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Swindling, Ghost projects outline Governor Sang’s first term

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Nandi Governor Stephen Sang will have a toll order convincing  the electorate to hand him a second term after his administration launched many ghost projects in 2018 that have NOT reached completion to date. Members of his kitchen cabinet have also been implicated in mega corruption scandals and poor mistreatment of contractors.

Auditor General Nancy Gathungu in her recent report questioned ‘the inability’ by Sang’s administration to complete the 491 projects valued at Sh1.3 billion initiated in the 2018-19 financial year. The AG’s report on counties shows that Nandi County was allocated the money for the projects but swindled the money and had only completed one project, some 110 were on progress and 310 projects had not started.

The stalled projects include the construction of the Nandi county  headquarters which began in 2013, at a cost of Sh103 million. That landmark project has stalled with more than Sh97 million already paid to the contractor who is no longer at the site.

Sang’s other mega scandal is  the delayed completion of 60 ECD centres in the county where Sh114.3 million had been paid for the projects that is not even 20% complete. EACC are probing the Nandi County boss who become a frequent client of anti-graft courts.

In August 2019, Public Accounts and Investments Committee tipped the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) to investigate how Sh17 million meant for the construction of the ECD centres was spent. The incompetent governor appeared before the committee but failed to provide financial documents to account for the money.

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Kirinyaga Senator Charles Kibiru who chaired the PAC proceedings said failure by Sang to provide proper financials records raised suspicious over the utilization of the funds.

“What is done is done and we can comfortably confirm that Governor you did not comply with the law in your work. There is no justification as to why you did not provide those documents to show how far the construction was. In our report, I can assure you that we will invite the EACC to investigate this matter,” said Kibiru.

Auditor General Nancy Gathungu [p/courtesy]

The auditor general’s report further revealed that Sang used more than Sh319 million on domestic and subsistence travels which stretched their expenditure by Sh96.5 million without the approval by the county assembly.

Gathungu pointed that the irregularity led to diversion of public funds that had been budgeted to provide goods and services to the people of Nandi County.

Sang’s administration again went ahead to irregularly pay Sh2.9 million as ‘travel allowances’ to MCAs to attend a meeting in Mombasa yet the county assembly operates its own budget. The move was aimed at compromising MCAs from playing their watchdog role.

“As a result of the irregular payments, the MCAs were made to oversight on monies they had directly benefited from and this action hampered good governance in the county government of Nandi,” the report read in part.

Governor Sanga has inherited the vice from his predecessor Cleophas Lagat whose homes have been raided by anti-graft authority several times. Lagat’s mansions in Nandi, Kapseret and Elgon View in Eldoret were raided in 2018 by EACC detectives who seized phones, title deeds, bank account details, log books, personal files and other documents that linked the ex-governor to major looting scandals he presided over while in office.

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The swoop conducted at the wee hours of the morning also targeted more than 30 senior officers in his administration who formed part of his looting gang. Governor Sang is milking Nandi coffers the same way – through a ring of cartels, mostly senior members of his administration.

Members of Sang’s chief executive committee are starring in corruption, abuse of office and mistreatment of genuine contractors by deliberately delaying their payments after completion of work.

 

 


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