Nyandarua: Graft scandals haunt Kimemia as campaigns enter homestretch

Nyandarua: Graft scandals haunt Kimemia as campaigns enter homestretch 

By Correspondent

With campaigns for elective seats entering the homestretch, incumbent Nyandarua Governor Francis Kimemia (pictured) who is defending his seat on Jubilee ticket is finding the going rough due to unmet promises and corruption in his administration.

The gubernatorial candidates are now piling pressure on Kimemia to explain to the voters how he has spent over Sh20 billion allocated to the county by the national government since 2017 when he assumed office.

Kimemia is facing stiff competition from Dr Moses Ndirangu Badilisha of the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party who has endeared himself to the voters by his clarion call of zero tolerance to corruption.

Also in the race but not expected to make much impact is Assembly Speaker Ndegwa Wahome of Chama Cha Kazi (CCK).

Former Governor Waithaka Kirika is also in the race through The Service Party (TSP) but is unlikely to make any impact.

Indeed, opinion polls conducted by multiple firms’ show Badilisha leading the race followed by Kimemia.

And now Kimemia’s rivals are demanding he accounts for billions of shillings the county received from the national government and donors since 2017, noting that works on the ground show only about five per cent of the money can be accounted for.

It is to be recalled that Kimemia was recently on the spot when residents accused the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) of turning a blind eye on the massive corruption that characterised his administration, with many reported cases not investigated.

Under the hashtag #SetNyandaruaFree, the residents accused EACC, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and the Senate of failing to tame the governor’s appetite for public funds.

They cited the misappropriation of  Sh14.4 million on investors conference that never took off, Sh51 million branding scandal in 2019,  the Sh500 million single sourced road machinery and equipment and Sh400 million Covid-19 intervention funds among other scandals that were never investigated.

 And now the voters are demanding Kimemia comes clean on the latest Auditor-General’s report that exposes the rot in his administration.

The report states that Sh1.1 billion cannot be accounted for in the remuneration of employees.

It states that payment to contractors and suppliers of Sh14 million was excluded from the supporting schedules to the financial statements, meaning it was pocketed by county officials.

The report further says receipts and payments reflect nil returned County Revenue Fund (CRF) issues but the statement of financial assets and liabilities reflects prior year cash and cash equivalents balance of Sh1.6 billion, being balances in various bank accounts and cash balances.

But the bank and cash balances, the report states, were not transferred to the County Revenue Fund Account after the closure of the financial year, meaning the money was pocketed by corrupt officials.

The report states that Kimemia spent Sh33 million to purchase transformers but nothing was supplied or installed.

It states Kimemia spent Sh10 million to procure seedlings but curiously the distribution of the seedlings took place before the commencement of the procurement process between 5 May and 9 June, 2020.

“The distribution list reflected 23,750 seedlings, which was in excess of the procured quantity by 12,520 that has not been explained,” says the report.

The report says two top officials swindled the county government Sh980,000 and Sh103,000 in imprests.

It adds that Sh31 million was spent in illegal acquisition of land for allegedly social amenities and roads.

“However, there was no evidence of requisitions from user departments and whether citizen participation to confirm need analysis for the parcels of land was done,” it states.

It adds that the titles of ownership for eight parcels of land bought for social amenities valued at Sh11 million have never been provided.

The report accuses Kimemia of flouting government rules in procurement.

It states his administration procured fuel worth Sh1.2 million from a local company using 8 Local Purchase Orders (LPO) outside the e-procurement system which is contrary to Executive Order No. 2 of 2018 requiring all public procuring entities to undertake all their procurement through the e-procurement module in IFMIS.

Further, the report states, Kimemia hired 15 Chief Officers where five of them were not members of a professional body in the relevant fields.

 It states the recruitment process was irregular as it did not adhere to the set application criteria.

Besides the county government scandals, Kimemia was also implicated in the purchase of the multi-billion-shilling Tokyo embassy and the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) tender for the construction of new JKIA terminal when he served as Head of Public Service.

He was questioned by the then House Administration and National Security committee, chaired by Tiaty MP Asman Kamama.

He was also interrogated by the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission (EACC).

At the time, EACC wrote to Parliament asking MPs not to approve him for nomination as secretary to President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Cabinet.

The anti-graft body claimed Kimemia had abused office and was involved in corruption.

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