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Agriculture Committee to Probe Shs 2 million Dairy Cow Purchase.

The Kirinyaga County Assembly is probing an incident where the county government is said to have procured five dairy cows at a cost of Sh 400,000 each.

The County Executive Committee ( CEC) for Agriculture Dr Jackan Gutu on being questioned by the Assembly Committee on Agriculture over the Sh 2 million animal deal expressed shock that he was not furnished with the right information by his three member technical team.

His Chief Officer Johnson Waweru, his Agriculture colleague Benson Murimi the Director of Veterinary Services Dr Richard Gichangi passed the blame to the County Director for Procurement for the alleged mess.

The said Director, the Committee hinted could be summoned to shed light over what really transpired in the millions animal   deal since that was public money.

“I only came to learn the four pedigrees (high milk yielding), animals had been bought and stocked at the Kamweti Farmers Training Centre a little later and had no opportunity to verify before delivery if they were the right breed,”Gichangi told the committee.

On his part Waweru said after his team raised the required   papers with specifications for the animals   to the procurement department his role ended there.

“We did not happen to know from whom these animals were supplied from nor if they were the right breed   that we had requested until this Committee visited Kamweti Centre and raised an alarm,”Waweru told the Assembly.

Gutu on his part while accepting the buck stopped at him as the CEC concerned denied he has instituted a transfer of the Centre manager after he blew the whistle.

He told the Committee the transfer was normal and the said Principal would be deployed   within a section of his (Gutu’s) docket as a measure to streamline and upgrade the facility.

It also emerged the same Agriculture department Gutu heads, procured a water purifying and packing equipment at a cost of Sh 5 million which is still lying idle at the facility.

Again Waweru swiftly blamed the procurement department and told the Committee the tender documents only indicated supply and delivery.

“The equipment was only to be supplied and delivered to the Centre while the document was silent on installation the blame should be addressed by the County Director of Procurement, “he told the Committee.

Committee  Chairman John Kanga said with Gutu and Gichangi having expressed shock that  public funds might have been lost through a fraudulent procurement deal, it was no longer secret  something was extremely wrong with the procurement procedures .

After the animals were delivered at the Centre they were not fed with the required feeds despite Sh 1 million having been factored in the procurement budget leading to emaciation, the Committee heard.

According to Dr Gichangi who is a Veterinary technical person for the county, for an animal    to qualify for a pedigree it must go through six mandatory stages.

 “Records which the supply vanished the county with do not have a history on parentage right from foundation  to the  pedigree stage as required for us to confirm if indeed these four animals are pure pedigree or not ,”he told the committee.

The Committee has since retreated for its report writing before it tables it at the floor of the County Assembly within the next two weeks.

He said for a farmer to realise pure pedigree it takes up to about six and eight years from the foundation, intermediate to appendix but cautioned that certain things must remain constant which include nutrition, environment and ecology.

The animals were brought to the Centre in June last year and have since calved but their health is at stake after suppliers failed to deliver their feeds

The centre principal blew the whistle leading to an impromptu visit by the Committee

The Centre it also emerged requires an urgent facelift due to its dilapidated state

By Irungu Mwangi

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