City Hall officer nabbed with 11 cars, top Kisumu hotel in graft probeThursday August 25 2022
A City Hall procurement officer has been nabbed with 11 cars, a three-star hotel in Kisumu and three motorbikes linked to kickbacks for tenders in the city county.
The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has asked the High Court to freeze the properties pending the completion of the investigations into the source.
The properties frozen include a three-star hotel known as Hydeout Riviera ltd, which is situated along the Kisumu-Bondo road, eight parcels of land in Siaya and Kisumu and one in Utawala estate in Nairobi.
“The respondents, their agents, servants or any other persons are prohibited from transferring, and or disposing of howsoever described, the following properties,” Justice Daniel Ogembo said.
The anti-corruption commission has told the court that Mr Michael Auka Ajwang’ earns a monthly salary of Sh53,685 but he has allegedly received bribes from companies awarded tenders at City Hall.
EACC says that in one instance, Mr Ajwang’s received as much as Sh40 million as bribe to award tenders to companies trading with the county government.
The EACC told the court that it is apprehensive that Mr Ajwang’ might sell or transfer the properties, in light of the ongoing investigations.
“The applicant reasonably suspects that the said assets are proceeds of corruption amenable to forfeiture to the state,” EACC’s advocate Joram Wambugu said.
The freeze order will remain in place for six months. The anti-graft body intends to file proceedings to recover the properties once the investigations are complete.
The 45-year-old Ajwang works as a procurement officer at the department of supply chain management.
The EACC says his net salary from January 2014 to June 2022--the period under investigations-- amounted to Sh2.1 million but he has amassed wealth that is not commensurate with his known sources of income.
Last month, the High Court jailed four former officials of Nairobi county government over a Sh18 million fraud case.
The ex-officials who served during the tenure of Governor Evans Kidero were given an option of paying a fine totaling to Sh21.4 million.
They include former County Chief Finance Officer Jimmy Kiamba and former secretary Lilian Ndegwa, former senior secretary in the department of finance Regina Rotich and former head of treasury Stephen Osiro.
The former officials were found guilty of violating procurement laws on the purchase of window blinds.
In 2020, the EACC successfully argued for the forfeiture of Mr Kiamba’s assets worth Sh317 million linked to graft. They include money in several accounts and a house in Runda worth Sh35 million.
The former finance chief was accused of amassing a total of Sh1.3 billion in about five years, he was at City Hall. He has appealed against the decision.