The Nandi governor, Stephen Sang on Tuesday suspended 16 county officers and staff over graft allegations.
Among those suspended were three County Executive Committee members Valentine Chumo (Education), Eng. Hillary Koech (Transport&Infrastructure) and Stanley Baliach (Lands).
Others include, Chief Officers for Transport and Education, ECDE Project Manager, Edwin Mosbei, Rose Sang a clerical assistant for stores at education, three drivers and mechanics among others.
Speaking at a press briefing at the county headquarters, Sang said the decision to suspend the officers amd staff was arrived at after an incident of burglary and theft occured on the night of April18, 2019 at the department of transport and infrastructure storage facility.
Sang said investigations revealead that a consignment of 99 tyres valued at Sh.3.4 million meant for the county vehicles were stolen.
“The police launched investigations into the matter and a number of county staff were arrested and some of them have been arraigned in court,” explained Sang.
The governor further said his administration in collaboration with the police initiated investigations into an alledged theft of ECDE construction materials that had been stolen in the same facility.
“These investigations are ongoing and already some county staff have been arrested and arraigned in court,” he clarified.
Sang reiterated that his administration will fully support the investigative and prosecuting authorities until the matters are finalised conclusively.
The county boss warned that any county staff found culpable for the loss of government resources and property will face the full force of the law.
Besides, the governor said he had constituted an ad hoc committee to investigate the matter, identify the loopholes in the management and implementation of ECDE programmes.
“The committee will also investigate and make recommendations on matters in the transport department over the theft of tyres and any other issues as may be given by the terms of reference”, he added.
The committee shall conclude and report back on the assignment within 30 days.
Governor Sang appointed other officers on acting capacity in the departments left vacant.
Meanwhile residents applauded the governor for the move of suspending those adversely mentioned in the ongoing probe against theft claims.
“This is a show of committment and decisive leadership towards the residents of Nandi. Sanity must be restored regardless of the status of those implicated”, said John Koech, a resident.
However, in a rejoinder in Nairobi, Nandi Senator, Samson Cherargei said that time is ripe for Governor Sang to resign following massive allegations of graft facing his administration.
“Today’s suspension of 16 county officials by the governor and instigating his own investigations using his own appointed officers is a mockery of the public “, said Cherargei.
By Bethsheba Abuya/Rebecca Makokha