Anti-graft detectives grill Kingi on suspect expenditure

Tuesday November 29 2016

By ANGIRA ZADOCK
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Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi was on Monday grilled for hours by anti-corruption detectives over questionable expenditure amounting to Sh51 million.

The governor was accompanied by Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho, Siaya Senator James Orengo, Kilifi Woman Rep Aisha Jumwa, Migori MP Junet Mohammed and other supporters.

Anti-riot officers were on standby and blocked the supporters from accessing the Integrity Centre, Nairobi.

Mr Kingi was questioned on how the amount was allegedly stolen through Ifmis and also over the alleged purchase of 11 acres of bus park land in Mtwapa at Sh308 million.

The Kilifi County Government obtained court orders on Friday, compelling the national government to freeze the assets and accounts of companies alleged to have stolen the money from county coffers.

The Nairobi-based companies have been identified as Daima One Enterprises, Leadership Edge Associates, Kilingi Investment, Makegra Supplies and Zohali Supplies.

At least 10 county officials, whose Ifmis passwords are said to have been used to steal the funds, have been suspended. Details have emerged on how the county government of Kilifi advertised for and bought land at the Mtwapa bus park and market, now under investigation by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC).

According to a sale agreement, an acre of land was obtained at Sh28 million, bringing the total to Sh308 million.

As EACC interrogates Mr Kingi, it has been established that the county advertised for the purchase of land in October 2014 for a minimum of 10 acres of land, which should be on the main Mombasa-Malindi highway, not more than four kilometres from the Mtwapa bridge.

In April 2015, the county government notified Future Link Ltd through a letter of their acceptance of the offer.

“Your tender for the purchase of land amounting to Sh308,189,651 exclusive of all taxes and incidentals is hereby accepted ... This totals to 11.3 acres for the nine parcels in reference,” the letter by the Chief Officer CK Kazungu reads in part.

The titles to the land were issued to Future Link Ltd on October 1, 2014.

COMPLY WITH REQUIREMENTS

On April 20, 2015, Future Link Ltd through its manager Byron Mwangola, in a letter addressed to chief officer, Energy, Physical Planning and Urban Development of the county government of Kilifi accepted the tender and pledged to comply with the requirements. “We hereby accept the above tender amounting to Sh308,189,651 for purchase of land. We shall duly comply with the requirement of the contract in its execution up to the completion as shall be stipulated thereafter,” says the letter.

Future Link Ltd, which was the successful bidder, was paid through an escrow account operated by its lawyer Gilbert Alfred Olum of Wambasi, Lehman and Olum Advocates and Kilifi County Government’s lawyer George Kithi.

The sale was conducted by Mr Bernard Ochieng Onyuna and Mr Lucas Zachaeus Odhiambo for Future Link Ltd and witnessed by its lawyer, Mr Olum and the county secretary of Kilifi.

EACC’s investigations reveal that shortly after the Sh308 million was moved to Future Link Ltd bank accounts, the money was split and wired to 10 different entities.

The company disbursed Sh52 million to Ochieng Onyango and Ohaga, Wambasi and Company Advocates (Sh1.5m), Icon Concepts Ltd (Sh59m), Miriam Jepkosgey Saina (Sh141m), Haul Pak Kenya Ltd (Sh22.5m), Miliki Developers (Sh13m), Transafrica Motor Ltd (Sh12.2m) and Sh4 million to Brony Company Ltd.

EACC wants Mr Kingi to answer questions on the procurement of the 11 acres and the veracity of the deal and who authorised it.

The Kilifi County Government has recently been caught up in a mega fraud involving the loss of over Sh 1 billion, which is being blamed on the manipulation of the Ifmis.