The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission has charged two senior Kitui County Government officials over irregular procurement of five trucks for transporting livestock and abuse of office.
Acting Trade and Cooperatives Chief Officer, Francis Kyalo Kea and Head of Supply Chain Management, Joshua Kalola Munyaka were charged on Tuesday with five counts of flouting procurement laws and abuse of office while awarding the multi-million tender to Thika Motor Dealers Ltd.
According to particulars of the charge sheet, the duo awarded the tender number CGOKTI/118/2017-2018 without prior budgetary allocation or procurement plan, failed to invite at least 10 firms from the list of pre-qualified bidders, and entered into a contract with Thika Motor Dealers Ltd before the lapse of stipulated 14 days after the notification award.
The court heard that the officers allegedly committed the economic crimes on diverse dates between January 2, 2018 and December 30, 2018.
The prosecution requested that the officers be released on stringent bond terms as they had been on the run since January 9 when ODPP gave EACC a green light to charge them with the alleged corrupt practices.
The duo was arrested on January 20, 2020 after surrendering to the anti-graft detective at the Integrity Centre in Nairobi.
The two were arraigned before Kitui Chief Magistrate (CM), Stephen Mbungi who ordered that Kea be released on a bond of Sh.3 million plus a surety of a similar amount or a cash bail of Sh. 1 million and Munyaka on Sh.1 million bond with a similar surety or Sh.500,000 cash bail.
The accused officers were also barred from accessing county government offices pending trial and determination of the graft case facing them.
The case will be mentioned on February 12, 2020 for pre-trial conference.
This comes barely a week after three other top county government officers were arrested and charged in court by the EACC over irregular awarding of road tenders worth over Sh.890 million.
June Mawia Munyao, Jeremiah Nguli Kisilu and Rogers Makau Sande however, pleaded not guilty to flouting procurement laws, while awarding over 50 tenders for roadworks and construction of drifts amounting to Sh.891, 039,308.
They were accused of committing the offences between March 4, 2016 and July 8, 2016 when Ms. Munyao was the acting Chief Officer for Finance while Kisilu and Sande were the Chairman and Secretary of the evaluation committee for restricted tenders in the County Ministry for roads respectively.
By Yobesh Onwong’a