County governments are grappling with challenges of embezzlement of public funds, loss of revenue collected and payments to ghost workers, a recent research by the anti-graft agency has revealed.
According to Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) commissioner Rose Macharia, the research also found out that the counties were facing challenges of fraudulent acquisition of public property, payments to ghost projects and bribery.
“Certainly, corruption remains the greatest threat to devolution. It cannot be denied that devolution creates avenues that could be exploited by the corrupt to the detriment of citizens,” she said.
Other malpractices include nepotism, failure to comply with laws and regulations related to procurement, financial management, recruitment and project management.
The EACC research also revealed that the county governments were grappling with issues of infighting, name calling, conflict of interest, blackmail and compromised public interest.
Ms Macharia said: “In some county governments, this has seen massive public resources mismanaged at the expense of the development that they were intended for.”
She was speaking at Mombasa County Assembly on Tuesday when presiding over the signing of Leadership and Integrity code by MCAs.
The commissioner sounded an alert that the anti-graft agency had intensified the war on corruption to contain embezzlement and loss of public funds.
She said the signing of leadership and integrity code by state officers was mandatory as per the sections 37-40 of the Leadership and Integrity Act of 2012.
“County governments must take responsibility of preventing corruption and unethical conduct in their operations and manage resources for the public good,” she added.
Ms Macharia said the Commission will continue to enforce compliance of the leadership and integrity code for prudent management of public resources.
She said that if MCAs upheld the code it would raise public confidence in the integrity of public offices.
“Your oversight mandate is paramount in entrenching and promoting good governance in the management of public affairs,” she added.
EACC Coast regional deputy director Simon Cherpka, said some Mombasa County government officials had been frustrating the commission’s efforts to investigate them.
He said: “I must express my disappointment that some Mombasa county officials have not fully cooperated with us on corruption investigations.”
Mr Cherpka explained that some county officials failed to honour summons while others concealed crucial documents required for investigations.