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Tender Corruption Blocks Sh1.4 Billion World Bank Project in Homa Bay County

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Tender corruption

Homa Bay County, once poised to benefit from a Sh1.4 billion World Bank-funded informal settlement improvement project, now faces the grim prospect of losing this critical investment.

Insiders within Governor Gladys Wanga’s administration have voiced concerns that pervasive tender corruption orchestrated by influential cartels threatens to derail the ambitious project.

Tender Corruption

Project Jeopardized by Tender Corruption

The informal settlement improvement project, which aimed to uplift areas such as Sophia, Makongeni, and Shauri Yako in Homa Bay town, as well as A Thousand Street in Oyugis Town, Kendu Bay Old town, Rusinga Island, and Nyandiwa, has encountered significant roadblocks.

The World Bank intentionally delayed project implementation after revelations of corruption in the tender process.

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Sources reveal that officials dubiously awarded the tender to the highest bidder, who quoted Sh1.3 billion, despite a lower bid of Sh1.1 billion.

Allegations suggest that a company linked to Governor Wanga’s brother, Robert Nyasuna, positioned itself to secure the lucrative contract.

This raised red flags, especially since the World Bank did not approve all the bidders.

Insider Insights and Administration Turmoil

A source within the administration revealed, “The World Bank was supposed to choose a company after reviewing all bids, but Homa Bay hastily settled on the highest bidder without consulting the donor.”

This lack of transparency has incited concerns over the integrity of the bidding process.

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At the center of this standoff is Alphonce Wera, the notorious Chief Finance Officer, who insiders claim wields significant influence over Governor Wanga’s administration.

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Dubbed ‘the total man,’ Wera reportedly overshadowed the CEC member for Finance and Economic Planning, Solomon Obiero, advising the governor against utilizing approximately Sh9 million to relocate individuals affected by the project.

World Bank’s Stance on Human Dignity and Relocation

The World Bank has emphasized the importance of human dignity, insisting on the compensation and peaceful relocation of those impacted by the project.

The budget for this relocation is estimated at Sh9 million. However, Homa Bay’s administration had allegedly considered forceful eviction, a proposal that further angered the World Bank.

“It’s outrageous how Homa Bay cartels have blocked the governor from spending a paltry Sh9 million to pave the way for a multibillion project,” lamented an insider.

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“In Homa Bay, it’s corruption left, right, and center, coupled with high-voltage public relations (PR).”

Broader Implications and Auditor General’s Report

This tender corruption scandal is not an isolated incident.

The Auditor General’s report highlights several other stalled projects under Governor Wanga’s administration, including the landscaping and driveway works at Kigoto Milling Plant and the construction of staff houses at God Agulu Health Center.

These issues raise serious concerns about the actual effectiveness and integrity of the county’s operations.

Despite positive media coverage and public accolades, underlying issues of corruption and project mismanagement point to a need for greater scrutiny and accountability within the administration.

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The discrepancy between the public image of progress and the reality of stalled projects and corruption allegations underscores the critical need for transparency and effective governance.

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Unsupported Financial Statement Adjustments

Significant adjustments to the county’s financial statements between their initial submission in September 2023 and their resubmission in February 2024 have also raised red flags.

These revisions, including changes to grants and transfers from Kshs. 414,272,635 to Kshs. 282,717,338 and alterations in the Financing Locally Climate Action Programme Led (FLOCA) from Kshs. 16,000,000 to Kshs. 9,286,362, lacked supporting documentation such as approved journal entries and expenditure schedules.

This absence of documentation raises serious concerns about the legitimacy and transparency of these adjustments.

Conclusion

The ongoing tender corruption in Homa Bay County highlights a severe governance crisis that could cost the region a critical Sh1.4 billion World Bank-funded project.

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As allegations of corruption and mismanagement continue to surface, it is imperative that the county’s administration undergoes rigorous scrutiny to restore transparency and accountability.

Homa Bay can achieve its development goals and ensure responsible use of public resources for residents’ benefit through genuine reform.


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