his fee charges. Homa Bay residents in various media platforms have appealed to Uhuru Kenyatta and other government agencies to intervene and stop the menace
Joho works on Coast 2022 lineup – Weekly Citizen
Mombasa governor Hassan Joho has renewed his war against Coast elected leaders who are perceived to be supportive of William Ruto’s 2022 Presidential bid. Currently, Kwale Governor Salim Mvurya is under siege from hostile MCAs suspected to be under instructions of Joho through county speaker Sammy Ruwa.
Ruwa has been a longtime Joho sidekick and has also acted as his legal adviser in the past. He has been fronted for governor seat twice but rejected. He is speaker for a second term. Towards the end of Mvurya’s first term, he has been a Ruto man. He has no time for Joho, insisting Kwale is not an extension of Mombasa county. In the last general elections, Joho had vowed to ensure Mvurya was defeated at the ballot. But this was never to be after the Mombasa governor fell out with Chirau Mwakwere who was a sure bet against Mvurya on the then popular ODM ticket.
After Mwakwere bolted out of ODM to Wiper, Joho turned to little known Issa Chipera as party candidate. Chipera literally became minced meat for Mvurya who easily beat him and made a comeback on a Jubilee ticket. Mvurya is grooming his deputy Fatuma Achani to succeed him in the next general election but observers say this is a tall order. Joho on the other hand is reportedly pushing Crop Development PS Hamad Boga for the Kwale seat against Mvurya’s candidate and Mwakwere. Another Ruto man on Joho’s radar is Kaloleni MP Paul Katana. Recently, the legislator was discharged as a member of the parliamentary investment committee in actions said to have the Mombasa governor’s hand.
Ironically, Katana was Joho’s PA when he served as Kisauni MP. But it appears other than fighting Katana for aligning himself with Ruto, he never wanted him to be MP in the first place. In the 2013 general election when Katana first contested and lost to little known Gunga Mwinga, there were allegations that ODM insiders had rigged him out. Currently, Joho is said to be financing the political activities of Mwinga to undermine Katana in the constituency. Katana has said severally that his cooperation with Ruto is because of the handshake between Raila Odinga and President Uhuru Kenyatta. “I’m a loyal member of ODM with full respect to my party leader. I also support the handshake and that is why I have been working with DP Ruto to further development in my constituency,” the legislator was quoted as saying.
He has also said his cooperation with Ruto is not for selfish reasons but for the benefit of his constituents. He says the DP has presided over high profile funds drives towards public projects in his constituency. The MP says some of the people fighting him have never assisted Kaloleni to move forward but wants leaders who can bootlick them.“I’m independent-minded and I work for the interest of my people who elected me and have no time for sycophancy,” Katana says. Mohammed Ali of Nyali constituency and a close ally of the DP is another one whom Joho is scheming against. He is pushing his cousin Said Abdalla aka Saido against the Jicho Pevu.
Jicho Pevu’s recent rising political profile after he filed a motion to impeach transport CS James Macharia over chaos at Mombasa port has alarmed the Joho camp. In spite of the rejection of the motion by Speaker Justin Muturi, Ali has become a hero in Mombasa. Last week, pro-Joho Mombasa MPs led by Mvita’s Abdulswamad Nassir were doing damage control. They toured the port and pleaded with the KPA management to put out a notice affirming that usage of SGR for containers upcountry was optional. This was meant to cool the heat against them after residents began collecting signatures to recall them for failing to support Jicho Pevu motion. Another Joho political foe Aisha Jumwa of Malindi constituency is politically wounded and the Mombasa governor no longer cares what she does or says. The Malindi MP’s self-inflicted woes have dimmed her 2022 Kilifi governor bid.
Fresh political formation in Siaya ahead of 2022 – Weekly Citizen
There are plans afoot to drop Alego Usonga MP Samuel Atandi from a leading role in Senator James Orengo gubernatorial campaign team. Observers point that the surprising decision was reached after it became clear that the controversial legislator was no longer appealing to the majority of voters.
There were earlier reports of an inside analysis conducted within Siaya senator campaign inner circle that hinted the disadvantages of trusting the MP with a major role yet he was also facing stiff opposition from notable politicians in the region. The development debate comes hot on the heels of a video that went viral showing the evidently intoxicated legislator dancing suggestively during a house party attended by women, as his Gem counterpart Elisha Odhiambo cheered. Weekly Citizen has established that political formations are already regrouping in Siaya ahead of 2022 general election and a section of political leaders including top ODM party officials from Alego Usonga are not happy with Atandi’s quick move to front Senator Orengo for the county’s governorship.
Area governor Cornell Rasanga has confronted the lawmaker on a number of occasions describing his early campaigns in support of Orengo as a lack of respect for his office. The protest by the governor sparked off an anti-Atandi wave as he was immediately joined by a host of formidable politicians from Alego Usonga in castigating the MP accused of overstepping his political mandate. The local ODM party leadership led by Alego Usonga branch chairman John Orwenjo, and secretary Paul Jura reaffirmed that the party had crowned Rasanga as their bona fide patron and it was, therefore, his duty to offer political direction on matters regarding his successor. The Orengo-led group which also brings together Gem MP Elisha Odhiambo and his Rarieda counterpart Otiende Amollo has been roundly accused of leading early full-scale political activities at the expense of development.
MCAs chairman Sylvester Madialo warned Atandi to stop creating confusion among voters, adding he should hold his horse and wait for the party whistle to be blown or prepare to equally lose his seat at the ballot. The leaders including Township MCA Obiero Otare, Vincent Odawa (North Alego), Judy Okumu (West Alego), Joseph Mboha (South East Alego), and Winnie Otieno (nominated) have loudly questioned how Atandi would deliver for Orengo when he is standing on a politically shaky ground. It is claimed that the Siaya senator blocked Atandi from using his chopper to escape from a crowd that turned rowdy during a food distribution to flood victims in his constituency. It is reported that trouble started after the MP barred Usonga ward MCA Madialo from addressing his voters after the food distribution. People with disabilities who had attended the event reportedly bayed for his blood after he gave them a paltry sh100 prompting Orengo to deny the lawmaker a chopper ride in fear that associating with him would jeopardize his 2022 governorship bid.
Rogue Kisumu NGO’s money minting gimmicks – Weekly Citizen
Various stakeholders and residents of Kisumu county have called upon Nyanza regional police commander Noah Mwivanda and his DCI counterpart Daniel Kipsoi, to investigate the activities of the chairman of an NGO called Magnum Environment Network Michael Nyaguti. The NGO, it is claimed, is a briefcase one with no donor funding surviving fully on extortion and threats. By last week, a victim was planning to institute private criminal charges against the NGO.
They are accusing Nyaguti of extortion and blackmail of people under the guise of encroaching on water catchment areas and flouting environmental laws failure of which he always resorts to going to courts as an interested party of the said social vice. One of the victims narrated that sometimes back, he was developing rental houses near Lake Victoria and had been given all the required documents from the county, Nema, and all relevant authorities to commence his work only for Nyaguti to appear menacing at the site with a group of people he called officials of Magnum Environment Network accompanied by some people who looked like police officers who demanded that I show them documents in regard to what I was doing. Most developers ranging from real estate to hospitable industries are saying that they are really undergoing rough times in the hands of the said Nyaguti who on most occasions is accompanied by some rogue police officers who intimidate and threaten their respective targets with arrests. The said Nyaguti had sometimes back attempted to extort Sh5 million each from former governors Evans Kidero and Jack Ranguma, together with a senior leading civil servant under the guise that they had bought land which should have been part of Lake Victoria.
When the trio was adamant that they would not give him any money, he sued them saying they had encroached on wetlands. The same Nyaguti also sued the Kisumu county government and Nyanza Golf Club which he accused of reclaiming the wetland at the mouth of River Kisat without convening a public participatory forum, as part extortion antics but his bid has fallen on deaf ears. He had also sued Kenya Ports Authority, Kisumu after the parastatal had ordered beach management units out of its land after collecting thousands of shillings from the said victims. Recently together with other activists, they stormed Western offices of Kenya Wildlife Service demanding that they investigate a ring of cartels believed to be working in cahoots with officers to defraud victims of wildlife attacks of their compensation. After his request was rejected, he called a meeting in Kisumu with some of the victims who had not been paid and tried to convince them to give him the power of attorney so that he could press them for their payment. Efforts to get Nyaguti’s comments were fruitless while a senior KWS officer said that they have a clear policy on how KWS compensates. “KWS has no agreement with anyone to peruse payments,” he said.