Former Lake Basin Development Authority chiefs pocketed cash and received other benefits from a construction company in a scandal that saw the cost of building the LBDA Mall in Kisumu inflated by Sh2.5 billion, investigations show.
Following the completion of investigations into the scandal, Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji on Friday ordered the immediate arrest of LBDA managers, contractors and consultants in the project.
Already, Bobasi MP Innocent Obiri and Erdemann Property Ltd managing director John Zeyung Yang have been arrested in connection with the scandal that has been under investigations for four years.
Mr Obiri was the MD of Quantech Consultancy as the mall was being built. The arrests were effected by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission.
“EACC is pursuing the rest of the suspects. They are hereby directed to present themselves at Integrity Centre or the nearest EACC office immediately,” the statement signed by EACC chief executive Twalib Mbarak said.
The arrests follow the conclusion last week of investigations by a team from the commission and the DPP’s office.
According to Mr Haji, Erdemann Properties Ltd directors gave LBDA Board chairman George Onyango Oloo Sh17 million, apartments and shops in bribes.
Mr Oloo is the Kisumu County assembly Speaker.
The chairman of the board’s finance and establishment committee George Omolo Odawa pocketed Sh12 million to ensure the contract was varied, Mr Haji said.
“This exponentially inflated the cost of the project to the detriment of the public,” Mr Haji said in a statement.
Others found culpable are Erdemann director Zhang Jing, Edermann Property Ltd a company, Symbion Kenya Ltd director Oscar Odhiambo Ogunde, Symbion Kenya Ltd as a company as well as the directors Feradon Associates Ltd Lydia Owino and Vincent Makonjio Ogenge.
The DPP said he is satisfied there is sufficient evidence to support the charges against the 35.
Symbion, the consultants during the mall construction, issued a certificate of completion and takeover on April 19, 2019 while Quantech consultancy issued the final account for Sh4,138,895,104.89, an inflated amount way above the Deed of Variation.
The investigations have revealed that LBDA did not involve the Ministry of Public Works at any stage of the execution of the project.
EACC took up the investigation on July 28, 2015 following complaints that the cost of construction had been inflated.