Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji has approved the prosecution of Busia Governor Sospeter Ojaamong and eight other county officials over a dubious tender deal.
Mr Ojaamong and his co-accused, who now face arrest, will be charged with offences such as failure to pay tax, engaging in a project without proper planning and fraudulent acquisition of public property.
The other charges levelled against the officials include wilful failure to comply with the law relating to management of funds, abuse of office and conspiracy to commit an economic crime.
“Upon independent review of the file, I am satisfied that there is sufficient evidence to warrant prosecution," said Mr Hajj in a statement.
It is alleged that Mr Ojaamong unilaterally signed a deal for Madam RE Enterprises (MRE) to procure a solid management system without due regards to relevant laws leading to the loss of Sh8 million. Mr Ojaamong has denied the charges. He said Tuesday: “The county government got value for the investment we had with MRE. We had budgeted for Sh8m to manage waste in the county, a service that was delivered for a full year.”
He added, “Busia residents got more than what we invested in the company…. This is a political witch-hunt aimed at specific individuals.”
According to the DPP, investigations by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) which begun in 2016 established that two firms had similar names.
One was called Madam Re Limited while the other was called Madam R Enterprises (MRE).
The investigations also showed that Mr Ojaamong travelled to Germany where he signed an M0U with MRE Limited obligating Busia county government to pay Sh8 million in two instalments towards the waste management programme.
“The governor approved the payment of Sh8 million to be paid in two equal instalment. The first instalment of Sh4 million was made to Madam R Enterprises and the second installment of Sh4million to MRE Limited which by then had been registered,” says the DPP.
MRE Ltd then terminated the contract citing an unfavourable political climate in Kenya and inability to obtain donor funds immediately after payment of the second instalment.
The other entities and officials facing arrest and prosecution are Sebastian Hallensleben, Renish Achieng Omullo, Edna Adhiambo Odoyo and Madam R Enterprises Ltd.
Others are Allan Okweny Omachari, Samuel Osieko Ombui, Lenard Wanda Obimbira, Bernard Krade Yaite and Timon Otieno Mboga.