Anti-graft sleuths will continue scrutinizing and poring over documents as the war on corruption moves to a new frontier – the doors of the county secretaries.
Billions of shillings have been wasted and stolen in the counties with the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) warning it will not spare anyone in the new purge on corruption czars including the top county officials.
EACC commissioner Col. (Rtd.) Alfred Mshimba who spoke at a forum attended by the 47 county secretaries in Mombasa warned the officials against abetting corruption.
He said is pursuing forfeiture of corruptly acquired assets and recovery of funds used in counties and in the national government of the previous regime to safeguard public resources.
The commission has made several observations on the corruption trends in the counties in public procurement, human resource management and forged academic certificates where there has been massive irregular recruitment, ghost workers and payroll maladministration.
“Together with governors, county Secretaries should proactively address systemic gaps that allow theft of public funds, ghost workers and other malpractices,” he said.
According to the law, EACC is legally mandated with examining the systems, policies and practices of public bodies to detect any loopholes conducive to corruption, so as to inform appropriate interventions.
Mr Mshimba said the commission has received vital documents which are helping in the investigation of two cases flagged by the Controller of Budget and different parliamentary committees.
This includes the alleged acquisition of Telkom Kenya shares in 2022 at more than Sh6 billion and a major corruption scandal in the Uasin Gishu County government involving suspected theft of money meant for Kenyans to undertake further studies in Finland.
“We have received reports and documents about the alleged acquisition of Telkom Kenya and we shall scrutinize them before taking right actions,' said Mr Mshimba.
“We are looking at the case involving over 200 students from Uasin Gishu County who traveled to Finland to pursue their education in various universities who are said to have received notice of deportation for the failure of paying school fees. This involves public funds and we cannot shy from investigating it,” he said.
Between September 2021 and September 2022, some 202 students traveled to Finland to join various universities under a partnership that is said to have been signed between the county government of Uasin Gishu and the Finnish government, a deal that has since attracted criticism, especially after reports emerged that the students were being deported back to the country for failure to pay school fees.
The Commission has undertaken Corruption Risk Assessments (CRA) on 27 County Governments (County Executive and Assembly).
Some of the counties which have been reviewed include Nandi, Nyamira, Makueni, Vihiga, Nyandarua, Narok, TaitaTaveta, among others.