Governor Kibwana in trouble over Sh1.4b alleged fraud

Thursday, September 19th, 2019 16:09 |
Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) could prosecute Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana and other top county officials over Sh 1.4 billion suspected theft of public resources in the execution of county projects.

The Senate County Public Accounts and Investments (CPAIC) has invited the EACC detectives to investigate Governor Kibwana and the award of the multi-million 12 projects that may have been used to siphon public funds.

This comes after Narok Senator Ledama Ole Kina presented a petition by a Makueni resident alleging that the governor may have used his position to siphon millions of shillings from the county through the fraudulent acquisition of public funds, conflict of interest and money laundering.

Among the questionable transactions that the committee wants to be probed is a clear case of conflict of interest where Nazi Kivutha, the wife of Governor Kivutha Kibwana was allegedly contracted by the county government to undertake a family planning, youth empowerment and other activities related activities at the cost of sh 4 million.

“Nazi Kivutha received two cheques totaling to approximately Sh 4 million from Makueni County Gender department for supply of girls’ sanitary towels and dinner at Panafric hotel,” a petition by a Makueni resident presented to CPAIC by Narok Senator Ledama Ole Kina read in part.

“The Sh4 million payment was wired to Shina Foundation allegedly owned by the governor’s spouse, Nazi Kivutha,” it further claims.

The Senator Moses Kajwang’ (Homabay) led committee further directed the anti-graft body to open investigations into procurement and award of at least 11 projects as contained in the dossier.

The investigation, the petitioner who chose to be anonymous, recommended EACC to into “a clear theft of public money by county cartels under Governor Kivutha Kibwana”

According to the petition, the EACC should investigate the Kalamba Fruit Plant, funded by the county government to a tune of sh 1 billion which allegedly a white elephant project that has no value for money and never benefitted the people of Makueni.

“It has never produced anything for the Market as it publicly purported to be. It is currently producing mineral water for an unknown water company,” dossier detailed.

It adds, “No revenue has ever been declared from the plant and not accessible for the media and public scrutiny,”

The latest revelations that are likely to taint Kibwana’s image who has been viewed by a majority of Kenyans as a model governor also the EACC to probe the award of Thwake Bridge contract funded by the county and undertaken for the three financial years at a cost of sh 220 million.

The bid was won by Prime quantifiers Limited owned by Paul Matheka who purportedly undertakes major projects of the county like Emali Bus Park station and others.

“The company constructed only seven pillars clearly visible across the river and paid a total of sh 220 million in July-August 2018. A single concrete pillar cost over sh 30 million,” dossier alleges.

Also on the anti-graft radar, is Water Drilling rig bought and directly imported from India at the cost of sh 40 million contrary to procurement regulations

According to expose’, the Biomax Company was paid for the importation of the equipment and duty fee.

However, it reveals that to date the machine has not been registered with NTSA tims account as required by law, a claim we could not independently verify.

Others dubious projects are Chullu Valley Water Project funded at the county at a total of sh 24 million, the project was to provide water pipeline from Chullu to Mtito Andei town in 2015.

“Only pipes were laid down for a 24 Kilometre distance but no water to date,” it disclosed.

The county spent sh 10 million Masamukye Cultural Centre in Nguu Masumba ward which does not exist to date.

Governor Kibwana’s administration spent sh 40 million to construct a water dam along Kaiti River in Wote Ward between 2014-2016 financial years.

Sub-standard work was done by a company associated with Mr. Muunda a Chairman of Muungano Party that sponsored Governor Kivutha in 2013.

The dam allegedly was washed away by rains and the project was abandoned.

Earlier, the House team poked holes into Auditor General’s report that gave a clean bill of health, also known as unqualified opinion, in the Makueni county executive audit report for the Financial Year 2017/18.

Under the year under review, immediate former Auditor General Edward Ouko gave a rare thumbs up to Governor Kibwana for good use of public coffers.

But in a twist of events, the watchdog committee called on Arch (Rtd) Eliud Wabukala led commission to probe the county government and cast its net wider as it traces alleged stolen funds from the county since 2013.

 “He (governor) seems to be good in preparation of financial statements but worse in the application, lawfulness, and effectiveness in use of public resources,” Senator Kajwang’ ruled in a scheduled meeting boycotted by Governor Kibwana.

Kibwana was scheduled to appear the committee to respond to auditor’s queries for the 2017/18 financial years, but skipped the sitting without giving any reasons.

 “This thing is not about doom and gloom. Sometimes we want to understand what you are doing to convince the Auditor to conclude your books are clean,” Kajwang’ continued,

He regretted, “We were looking for a success story, we wanted the Makueni Governor to tell us is this that he is doing to get an unqualified opinion,”

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