Ex-Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya faces Ksh.56M corruption charges

The fourth quarterly report of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) that was published on Friday details how millions of public funds were gobbled up in suspected scams, with various county officials under investigation.

Top on that list is former Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya who allegedly received kickbacks from six companies which were awarded 60 contracts worth more than Ksh.2.2 billion including AFBA Construction Company Limited, Western Cross Express limited, Sabema International Limited and Sesela Resources Limited.

The report also details that the former Governor leased his land to the county government and was paid over Ksh.56,740,325 in what EACC terms as a clear case of conflict of interest.

On October 12, 2023, EACC recommended to the ODPP that Oparanya, his spouse, some county officials and some of the directors of the companies be charged with conspiracy to commit an offence of corruption, conflict of interest, abuse of office and money laundering.

On December 18, 2023, the ODPP returned the file and concurred with the commission’s recommendations for prosecution.

The former Governor has since obtained a stay order to stop his arrest until a petition he filed in court is determined.

In Nairobi County, Embakasi North MP James Mwangi Gakuya is on the spot over allegations of awarding tenders worth Ksh.51,351,000 to his children and close associates for the construction of classrooms, event hosting and roadworks.

Investigations revealed that Gakuya received over Ksh.10,482,000 in form of kickbacks. EACC wants him charged with conflict of interest, unlawful acquisition of public property and abuse of office.

In Taita Taveta County,it is alleged that the Speaker, Clerk, 21 MCAs and four other officers spent about Ksh.7 million on a bonding trip to Marijani Hotel in Zanzibar in November 2022, without following proper guidelines on public finance.

Investigations revealed that some delegates were paid excess per diem allowances while others were paid yet they had not travelled for various reasons.

It was further established that the Accounting Officer during imprest surrender attached false travel clearance letters for delegates who had not travelled for various personal reasons.

On December 14, 2023, a report was compiled and forwarded to the ODPP with recommendations to charge the Clerk Gadiel Maganga and the Deputy Speaker Anselm Mwadime with abuse of office, uttering false documents, false accounting by a public officer, wilful failure to comply with the law relating to procurement as well as financial misconduct.

On February 1, 2024, the ODPP concurred with the commission’s recommendation for prosecution.

Several county officials are also under investigation over allegations of corruption, procurement irregularities and embezzlement of funds used to organise an event to commemorate World War 1 which took place between November 24-27, 2022.

Taita Taveta County is said to have utilised Ksh.4,048,000 through irregular daily subsistence allowance paid to officers despite the fact that the event was not provided for in the budget estimates for FY 2022/2023.

EACC also investigated allegations of misappropriation of public funds amounting to Ksh.45,610,187 by Turkana County assembly through tendering and construction of the Speaker’s residence at Kanamkemer ward.

Investigations revealed that eight companies submitted their bids for the tender after which the tender was irregularly awarded to Ekoriagete Enterprises Limited.

It has since been established that one of the directors of the said company is said to be an employee of the county government.

The work done was valued at Ksh.19,494,994.99 as compared to payments made to the contractor totaling to Ksh.54,392,735.87 which means that there was an overpayment of Ksh.34,897,740.88.

On October 12, 2023, EACC compiled and forwarded a report to the ODPP with recommendations to charge the Deputy Clerk John Ekunoit, the Clerk Linus Lokawa, the County Works Officer Ignatius Kopeto, and the Director of the Ekoriagete Enterprises Limited; Macimilla Ekiru with conspiracy to commit an offence of economic crime, fraudulent acquisition of public property, abuse of office, conflict of interest among others. The case is still under further investigations.

The report by EACC chairperson David Oginde and CEO Twalib Mbarak dated February 13, 2024, shows that the commission forwarded 27 files to the office of the DPP in the fourth quarter of last year covering investigations undertaken between October 1 to December 31, 2023.

EACC reported that among the 27, 24 files were recommended for prosecution while there were recommendations of closure on 3.

Of the 24 files on prosecution, 7 were accepted, 3 recommendations for closure were accepted, 14 files returned for further investigations while 3 are awaiting the DPP’s response.


EACC Corruption ODPP Kakamega Wycliffe Oparanya

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