Kachapin denies claims he withdrew Sh114m from county

Friday May 31 2019

Former West Pokot governor Simon Kachapin

Former West Pokot governor Simon Kachapin who has angrily disputed an assertion by his successor John Lonyangapuo that he withdrew nearly Sh114 million just days to the 2017 General Election, dismissing the claims as outrageous and weird. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

IBRAHIM ORUKO
By IBRAHIM ORUKO
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Former West Pokot governor Simon Kachapin has angrily disputed an assertion by his successor John Lonyangapuo that he withdrew nearly Sh114 million just days to the 2017 General Election, dismissing the claims as outrageous and weird.

Mr Kachapin, who is the Chief Administrative Secretary in the Ministry of Energy, instead faulted the Senate County Public Accounts and Investments Committee for allowing Governor Lonyangapuo to table before it documents "that were not entirely true".

“The allegations are outrageous as they are weird; even a fool cannot do what the governor told the committee that I did,” Mr Kachapin told the Nation Thursday.

WITHDRAWN IN CASH

While appearing before the committee to respond to audit queries, Mr Lonyangapuo said the funds were withdrawn in cash from the bank accounts of West Pokot County only days to the August 8, 2017 General Election.

He claimed that the withdrawals were made from various accounts in various commercial banks in a span of one month by finance officers at the time Mr Kachapin served as governor between 2013 and 2017.

The transaction has been revealed by Auditor General Edward Ouko in his 2017/2018 financial year report for the county.

Schedules provided to the auditors for review show that that money was withdrawn on diverse dates between July 4 and 30.

SH114M WITHDRAWN

Though the report shows that total amount was Sh112 million, Governor Lonyangapuo revealed that further scrutiny of the accounts showed that Sh114 million was withdrawn.

On Thursday, Mr Kachapin dismissed his successor’s submission, terming it as a diversionary tactic to mask his own failures since he took over as governor.

“It is not practical in modern age for anyone to walk into the bank, withdraw Sh10 million and walk out. It is not possible. Mr Lonyangapuo hoodwinked the committee and made false claims,” he said, adding that he is ready to be investigate by either the DCI or the EACC.

NOTHING TO DO WITH BUDGET

He said he had nothing to do with the implementation of the 2017/2018 budget as he had been voted out during the August 2017elections.

While his administration prepared the budget, the actual implementation was done by Mr Lonyngapuo’s administration after it took over in September of the same year.

He said at the time he is alleged to have withdrawn the money, the Ifmis had been closed to facilitate the elections and prevent misuse of funds by outgoing county regimes.

“West Pokot had no operational money at the material time. In fact, the county had challenges paying salaries. I am sure Mr Lonyangapuo may have tampered with records, but I am ready to be summoned by any competent authority to state my case,” the former governor said.

He also took a swipe at the Senate committee for having allowed the governor to table the documents related to the withdrawals, saying he was only supposed to respond to audit queries.

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