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22nd of July 2018


Budget whistle blowers punished

EMBU, KENYA: Two county assembly officers suspected of leaking confidential details of the 2018/2019 budget have been interdicted.

ALSO READ: East Africa policies to solve debt crisis weak

The County Assembly Service Board interdicted the two pending investigation into their conduct.

They were interdicted through letters from assembly clerk Jim Kauma.

Their interdiction came after reports emerged that the assembly planned to use Sh11 million on gym subscription for MCAs and staff members.

Following a backlash from the public, the assembly beat a hasty retreat, saying the fund was the entire budget for games and sports.

Other projects that elicited public outrage included the setting aside of Sh2 million for vaccination of stray dogs and Sh3 million to supply sanitary towels and underwear to school girls.

Insiders told the Press the administration was also unhappy with leakage of details of how S160 million was used to purchase public land owned by the county.

Another revelation was how Sh15 million was used to construct a ghost dispensary at Gicherori village, Nginda ward.

The facility does not exist.

ALSO READ: Chepkwony in fight with MCAs over Sh224m budget

The officers are accused of violating the Official Secrets Act of 1968. 

The interdicted duo remained tight-lipped on what triggered their suspension for fear of further reprisal.

Their interdiction has elicited sharp reactions from a number of MCAs.

Runyenjes Central MCA Steve Simba said the interdiction violated the County Assemblies Services Act of 2017 and all known labour laws, since the employees were not granted an opportunity to be heard.

Ruguru Ngandori MCA Muturi Mwombo claimed Assembly staff from Manyatta Constituency were being unfairly targeted for sacking.

MCA John Gichovi (Nginda) and Sicily Warue (nominated) also vowed to fight the interdiction of the assembly's employees that did not follow the due process.

Contacted, the clerk said the interdiction was not connected to the budget.

ALSO READ: MCAs demand Sh15m to approve budget estimates

"They were suspected of leaking information without authority,” he said.

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