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Economy

Senate reveals the secrets of EACC ‘List of Shame’ report

Senators Mike Sonko (Nairobi), James Orengo (Siaya) and Kenya envoy to Tanzania, who was also a former Cabinet minister Chirau Ali Mwakwere are among 175 prominent Kenyans named in the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission report. PHOTOS | FILE
From left: Senators Mike Sonko (Nairobi), James Orengo (Siaya) and Kenya envoy to Tanzania, who was also a former Cabinet minister Chirau Ali Mwakwere are among 175 prominent Kenyans named in the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission report. PHOTOS | FILE  NATION MEDIA GROUP

Dozens of prominent Kenyans are among the 175 people named in investigation reports being handled by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission.

They stand accused of everything from planting potatoes on government land, to approving sweetheart deals for favoured firms, land-grabbing and using millions of shillings in public funds to bribe Members of Parliament.

A report on the current status of corruption matters sent to the Presidency on March 20 this year lists many current and former government officials as suspects in some 124 cases in various stages of investigation.

This was revealed after Senate Majority Leader Kindiki Kithure and his National Assembly counterpart Aden Duale on Tuesday tabled the three EACC documents that had been appended to President Uhuru Kenyatta’s State of the Nation submissions last week. Debate on the matter began Tuesday.

Apart from the five Cabinet Secretaries, nine governors and other public officials already named, the list of people under investigation includes former Secretary to Cabinet Francis Kimemia, NPSC Chairperson Johnston Kavuludi, Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko, Machakos senator Johnstone Muthama, former Lands minister James Orengo, former Cabinet minister Chirau Ali Mwakwere, and former IEBC executives James Oswago and Wilson Shollei.

Others include former Chief of Staff at the Office of the Prime Minister Caroli Omondi, former High Court Registrar Gladys Shollei, Auditor-General Edward Ouko, former Information PS Bitange Ndemo, NSSF Managing Trustee Richard Langat and former Investment Secretary Esther Koimett.

KNEC chief executive Paul Wasanga, FKF secretary-general Sam Nyamweya, former Nairobi mayor George Aladwa, former PS Rebecca Nabutola, former Mumias Sugar MD Peter Kebati, Nandi Hills MP Alfred Keter and Mt Elgon MP John Serut are also under investigation for various alleged economic crimes.

It is alleged that Mr Mwakwere used his office in 2006 to deny former Kenya Railway Corporation employees a chance to purchase houses set aside for them to buy. Mr Kimemia and Ms Koimett are cited in the same scheme. The former Secretary to the Cabinet is also being investigated over irregularities in a Sh1 billion Interior ministry tender.

Mr Orengo and Mr Aladwa are tied to irregular disposal of a parcel of land in Westlands for Sh320 million, with the then minister allegedly pocketing a Sh5 million bribe.

Caroli Omondi is being probed over the purchase of a parcel of land on Loita Street, Nairobi, from Kenya Commercial Bank for Sh220 million before flipping it to a buyer waiting in the wings for Sh650 million.

Mr Ndemo and Mr Muthama are named among half a dozen others over the irregular procurement of Konza ranch.

Mr Oswago and his deputy Shollei are being investigated over the procurement of electronic voter identification devices.

Mr Kavuludi is accused of abuse of office for allegedly making trips abroad and failing to account for the funds.

Governors Isaac Ruto (Bomet), Evans Kidero (Nairobi), Ali Joho (Mombasa), Peter Munya (Meru), Alfred Mutua (Machakos), Nadhif Jama (Garissa), Godana Doyo (Isiolo), Ukur Yattani (Marsabit) and Cyprian Awiti (Homa Bay), all named in earlier media reports, are confirmed to be in the list.

Also under investigation are Governors Amason Kingi (Kilifi), Okoth Obado (Migori), Samuel Tunai (Narok) and Josephat Nanok (Turkana).

Dr Kidero is being probed over a suspect Sh4.6 billion deal to launch a metro transport system as well as over a memorandum of understanding with

with Foton East Africa.

Dr Mutua, on the other hand, is in trouble for buying 14 used Subaru vehicles for county executive committee members.

Five Cabinet Secretaries on the list had their identities disclosed over the weekend when they “stepped aside” as requested by the President to allow for investigations.

They include Charity Ngilu (Lands), Davies Chirchir (Energy), Felix Koskei (Agriculture), Michael Kamau (Transport) and Kazungu Kambi (Labour).

Mrs Ngilu is alleged to have colluded with Mr Evanson Waitiki, a Likoni landowner plagued by squatters, to inflate the market price of his farm by Sh110 million ahead of a sale to the government. She is also accused of scheming to drive a landowner off a parcel of land near State House, Nairobi.

Agriculture CS Koskei is accused of renting government land in Tigoni from the Kenya Veterinary Vaccines Production Institute to plant potatoes. EACC is looking into conflict of interest issues surrounding Koskei’s 100-acre potato farm. He is also accused of secretly allocating sugar import permits, demanding bribes from parastatal heads and intimidating those who resist.

Mr Kamau stands accused of illegally contracting a local clearing and forwarding firm to handle cargo belonging to the Chinese firm contracted to build the standard gauge railway. He is also alleged to have colluded in the irregular trashing of a road design “leading to massive embezzlement of funds”, manipulated road tender awards and directed billions of shillings of SGR-related in consultancy work to a firm associated with him.

The allegations against Energy and Petroleum CS Chirchir also relate to the tender and procurement process. In one deal, he is accused of trying to influence the award of a $500 million (Sh45.5 billion) Kenya Pipeline Company Tender to a Chinese firm in return for a $15 million (Sh1.4 billion) kickback to be shared with Nairobi senator Mike Sonko.

Labour CS Kambi is alleged to be involved in corruption deals at the National Social Security Fund. The main accusations revolve around the Tassia Phase II project, whose cost estimates were revised from Sh3.3 billion to Sh5 billion without the approval of NSSF’s Board of Trustees.

One of the more intriguing investigations involves Ms Marianne Kitany, the chief of staff at the office of the Deputy President. Apart from allegedly misappropriating Sh200 million, she is accused of diverting Sh100 million from a liaison office budget to “mobilise MPs” in an abortive campaign to impeach Devolution CS Anne Waiguru in June last year.

The EACC is expected to bring investigations into these and other cases to a conclusion within two months.

The commission on Monday formed a 130-member special team to expedite investigations and possible prosecution of CSs, PSs and parastatal heads who have stepped aside after being named in their status report.

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