Counties are largely responsible for the loss of Sh3 billion through corruption in the past one year, according to an annual corruption report.
According to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, 33 out of the 78 cases it investigated in the past one year involved counties, meaning substantial resources in the war against corruption have been directed to the devolved units.
Among 19 counties whose governors and county assemblies have been implicated in loss of funds running into millions of shillings mainly through procurement irregularities are Kiambu, Siaya, Busia, Mombasa, Homa Bay, Trans Nzoia, Migori, Bungoma, Makueni and Nyamira.
Others are Kisii, Nandi, Uasin Gishu, Mandera, Wajir, Garissa, Kitui, Marsabit and Nakuru counties.
Governors and members of county assemblies have been in the news over wanton misuse of resources. Siaya Governor Cornel Rasanga is said to have used Sh17 million of taxpayers’ funds to have his image printed on examination sheets.
The MCAs, on the other hand, have been at the centre of personal enrichment schemes, at the expense of services, mainly involving fat allowances and expensive local and foreign travel.
The report, signed by EACC acting chairperson Sophia Lepuchirit and chief executive officer Halakhe Waqo, also lists the National Police Service as the institution with the highest number of officers to have failed the integrity test, at 192, followed by the Ministry of Health, recently implicated in the suspected loss of Sh5.2 billion, at seven cases.
Some of the land traced for recovery is the controversial grabbing of the Lang’ata Road Primary school playground, valued at Sh130 million.
Land belonging to the University of Nairobi, whose location is not disclosed, has also been traced and the process of preventing loss of the Sh1.6 billion parcel initiated. Another land belonging to Mombasa County valued at Sh35 million is also in the process of being recovered.
Sh14 million in cash belonging to the Kenya Meat Commission has also been traced, and so has money that was in the process of being stolen amounting to Sh368 million belonging to the Kenya Ports Authority Retirement Benefits scheme that had allegedly been paid to unnamed lawyers.
The EACC also managed to trace cash from evaded tax amounting to Sh291 million within the same period, in addition to Sh372 million, which was an excess amount of land purchased by the National Housing Corporation from a firm identified as Stone Athi.
On the category “averted loss through disruption of corruption networks,” EACC reports to have stopped payments amounting to Sh425 million from the scandal hit National Youth Service following intelligence leading to intervention of payment vouchers.
“Information received was that the vouchers had been processed at night for expeditious and fraudulent processing of payments following investigations launched by EACC,” the report notes.
Another corruption deal stopped by EACC is the Sh37 million tender that the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) was reportedly planning to rig for provision of security services, which was to go to the highest bidder instead of the lowest.
A scheme by the Kenya Forest Service to embezzle Sh20 million was also averted amidst reports the institution was planning to pay the amount to an individual who had “sourced a Sh290 million tender for provision of insurance services as finder’s fee.”
Over Sh400 million which could have been lost to taxpayers by the Embu County Government for the irregular procurement of an office complex, was also stopped, according to the anti-graft agency.
EACC also claims it used its intelligence that led to interception and seizure of 100 containers containing methanol and sugar at Kilindini Port worth Sh400 million in a joint operation with officers from the Kenya Revenue Authority.
An operation by EACC and Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) reportedly led to recovery of Sh19 million in lost revenue by corrupt officers at weighbridges following a “one month sting operation.”
Other high profile recovery involved Kenya Pipeline Company for which loss of Sh750 million was averted, ministry of Land at Sh1.2 million, and Sh20 million loss through corruption at weighbridges.