The Ethics and Anti–Corruption Commission (EACC) has launched investigations into the Sh400 million corruption scandal by Siaya County government officials.
According to a statement, the anti-graft body stated the county officials illegally siphoned county funds within 12 days after the August general election.
“EACC has launched investigations into the alleged theft of Sh400 million through illegal withdrawals by Senior Officials of the Siaya County Government during the transition period following the August 2022 General Election,” it pointed out.
The EACC further noted that the officials defied Governor James Orengo’s impediment on payment of allowances and pending bills and instead went ahead to wire the public funds to their accounts.
“It is alleged that despite a moratorium stopping procurements, payment of allowances and pending bills by the new Siaya Governor, the officials went ahead and fraudulently paid themselves hundreds of Millions of public funds,” it added.
The anti-graft body further stated officials in the finance department received 6 payments in the period between August 31 and September 6, 2022.
The payments were Sh225 000 said to have funded travel costs, Sh200 000 for accommodation, Sh120 000 for advertising awareness and public campaign, Sh250 000 utilized on tuition fees and a separate Sh93 000 on other tuition fees.
Another senior staff member received 3 payments including Sh200 000, Sh425 000 and Sh125 000 for travel, daily subsistence, and bank service respectively.
In a separate case, EACC further points out that Sh112 million was channelled from the county executive bank account to clerks of various county assembly committees, with the clerks receiving up to five payments in one day.
On his part, Orengo in a press statement said that he is aware of serious financial impropriety and administrative malpractices in the county.
“This is not news. It justifies the steps we have taken to carry out a thorough and comprehensive forensic audit led by a team of experts. This is the only pathway towards eradicating endemic and systemic corruption in Siaya, “he said.
“Indeed, without mincing words, the treasury in Siaya is rotten. The public is aware that the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) is also conducting investigations of cases of misappropriation within the county government,” he noted.
Orengo further stated that the county has stopped payment of pending bills until verification and confirmation are done.
“No procurements are being undertaken nor new contracts awarded until we are done with the application of prompt and effective interventions. The county treasury is directed not to pay or engage in any financial transactions without my direct authority until advised otherwise,” he said.
“I want to assure the people of Siaya that nothing will be spared and nobody will be spared within the context of a comprehensive and decisive strategy and solution to this problem,’ he stated.