‘Non-carcinogenic’ wheelbarrow buyers of Bungoma charged with fraud
Four former officials of the Bungoma County Government were on Friday, January 27 arraigned over irregular purchase of wheelbarrows in 2014.
The four; former County Secretary, Juma Matsanza, Finance Manager, Oscar Ojwange, Tender Committee Members, Howard Lukadilu, and Jackline Nanjala, who appeared before Chief Magistrate, Bildad Ochieng, however, denied charges of misuse of public funds.
The court has also directed that four other suspects be arrested.
The four include; Procurement Officer Ayub Luvaka and Tender Committee Members; Arlington Omuchem, Christine Mulanda and Reuben Cheruiyot.
According to an internal probe in 2015 initiated by the county government following public uproar, the audit report revealed that 10 wheelbarrows were bought at 109,320 shillings each consequently exposing massive corruption in the county.
“The Tender Award Committee ignored advise from the Evaluation Committee to refloat fresh quotations and went ahead to award the tender for the purchase of wheelbarrows and inspection racks,” read the report in part.
The special committee formed to investigate the alleged fraudulent procurement of wheelbarrows also reported that the wheelbarrows purchased were of poor quality.
According to the committee, the transactions ensured the supply of nine wheelbarrows by Jagla Enterprise at Ksh 983,880 (each at Ksh 109,320) instead of Ksh 109,320 (each at Ksh 12,146.67) as per the evaluation committee report.
“The county government may have lost Ksh 874,560, based on advice from Wycliffe Wangwe through Isaiah Masinde,” the report stated.
They four have been released on a 100,000 shillings bond each and the case will be heard on March 13 and 14, 2017.