Police escort ordered for Tana River tender scam suspects

Monday August 6 2018


Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission detectives arrest six Tana River County officials over alleged procurement irregularities, on August 2, 2018. PHOTO | CHARLES LWANGA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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Six Tana River County officials charged with corruption offences involving procurement irregularities have been freed on bail.

But the Malindi court ordered them not to report to work without police escort since some of the witnesses in the Sh30m irregular procurement case are colleagues.

“They should also not leave the country or interfere with witnesses,” Malindi Chief Magistrate Julie Oseko said.

The six were freed on a cash bail of Sh250,000 or Sh500,000 bond each with a surety of similar amount.

The suspects have not been suspended by the county government but some of them have been transferred to other departments.

The suspects are former chief officer Mohamed Guracho, former roads director Thomas Chula, roads inspector Jeremiah Kidowe, water procurement officer Abbas Bute and officers Feliz Mumba and Mwameso Juma.

One of the companies alleged to have been awarded a tender to supply tanks without meeting requirements, Regional Drilling and Trading Limited, has also been charged alongside Mr Abdulle Mustafa Abdirahman and Mr Ayan Mohamed Khalif with forging and uttering false documents.

They allegedly forged the documents to falsely claim they had completed works at Bomet Agricultural Training Centre, Kenya School of Law and Ewaso Ng’iro Development Authority.

The charges also said the aim of the forged documents was to prove their experience and capacity to work with the county government.

So far, four other senior Tana River County officials accused of committing procurement irregularities are still on the run three days after arrest warrants were issued against them.

The suspects include Lamu County Fisheries minister Abdu Godana Dae, who is the former Tana River County secretary, county procurement head Abushora Swaleh, Mr Abdirahiman and Mr Khalif.

The magistrate issued the arrest warrant on Friday after the suspects failed to show up in court to answer to charges of willful failure to comply with procurement law, uttering false documents and conspiracy to steal public funds.

On their part, Mr Chula, Mr Kidowe, Mr Juma and Mr Bute being the Tender Evaluation Committee members of Tana River County were charged with failing to comply with law relating to procurement.

The court case will be mentioned on August 20.