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Homa Bay MCAs say county’s fire engines detained at port

Monday August 12 2019

Homa Bay fire

Residents putting out a fire at the Homa Bay County Commissioner's official residence on August 11, 2019. A group of MCAs from Homa Bay now want investigative agencies to probe the alleged detention of two county fire engines at the Mombasa port. PHOTO | GEORGE ODIWUOR | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

GEORGE ODIWUOR
By GEORGE ODIWUOR
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A group of MCAs from Homa Bay now want investigative agencies to probe the alleged detention of two county fire engines at the Mombasa port.

The MCAs asked the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) to investigate the whereabouts of the emergency vehicles that were acquired by the county government in June.

Led by Homa Bay Town East MCA Juma Awuor and his Homa Bay Town Central counterpart Julius Nyambok, the ward reps alleged that the county government is hiding something in the procurement of the vehicles.

The county had inherited a fire engine from the defunct county council but it later broke down.

DONATION

In July, Homa Bay Deputy Governor Hamilton Orata announced that the government had received a donation of firefighting machines including two engines with a capacity of 18,000 litres of water from the Cumbria County Council in the United Kingdom.

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He further announced that 16 young people would be trained on how to deal with emergencies like fires and accidents and that the county government would build fire stations in all its eight sub-counties.

YOUTH

Cumbria Workington Rotary Club International Chairman Ken Kirkwood went further to identify the youth who were to benefit from programme.

However, up to now not a single firefighting machine has reached Homa Bay from the Mombasa port where they are said to be kept after being imported from the UK.

Mr Awuor accused the county government, and especially Mr Orata, of deception.

He alleged that someone is behind the detention of the two emergency vehicles.

"Disaster is everywhere and can happen any time. The government should be prepared to deal with any occurrence but for us, combating catastrophe is still a dream. We need answers on why the fire engines are not here," he said.

EXPLANATION

The MCA demanded for an explanation from the county government on why it has taken long for the machines to reach the county.

"My job is to check on the government so I demand to know why it has taken three months before a single machine is delivered to the county. I smell a rat," said Mr Awuor.

He asked relevant government agencies to look into the mater.

His sentiments were echoed by his colleague, Mr Nyambok, who alleged that there could have been foul play when the machines were acquired from the UK.

PROBE

"There is someone who has detained the machines at the port to benefit himself. We need DCI and EACC to [investigate] this because we are tired of destruction of property from fire incidences," he said.

Homa Bay County has had numerous fire incidents which have consumed properties worth millions of shillings including the county headquarters which lost financial documents when fire burned down Governor Cyprian Awiti's office in 2017.

On Sunday, the official residence of the Homa Bay County Commissioner was also burnt by a fire whose cause could not be immediately established.