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Kisumu governor suspends six over Sh1bn graft claims

 Kisumu Governor Jack Ranguma speaks to journalists in May. The governor is on the spot after an audit implicated six county officials in misuse of funds. Photo/Tom Otieno
Kisumu Governor Jack Ranguma speaks to journalists in May. The governor is on the spot after an audit implicated six county officials in misuse of funds. Photo/Tom Otieno 

Kisumu Governor Jack Ranguma on Thursday suspended six county officials over Sh1 billion graft allegations against them even as a civil society group pushed for his ouster.

In a Press statement, Mr Ranguma said that the suspended officials had been implicated in gross corruption and misuse of county resources by a recent audit.

Among those sent home were town engineer Adrian Ouma, urban planner Absalom Ayany, and computer programmer Peter Kayila. Others are clerical officers Maurice Matunga, Bertha Odera and Peter Ogada.

Mr Ranguma said that among the issues raised by auditors was an attempt to dispose of 500 houses belonging to the Municipal Council of Kisumu during the transition.

“The audit revealed that the officers attempted to sell over 500 houses and council estates worth more than Sh1.1 billion to private developers without following due process,” he said.

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Mr Ranguma also accused the six of having misappropriated funds during the transition from the local authority to the county government.

“The officers were running parallel accounting systems including an illegal strong room with fake receipts and accounting documents through which they channelled revenues collected from traders and other businesses,” he claimed.

The Kisumu Governor added that the suspended officials had also failed to account for more than Sh80 million in revenue losses and printing parallel receipt books with which they allegedly collected more than Sh52 million.

But even as Mr Ranguma breathed fire over corruption, he was himself on the spot from civil society pushing for his ouster over the scandal.

The audit process that implicated the six officers was among the grounds raised by Kisumu County Residents’ Association, in which Mr Ranguma is accused of single sourcing a firm.

Other allegations made against the Governor included failure to constitute the county public service board and interfering with the operations of the County Assembly.

Association’s chairman Audi Ogada had by yesterday threatened to move to court  to seek legal redress should the County Assembly not address  the issues  raised on the conduct of the Governor.

“In accordance with the Standing Order No.195 and the Article 37 of the Constitution, I petition the County Assembly to urgently deliberate on the Governor’s conduct within two weeks or we move to court to seek legal redress on the same”, said Mr Ogada in a press statement.

Earlier in the week, Mr Ranguma was on the spot after the County Assembly Speaker Anne Adul accused him of usurping the powers of the County Assembly.

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