Lamu Governor Twaha, predecessor on the spot for ‘ghost projects’
A Senate watchdog committee has given Lamu Governor Fahim Twaha and his predecessor Issa Timamy 14 days to provide documents to support suspected expenditure exceeding Sh222 million for various “ghost projects” in Lamu County.
Should they fail, the Senate County and Investments committee (CPAIC) has recommended the Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission (EACC) picks up the matter and investigates the duo over the fictitious payments.
This is after the county administration yesterday failed to produce documents to support payments for various projects for the year ending June 30, 2017.
The projects include construction and civil works (Sh16 million), Construction of buildings (Sh178 million), purchase of furniture and general equipment (Sh 3.3 million), Purchase of specialised plant, equipment and machinery (Sh5.6 million) and overhaul and refurbishment of construction and civil works (Sh19 million).
In his report, former Auditor General Edward Ouko unearthed statements of receipts and payments for the period June 30, 2017, of a balance of Sh222 million and whose payment vouchers were not availed for audit review.
“In the circumstances, the propriety and completeness of the expenditures amounting to Sh222 million for the year ended June 30 2017 could not be confirmed,” Ouko said in the report.
Appearing before the committee to respond to the audit report, Twaha said since he assumed office in August 2017, he has not been able to locate the projects or access any document including the payment vouchers.
“We don’t know whether the documents exist or not, if the auditors did not get documents how will I get them,” the governor said.
He however noted that despite numerous petitions to investigative agencies to unravel the mysterious projects and payments, their efforts are yet to bear any fruits.
“We have written to both the EACC and DCI to probe the unsupported expenditure, but to date we have not seen any progress,” he added.
But a charged Isiolo Senator Fatuma Dullo asked: “Are you by any way blaming EACC and DCI for failing to investigate this matter?”
“Are you saying the DCI and EACC have failed to act on complaints by Lamu county on projects carried out by the former administration,” Narok Senator Ledama ole Kina added.
In his response, Twaha noted that there were competent authorities to handle any issue of misuse of funds or projects saying he was not in a position to verify the projects.