Kenya President suspends 13 over graft

March 8, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 8 – President Mwai Kibaki on Monday appeared to stamp his recent hard stance against corruption by interdicting 13 officers implicated in the fraudulent purchase of a cemetery plot at Mavoko and ordering their immediate prosecution.

Top among them include Local Government Permanent Secretary Sammy Kirui, Director of Budget at the Treasury Paul Ngugi and former Town Clerk John Gakuo who is currently the Nairobi River Project Coordinator.

President Kibaki directed that the officers face the law for participating in the alleged fraud involving the purchase of 120 acres by the City Council of Nairobi at an exorbitant price of Sh283 million.

“The interdicted officers and other collaborators including lawyers and agents should be prosecuted for the serious fraud which they have committed against the Kenyan public,” said a statement form the Presidential Press Service.

Others on the list include Reuben Rotich, Director of Procurement Boniface Misero and Chief Financial Officer Herman Chevera. At City Hall which was the centre of the fraud officers interdicted included Deputy Town Clerk Geoffrey Katsolleh, Director of Legal Affairs Mary Ng’ethe and the Director of Procurement Kanyi Njambura.

Others are Deputy Director Legal Affairs Karisa Iha, Deputy Director Procurement Alexander Musee, Medical Officer of Health Daniel Nguku and Chief Internal Auditor I N. Ngacha.

“His Excellency the President has also directed that the monies overpaid, amounting to Sh259 million, be recovered from the beneficiaries,” said the statement.

“The relevant agencies of Government should take immediate action.”

A report by the Controller and Auditor General Anthony Gatumbu released to Parliament last week implicated the officers accusing them of overvaluing the proposed land.

The government audit said the officers ignored a valuation by the Ministry of Lands which quoted the market price for the 120 acres parcel of land at Sh24million.

The report which was tabled by Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta called for disciplinary action against the officers  who were involved in the procurement and those who perpetuated the overpayment. Mr Gatumbu recommended quick recovery of the lost funds.

The plot was meant to be an alternative for the overflowing Langata Cemetery. According to the audit Sh175 million went to other parties but not the vendor of the land in Athi River who on his own cooled his heels with a cool Sh105 million.

A report by the Parliamentary Departmental Committee on the Local Authorities had besides these officers called for Local government Minister Musalia Mudavadi and Mayor Geoffrey Majiwa to take political responsibility and step aside.


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