Kenya: 13 Quizzed As Probe Into Graft in Kiambu County Gathers Steam

Investigations over alleged massive theft of public resources in the Kiambu County government appear to be gaining momentum after 13 current and former senior officials were Tuesday questioned by detectives from the anti-graft agency.

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has cast its net wider as it traces alleged stolen funds from the county since 2016.

This is why some officers who served under former Governor William Kabogo could be persons of interest to the detectives.

Eight executive committee members, three former county ministers, legal officer Josephine Muritu and former chief of staff Gibson Mburu, who resigned last month, were quizzed Tuesday.

SUMMONSES

Finance and Planning Executive Kigo Njenga and his Chief Officer Faith Njeri Harrison, who has been a regular guest at the EACC headquarters at Integrity Centre, also appeared on Monday, under summonses dated June 7 and sent to them by Mr John Lolkoloi, the EACC deputy director for forensic investigations.

The agency is also looking into claims that Governor Ferdinand Waititu allegedly used his position to siphon millions of shillings from the county through fraudulent acquisition of public funds, conflict of interest and money laundering.

RECORDED STATEMENTS

The governor, his wife Susan Wangari and their daughter Monica Njeri have al-ready recorded statements over claims that they received kickbacks worth mil-lions of shillings from a company that was irregularly awarded Sh588 million in road tenders.

Current executives who appeared before EACC on Tuesday are Mr Karungo Thang'wa (Youth and Sports), Ms Mary Kamau (Health), Mr David Kuria (Environment), Mr James Maina (Planning), Mr Joseph Kamau (Agriculture), Ms Margaret Ruinge (Public Administration), Mr Wilson Mburu (Trade) and Mr Joseph Ng'ang'a (Education).

FORMER MINISTERS

Former ministers quizzed are Ms Isabella Waiyaki (Trade) and Mr Joseph Murega (Health) -- who were unceremoniously kicked out of office in August last year -- and former Agriculture executive Jeremiah Nyori, who quit in January last year, citing frustrations.

Former Roads executive John Mugwe appeared at EACC's Integrity Centre last week.

"The commission is investigating allegations of corruption at the County Government of Kiambu in disbursement of funds during the financial year 2016/2017, 2017/2018 and 2018/2019. To facilitate our investigations, kindly [make available] the following members of staff (those asked to appear) for an interview and statement recording," reads the summonses sent to the county secretary, Dr Mar-tin Njogu.

EACC Spokesman Yassin Amaro Tuesday told the Nation that the officers spent hours at Integrity Centre recording statements.

The agency is looking into alleged irregularities in spending in departments, where expenditures allegedly violated the Public Finance Management Act.

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