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Taita Taveta Deputy Speaker arrested for alleged embezzlement of Ksh 17M

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has arrested Anselm Mwadime Chao, Deputy Speaker Taita Taveta County Assembly for alleged embezzlement of Ksh 17 million used in a bonding trip to Zanzibar by 30 officials.

On 28th November 2022, EACC through its Lower Coast Regional office in Mombasa received a complaint through an allegation of corruption and misappropriation of public funds at the Taita Taveta County Assembly.

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This was as a result of the imprest advanced to the Speaker, Clerk, twenty-one (21) Members of County Assembly (MCA’s) and four other officers for travelling to Zanzibar for a bonding trip in the financial year 2022/2023.

The Commission commenced investigations on the complaint and established the following key findings; –

  1. That a total amount of Kshs 17 million was utilized for the alleged trip out of which, Ksh 9 million was directly paid to the organizers for the conference and travel arrangements and the balance of Ksh 8 million was paid as imprest advance to 30 officers who were to attend the training in Zanzibar.
  2. That the County Assembly of Taita Taveta used forged travel clearance letters purportedly issued by the Principal Secretary Ministry of Devolution as authority to travel to Zanzibar.
  3. Out of the 30 officers who were paid imprest to travel to Zanzibar, twenty-five (25) officials travelled and spent 5 nights in Zanzibar and one night locally as opposed to six nights in Zanzibar resulting in a loss of Ksh 1,033,288.00
  4. That four officials did not travel and that one officer travelled for three nights in Zanzibar. This resulted into a loss of Kshs. 1,182,263.00.
  5. The officers delegated for the training were paid full daily subsistence allowance while in Zanzibar for 5 nights yet Bonfire Adventures through WSPUK had paid accommodation at Marijani Beach Resort and Spa Hotel at US dollar 132 per night for the same officers while attending the conference at the hotel. This resulted in the loss of public funds to the tune of Kshs. 3,965,889.00.

The Commission further compiled and forwarded the file with findings and recommendations to ODPP who concurred with the proposed charges against the following officials of the Taita Taveta County Assembly:

The charges to be preferred against the suspects are as follows:-

  1. Abuse of office contrary to section 46 as read with section 48 of the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act no. 3 of 2003.
  2. Willful failure to comply with the law applicable, regulations and guidelines relating to procurement, contrary to section 45 (2) (b) as read with section 48 of the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes act, no. 3 of 2003.
  3. Uttering false documents contrary to section 353 of the Penal Code, Cap. 63 Laws of Kenya.
  4. False accounting by a public officer contrary to section 331 (1) and (2) of the Penal Code, cap. 63 laws of Kenya.
  5. Financial misconduct contrary to section 197(1) (i) as read with section 199 of the Public Finance Management Act, no. 18 of 2012.

EACC Spokesperson Eric Ngumbi confirming the arrest said that the Deputy Speaker will be processed at EACC Mombasa Regional Office and later detained at Mombasa Central Police Station.

The Commission directs the remaining suspect, the Assembly Clerk, Gadiel Mnyambo Maganga, to forthwith present himself at EACC Mombasa Regional Office for processing.

 

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