Officers from the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission are plotting more arrests at Homa Bay county. The move comes as word has it that state agencies more so, Assets Recovery Agency has profiled top officials’ bank accounts, properties both in their names and those believed to be of proxies and relatives, to be frozen once they appear in court.
Deeprooted corruption has milked all taps dry leaving the county crying for development after billions of shillings were lost in money minting rackets with not even a single latrine that has been built.
Looting in the county government of Homa Bay has been rampant over the years as county cries for development, owing to protection from top echelons of Ethics and Anti- Corruption Commission, but now it has been shaken by the current EACC under the blessings of Twalib Mbarak.
After word went round that the medium predator fish, one Keffa, Chris Agong and his wife were netted by a battery of DCI boys and EACC sleuths, residents of Homa Bay and its environs who have been walking heads down for a long time and counting their fingers in a manner to suggest their is nothing to smile about in Homa Bay, were scene gathering in various groups in several urban centres, markets and even in churches discussing loudly.
The three Homa Bay county officials were arrested over corruption allegations.
Kepha Rombe, Mary Agong and her husband Chris Agong were arrested for allegedly awarding county tenders to their own companies.
The arrest was coordinated by Homa Bay county DCI boss Daniel Wachira. The case is under EACC.
A report from the EACC seen by Weekly Citizen shows that sleuths are looking for other county government officials linked to several corruption claims.
Sometimes back, EACC invaded the county assembly that saw five people arrested over the loss of Sh26 million in Homa Bay county.
They included Micheal Ooro (former majority leader), Issac Nyandege (former minority leader) and Judith Omongi (nominated MCA).
Others are Caroline Sang (principal finance officer), Edwin Okollo(senior accounts controller).
They were among seven suspects that DPP Noordin Haji had ordered for their arrest. Haji said the officials were involved in a fictitious procurement and payment of MCAs’ allowances for the financial years 2014/15 and 2016/17.
They were charged with conspiracy to commit an offence of corruption, unlawful acquisition of
Public property, abuse of office, breach of trust and fraudulent payment from public revenue.
Otieno Kephas (then county assembly clerk) and Morris Amok (senior accountant) went underground to avoid arrest.
EACC raided the assembly claiming that at least Sh400 million had been misused.
Since the war against corruption began in May 2018, top county officers including some of their governors in Nyanza, hardly reported in their offices or stayed to serve the public lest they be ambushed and netted for prosecution.
Over the years, residents of the limping county, including leaders, have persistently accused Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission of being compacent and converting their woes into a looting spree as cartels in Governor Cyprian Awiti’s government turn off their eyes on the stinking rot.
EACC chairman Eliud Wabukala had been accused of handling corruption matters as sins committed in church yet in the secular world, which he has joined as a public servant operating within the confines of the constitution, laws and established policies must prevail.
Due to a longstanding chestthumping of the Asian trained cartels, the trend in the county of Homa Bay has been the norm, where their inspirational training in the art of thievery skills was instilled and empowered, picking billions from public coffers and throwing it into their purses is no big deal since they graduated of the same qualification. They have since developed big thick skins earning them a name reptiles.
The fulcrum was made of three officers; county secretary Isaiah Ogwe, former county commissioner Farah Kassim and then bruised deputy chief executive officer of EACC Michael Mubea who was removed from EACC helm leading to the current purge.
Mubea was the protector of Homa Bay cartel at EACC and has been linked and helped cause economic genocide to the Homa Bay citizens. However, the move by Directorate of Criminal Investigations to summon Ogwe and seven cartels to be in Nairobi to record statements respectively as well as putting a demand to avail documents used in May/ June 2017 in withdrawing Sh2.7 billion over the counter caused an earth tremor. Fearing DCI sleuths were to take over the case, EACC has been forced to strike.
A chief officer who hails from Ndhiwa constituency was overheard expressing deep fears that their kingdom is destined to crumble. The soft spoken chief officer who is equally under investigation by EACC on his former and current dockets is now blaming Ogwe for overdoing his dirty work after he engineered a strategy that incapacitated the governor completely.
The over Sh30 billion so far received from National Treasury whose 40pc for development translates into Sh16 billion has since disappeared into the thin air or a bottomless pit, carefully dug by the Ogwe. Golden Rays Hotel, a high-end hotel valued at Sh800 million is a small testimony of Ogwe’s overnight accumulated wealth from Homa Bay public coffers. Ogwe wants to succeed Awiti as governor.
Under his instruction, his chief cartels in the county treasury Daniel Ochieng’ Owuor alias Lieta, head of accounts and Noah Otieno, the chief officer finance are marked men. The cartel operate as a parallel government outside the county government of Homa Bay, takes Ogwe orders obediently to the letter like their command and ensure the monies are diverted, disbursed and distributed into various channels which end up into his purse as local banks management in Homa Bay town play the role of facilitators and get their fat cuts.
The county secretary whose wealth background is traceable to the defunct provincial administration, in which he worked in various capacities as an accountant/cashier where the then newly created Migori district’s coffers was swept clean under him, is said to be known to operate with impunity.
When he joined the county as secretary, he moved fast to open a channel through which protection fees flows freely and directly to his collegemate in India. At times Mubea, was used to engage in witchhunting of some officers who were not in agreement with Ogwe’s conduct of county affairs.
What the Ogwe camp did to have a free hand was to castrate and blindfold the dejure governor and took control as the defacto governor watched helplessly to the shock of the lonely and voiceless deputy governor Hamilton Orata.
To create a rift between Awiti and his deputy governor, Ogwe camp was instrumental in spreading word that Orata had poisoned Awiti by planting chemicals in the microphone so that he dies and he inherits the seat.
Surprisingly though, with millions of shillings swimming on their side, the Ogwae camp had shared women sexually, some suffers from chronic diseases, hence the current state of their health. Talk in Homa Bay county is rife that even when EACC was not striking to arrest the cartel, the pandemic HIV/Aids scourge struck, which has seen a majority of them not enjoy their overnight ill-gotten wealth.
Former Homa Bay county commissioner, Kassim, who was transferred unceremoniously and got redeployment in a junior position in the ministry of sports, provided fodder for the fulcrum by ensuring that all the intelligence information he received from the government or its agencies that could hit the cartels was deflected forthwith.
Even as the DCI was demanding the documents, it was a tall order to avail them because they believed Mubea was paid handsomely to kill the case. In September 2017, after being advised by the cartels to set on fire valuable records that were under investigations in which more than Sh5 billion was minted, the case was torn apiece.
But when their voices seemed to have not been heard properly, a civil society organisation, Homa Bay Bunge La Wananchi came in.
The worst thing is that over Sh13 billion disbursed by National Treasury for development cannot be traced because Mubea has been on the protection spree to collect his fee charges. Homa Bay residents in various media platforms have appealed to Uhuru Kenyatta and other government agencies to intervene and stop the menace
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