No end to Governor Khaemba tribulations – Weekly Citizen
Corruption and tribalism have stalled projects initiated by the county government headed by Governor Patrick Khaemba.
Some of the projects that have stalled include referral and teaching hospital, Kitale Bus Park and Kenyatta stadium that have consumed millions of taxpayers’ money.
The locals have since accused the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission for doing little to arrest the culprits who have been pocketing millions of shillings through corrupt activities.
“EACC officers have been carrying out investigations over the loss of funds in the county several times. What we don’t understand is where they take the investigations reports they keep on doing or if they have been compromised by the powers that be,” a resident said and called on other government agencies to intervene and save the county.
At the same time, a section of leaders in county have vowed to push Governor Khaemba to complete development projects he started before his term comes to an end in 2022.
A human rights activist in the region Kefa Were says human rights activists are joining hands to voice concerns over unfinished projects to compel Governor Khaemba to fast track their completion.
Speaking to Weekly Citizen, Were said they are changing tact by visiting departments in the county government to expose officers who have engaged in corruption leading to loss of money meant for development.
“We shall deal with individual workers who will be found to have engaged in corruption,” he said.
Were urged the government through Directorate of Criminal Investigations and the Director of Public Prosecutions to investigate on the wanton misuse of public resources at the county government of Trans Nzoia and the companies involved to siphon out funds meant for development.
“We want the government to help us,” he said.
He said if the institutions will fail to act; the activists will proceed with a private application in the court for the governor to be cross-examined against stalling projects and wanton corruption.
Were said that they have previously used protests as a method to compel Governor Khaemba to heed to the cries of residents over incomplete projects, the poor state of the health sector, the poor state of roads and on unending corruption.
He said they have also written petitions to the senate and the national assembly and letters calling for action that will help in ensuring residents benefit from development which has not bore fruits.
A businessman and former gubernatorial aspirant Joel Gesuka said that Trans Nzoia is lagging behind in development and that residents are not enjoying the fruits of devolution as compared to other counties.
He told Khaemba to partner with other stakeholders to fast track development in the county for the benefit of the county residents.
This comes as the county government has resumed public participation forums to continue with the establishment of Kenyatta Stadium that has stalled.
The county executive committee member in charge of sports Aggrey Chemonges said Sh500 million has been set aside to construct the stadium for a period of three years.
Meanwhile, Khaemba has been dealt a blow after his close allies abandoned him accusing his administration of massive corruption.
He has been enjoying the support of Luhya leaders including Kiminini MP Chris Wamalwa, Kwanza MP Ferdinand Wanyonyi and the area woman rep Janet Nangabo but the MPs have since distanced themselves from the governor accusing him of tolerating corruption.
The trio now seem to be leaning towards harsh critics of Governor Khaemba, Senator Michael Mbito, Cherang’any MP Joshua Kuttuny, Saboti MP Caleb Amisi and Endebess MP Robert Pukose as the leadership row intensifies in the county.
The governor is now facing rebellion from elected leaders in the region who want him arrested and charged with corruption and misappropriation of public funds.
Speaking in Sukwo, Saboti constituency, the leaders called on George Kinoti and Noordin Haji to swing into action and arrest the governor, his second wife Lydia and several of his aides and drivers including Kimaru. Kimaru is Khaemba’s brother-in-law and doubles as a driver.
Senator Mbito revealed that Governor Khaemba has failed on numerous occasions to provide documents to prove usage of funds in the county.
“Since 2013, Trans Nzoia county has never been audited because Governor Khaemba has not been presenting documents to the Auditor-General. When auditors arrive, they say documents are not available yet billions of shillings have been spent and that is why there is a disclaimer by the audit,” said Mbito.
Mbito ordered for special audit to unravel the graft scandal in the county government.
Wamalwa accused Khaemba on sleeping on the job since there is nothing tangible on matter of development in county.
“We want to tell the governor wherever he is to wake up and work for the people of Trans Nzoia. He has nothing to show us since he was elected,” he said.
Pukose on his part said the county has nothing to be proud of since inception of devolution.
“We have nothing to be proud of in the last six years, we have a new referral hospital that is not completed, the bus park and stadium have all stalled. We need answers from the governor,” he said.
Wanyonyi wondered where billions of shillings disbursed by the government have gone yet other counties are performing well in terms of development.
Nangabo called on Khaemba to carry his own cross and not to politicise the matter of corruption on tribal lines.
Amisi speaking on phone, called on the governor to step aside and pave way for investigations over graft
The leaders now want investigating agencies to undertake special audit of county funds and projects.
The projects which are yet to be completed cost millions of shillings; new county referral hospital Sh1.2 billion, the bus park Sh800 million and the stadium Sh79 million which is yet to commence.
Khaemba dismissed the allegations, terming them as political witch hunt. “I urge leaders in this region not to politicise development matters but instead consult if there is an issue,” he said.
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