James Oswago, Trevy Oyombra to be grilled by EACC over chicken scam

Wednesday February 25 2015

Former IEBC CEO James Oswago in this picture

Former IEBC CEO James Oswago in this picture taken on November 18, 2104. FILE PHOTO | BILLY MUTAI | NATION MDIA GROUP 

SAMUEL KARANJA
By SAMUEL KARANJA
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Former electoral commission chief executive James Oswago and an agent of a British printing firm Trevy Oyombra are expected to appear before the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission investigators Wednesday over the "chicken" scandal.

The two were scheduled to appear before EACC on Monday but that was pushed to Wednesday to give the investigators time to analyse previous statements recorded on the issue.

On Monday EACC spokesman Yassin Amaro said, “investigators are currently analysing all statements that have been recorded in order to link them up before we invite others to come and record their statements”.

Mr Oyombra’s appearance before EACC detectives and information he will give is likely to help unravel the mystery as well as reveal the real “chicken eaters”.

SH50 MILLION BRIBE

Mr Oyombra is said to be the Kenyan agent of British printing firm, Smith & Ouzman, who allegedly received and passed bribes from the company to several senior officials of the now defunct Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC) officials.

On Wednesday, EACC detectives will try to find the truth and establish the actual recipients of the Sh50 million bribe given to Mr Oyombra, who would in turn disburse the money, referred to as “chicken” in S&O correspondence, to top IIEC and Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec) officials.

Last Thursday, EACC officers grilled Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission chairman Issack Hassan over the same scandal while Energy Cabinet Secretary Davis Chirchir was questioned on Friday. Mr Hassan declared he was innocent.

The CS is said to be among those who received an undisclosed amount of money from Smith & Ouzman to influence award of ballot paper printing tenders when he served as a commissioner at the Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC) but he has denied the claims.

Mr Paul Wasanga, the former KNEC boss, has also been questioned by the anti-graft body after he was accused of receiving bribes in order to offer examination certificates printing tenders to S&O.

Two officials of the British firm have been convicted and jailed in the United Kingdom over the scandal.