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EACC summons Siaya MCAs over controversial Uganda trip

Tuesday August 6 2019

Siaya County Assembly

Siaya Governor Cornel Rasanga (seated left) listens as Speaker George Okode addresses the county assembly. The EACC has summoned 41 Siaya MCAs over a controversial trip to Uganda. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

DICKENS WASONGA
By DICKENS WASONGA
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Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has summoned 41 members of the Siaya County Assembly to shed light on the controversial trip to Uganda earlier this year.

The ward reps are expected to appear before the detectives at the EACC offices in Kisumu from Monday next week record statements in relation to the trip where Sh8.2 million was spent.

Each of the 41 ward reps allegedly received Sh200,000 during the trip to the neighbouring country.

TRAVEL DOCUMENTS

According a letter from the agency dated July 31, 2019, addressed to the assembly clerk, the MCAs have been asked to bring, with them their original travel documents (passport) which they used during the said trip in February.

The letter seen by Nation reads in part “Kindly facilitate the individuals named here below to come to our offices in Kisumu on August 12, 2019.  They are expected to carry copies of the original travel documents."

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EACC spokesman Yassin Amaro on Tuesday told Nation that the ward representatives are expected to provide information that will enable the anti-graft agency establish whether the said trip indeed happened.

He however added that the assembly Speaker George Okode has not been be summoned.

INVESTIGATIONS

" It is early at this stage of investigations to summon the speaker. However, if in the course of our investigations it becomes necessary to summon him, we will ask him to avail himself,” he said.

The official said that the EACC received a petition from Siaya-based civil society groups. The groups claimed that the ward reps, who did not go to Uganda, allegedly pocketed Sh200,000 each.  

Two weeks ago, a team of 12 detectives camped at the Siaya County Assembly to investigate among other issues, an alleged irregular recruitment of over 50 interns.

All the interns have been questioned in connection to the alleged hiring scandal. 

In a petition by a Siaya-based civil society groups, the ward reps are alleged to have crossed over to Uganda and came back almost immediately before the end of the trip that should have taken two weeks.   

50 INTERNS

The EACC found out that the 50 interns hired by the assembly were allegedly put on the payroll like the regular staff.

The anti-graft agency seeks to find out how the county assembly service board, which is mandated by law to handle recruitment issues, could have allowed the alleged irregular recruitment of the interns to proceed.

And in a separate letter dated 17th of July this year from the EACC, addressed to the assembly clerk, the agency requested various officers from the Siaya County Assembly to record statements over the controversial hiring of interns. Mr Okode was not available for comment.