Governor calls for EACC probe after report cites graft

Thursday November 16 2017

West Pokot County Governor John Lonyangapuo

West Pokot County Governor John Lonyangapuo displays a document during a press conference at the county’s headquarters in Kapenguria on November 9, 2017.suspended 23 projects started by former Governor Simon Kachapin to pave the way for probe. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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The county government of West Pokot has invited the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission to conduct investigations after a report established massive corruption in the award of tenders in the previous administration.

Governor John Lonyangapuo subsequently suspended 23 projects started by former Governor Simon Kachapin to pave the way for scrutiny.

“We note with concern that most of the projects were non-priority. What was the need, for instance, of setting up an headquarters in every sub-county yet our people are grappling with abject poverty?” asked Prof Lonyangapuo.

An audit by the National Construction Authority carried out between August and October indicates that the cost of projects was highly inflated and tenders awarded to briefcase contractors where the county lost billions of shillings.

“There was a total disregard for procurement laws and lack of professionalism which saw contractors awarded lucrative tenders that they had no capacity to handle,” reads part of the 200 page report.

The governor said that his government would not condone theft of public funds since most residents “are living below the poverty line, cannot access medical care, pay fees and have no food to eat.”

The NCA report indicates that of the 23 projects they analysed, none met the required standards of construction and the public did not get value for money spent.

The report also cites construction of a Sh350 million tourist facility, where most of the money has been paid, but the workmanship is poor and work done is not more than 15 per cent.

“A majority of the contractors were not registered by NCA and therefore did not have a valid practising licence,”