President William Ruto has cracked the whip on corruption by suspending five state agency heads and other senior government officials as well as 67 police officers following allegations of graft and procurement irregularities.
In letters originating from the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) CEO Twalib Mbarak to the respective cabinet secretaries and copied to the Head of Public Service Felix Koskei, each of the officers has been suspended for a period of 12 months to safeguard the integrity of the ongoing corruption investigations.
“Chief of Staff and Head of Public Service Felix Koskei has directed the suspension of six Chief Executive Officers for alleged involvement in corruption and procurement irregularities within their respective institutions. He has additionally directed the suspension of 67 police officers and an accountant at the Kenya Rural Roads Authority (KeRRA),” State House spokesperson Hussein Mohamed said in a statement.
“In issuing the directives, the Chief of Staff and Head of Public Service emphasises that the Government remains firm in its commitment to eradicating corruption which, he maintains, undermines its development agenda.”
Among those who have been suspended include Stanvas Ongálo who is the Acting Director General of the National Museums of Kenya and Peter Koria who serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the Bomas of Kenya.
Mr Ongálo is accused of embezzling Sh490 million through irregular payments to 105 ghost employees at the National Museums of Kenya.
Mr Koria has been suspended for procurement irregularities in regard to a tender for the supply of cutlery at the institution.
Others include Fredrick Mwamati - Tanaathi Water Works Development Agency, Stephen Ogenga- Director General of the National Industrial Training Authority (NITA), Benjamin Chilumo- CEO of Huduma Kenya Secretariat, Esther Wanjiru Chege, an accountant at the Kenya Rural Roads Authority (KeRRA) and Anthony Wamukota, the General Manager of Design and Construction at Kenya Electricity Transmission Company Limited (KETRACO).
Mr Mwamati is currently under investigation for procurement irregularities on the tender for the construction of a Leather Industrial Park Water Supply Project.
“Investigations established that the CEO being the accounting officer of the agency was involved in the implementation of the project. Accordingly, there is a high likelihood that his continued stay in office will interfere with the smooth provision of the documents and facilitation of persons who might be called upon the commission as witnesses,” read the suspension letter for Mr Mwamati.
Mr Ogenga is said to have committed irregularities while awarding tenders at the training authority.
“As the accounting officer of the authority, Mr Ogenga oversaw the execution and implementation of the tender. Accordingly, there is a high likelihood that his continued being in office will interfere with the smooth provision of documents and other persons who might be called as witnesses by the commission” read the letter addressed to Labour CS Florence Bore.
At Huduma Kenya, Mr Chilumo who previously served as the Chief Finance Officer in Kilifi County government is said to be under probe over embezzlement of funds belonging to the county government.
At Ketraco, Mr Wamukota was accused of generating fake invoices for the payment of the 400KV Transmission Interconnector Powerline from Loiyangalani to Suswa. This fraudulent payment, EACC said led to the loss of Sh18 billion.
Ms Chege who serves as an accountant at KeRRA is also under probe over alleged conflict of interest and unexplained sources of wealth.
A total of 67 police officers have also been suspended for their implication in corruption-related malpractices.
The police officers were arrested by EACC while engaging in corruption activities in different parts of the country.