Senator Thang’wa accuses Wamatangi’s administration of massive corruption 

Kiambu Senator Karungo wa Thang'wa.

Kiambu Senator Karungo wa Thang'wa. 

Photo credit: Dennis Onsongo | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • A recent report ranked Kiambu County as the worst devolved unit to do business with.
  • Senator also raised concerns over alleged massive own-source revenue leakages at the county.

Kiambu Senator Karungo Thang’wa is headed for a major clash with Governor Kimani Wamatangi over management of billions of shillings allocated to the county government.

The senator now wants the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) to launch investigations of how the new administration has been spending public funds.

The development comes after Senator Thang’wa raised concern over a decision by the county government to revert to manual payroll, which he said is an avenue for pilferage of public funds.

“We want the EACC to send its officers to investigate massive corruption in Kiambu County government. The county has paid Sh392 million in the financial year ended June 2023 through the manual payroll. We will not wait any longer as the county stands to lose billions through this scheme,” said Mr Thang’wa.

He also raised issues with the failure of the county administration to pay suppliers and contractors their pending bills.

Citing a recent report by the Controller of Budget Margaret Nyakang’o, which ranked Kiambu County as the worst devolved unit to do business with, he said the devolved unit has only paid four per cent of its pending bills debt.

According to the report, Kiambu, Nairobi, Narok and Kajiado are among the rich counties allocating the least cash to paying suppliers.

Manual revenue collection

Kiambu County had accumulated eligible pending bills amounting to Sh3.36 billion by April 2023 from the total outstanding debt of Sh5.2 billion with only Sh143 million paid.

Citing the CoB report, Senator Thang’wa said the outstanding bills had increased to Sh5.62 billion as of September 2023 despite the governor returning about Sh2 billion to the National Treasury instead of settling the debts.

“What this means is that the issue of pending bills will not end in this county if we don’t speak and act now,” he said.

But Governor Wamatangi on Tuesday defended his administration, saying he has put in place measures to settle the debts with suppliers and contractors being paid on time going forward. 

In total, Wamatangi said, Sh3.3 billion has been used to settle the debts.

The governor also said he inherited a debt of Sh7 billion from the previous administration dating back to 2016 of which Sh1.5 billion has been paid.

At the same time, Senator Thang’wa has also raised concerns over alleged massive own-source revenue leakages at the county government, accusing the devolved unit of resorting to manual revenue collection with some money not being deposited into the county revenue fund account.

Much-needed revenue

Further, he said the new administration has refused to use technology in construction application approvals denying the county government the much-needed revenue.

“This manual approval is locking out many people who are not ready to part with kickbacks to have their approvals expedited,” he said.

Records from the CoB indicate that Kiambu County has collected Sh1.61 billion as at December 31, 2023 against an annual target of Sh7.98 billion.

This saw the acting County Secretary Peter Ndegwa write to all municipal managers to take up the role of leading, coordinating, reporting and guiding all revenue enhancing activities in their respective jurisdictions.

“This performance calls for a change of our strategies in order to achieve the set target. It is against this background that it has been decided that your role during this critical exercise be reviewed,” a letter dated January 31, 2024 reads in part.

Governor Wamatangi will on March 4, 2024 appear before the Senate Public Accounts committee to answer questions over use of public funds by his administration.

“The governor has been dodging the Senate for a long time. It is high time we take a multi-agency approach to solve problems in Kiambu. We have to deal with the issues once and for all. It will not be business as usual,” Senator Thang’wa said.