By Harry Misiko
Samburu Governor Moses Kasaine has been arrested over a Sh84-million-fuel-supply scandal involving his county government.
Detectives from the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) arrested the county boss on Tuesday morning and locked him up at the EACC headquarters at Integrity Centre in the capital Nairobi.
They pounced on him in a raid carried out on his city home at the crack of dawn, bundled him into a car and sped off to the operations nerve centre of Kenya’s anti-corruption fight.
The arrest comes hours after Kenya’s chief public prosecutor ordered the prosecution of the top brass of Samburu County government over the scandal.
Mr Noordin Haji on Monday directed the arrest and dragging to court of Mr Kasaine, his deputy Julius Leseeto, businessman Hesbon Ndathi, and 11 sitting and former ex-chief officers.
The other suspects are Stephen Letinina (county secretary), Daniel Lenolkirina (chief officer finance), Josephine Lenasalia (former chief officer, environment), Reuben Lemunyete (chief officer department of agriculture), Linus Leninge (former chief officer education) and Paul Lolmingani (chief officer transport).
Others in Mr Haji’s crosshairs are Benard Lesurmat (chief officer lands), Lilian Baluga (former chief officer gender), Andrew Lanyasunya (chief officer gender), David Loosenge (chief officer sports) and Geoffrey Kitewan (head supply chain management).
The 14 suspects are linked to Sh84.7-million-fuel-supply scandal in which Oryx Service Station, owned by Mr Kasaine and Mr Ndathi, was given a tender to supply the county government against the law.
They will face charges of conspiracy to commit an economic crime; abuse of office and conflict of interest.
“The investigations established that the Governor Moses Kasaine Lenolkulal was trading with the County Government through Oryx Service Station for the supply of fuel since the 27th March 2013 to date,” Mr Haji said in a statement.
“The governor failed and or neglected to disclose his interest in the said Service Station. It is clear that the governor engaged in conduct that is expressly prohibited in law and in clear violation of the constitutional principles governing the conduct of public and state officers.”
According to the DPP, Mr Kasaine shared the millions he received from the county coffers with Mr Ndathi, his business associate in Oryx.
“The payment received by the said service station was facilitated by the chief officers in contravention of the law,” he said.
Mr Kasaine and other top officials of his administration have been under investigation over grand corruption in the northern Kenya county.
On February 20, anti-corruption detectives raided and searched his homes in Samburu and the capital Nairobi.
Sources at the EACC told the Nation that the investigators were looking for files related to fishy expenditure of Sh2 billion.
In a statement, EACC said it searched the residences of Mr Kassaine, his Personal Assistant Simon Etiene, County Assembly Speaker Solomon Lempere, several county chief officers, executive committee members and contractors awarded phony tenders.
According EACC CEO Twalib Mbarak, the county has lost more than Sh2 billion in the last four years.
“The investigations revealed gross financial misappropriation, conflict of interest and embezzlement of funds in an organised and systematic pattern involving county officials working in diverse departments,” Mr Mbarak said.
EACC said their investigations revealed that some officials of the county government had registered companies that were awarded contracts worth over Sh 700 million but no service was rendered.
Mr Mbarak said investigations proved that the money was withdrawn in cash and shared amongst various county officials.
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Publish date : 2019-04-02 06:50:00