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City hall officer caught with 11 cars, top hotel in Kisumu in graftsonde

City hall officer caught with 11 cars, top hotel in Kisumu in graftsonde

Economy

City hall officer caught with 11 cars, top hotel in Kisumu in graftsonde


Hydeout Riviera hotel in Kisumu. PHOTO | SWIMMING POOL

A city hall procurement officer has been arrested with 11 cars, a three-star hotel in Kisumu and three motorcycles linked to bribes for tenders in the city.

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has asked the High Court to freeze the properties pending the completion of the investigation into the source.

The frozen properties include a three-star hotel known as Hydeout Riviera ltd, located along the Kisumu-Bondo road, eight lots in Siaya and Kisumu and one at the Utawala estate in Nairobi.

“The respondents, their agents, servants or other persons are prohibited from transferring or disposing of the following properties,” said Justice Daniel Ogembo.

The Anti-Corruption Commission has told the court that Mr Michael Auka Ajwang’ earns a monthly salary of Sh53,685, but he has allegedly received bribes from companies that have awarded tenders at the city hall.

EACC says that in one case, Mr. Ajwang’s received as much as Sh40 million as a bribe to award tenders to companies trading with the provincial government.

The EACC told the court it fears that Mr Ajwang’ could sell or transfer the properties, in light of the ongoing investigations.

“The applicant reasonably suspects that the said assets are proceeds of corruption that are subject to forfeiture to the state,” said EACC attorney Joram Wambugu.

The freezing order will remain in effect for six months. The anti-graft agency plans to initiate proceedings to recover the property once the investigation is completed.

Ajwang, 45, works as a purchasing officer in the supply chain management department.

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City Hall buyer Auka Ajwang busted with graft-related property. PHOTO | COURTESY

The EACC says his net salary from January 2014 to June 2022 – the period under investigation – was shillings 2.1 million, but he has amassed wealth disproportionate to his known sources of income.

Last month, the Supreme Court jailed four former Nairobi district government officials on a Sh18 million fraud case.

The ex-officials who served during Governor Evans Kidero’s tenure were given the option to pay a fine totaling Sh 21.4 million.

Among them are former County Chief Finance Officer Jimmy Kiamba and former Secretary Lilian Ndegwa, former senior secretary of the finance department Regina Rotich and former head of the Treasury Stephen Osiro.

The former officials were found guilty of violating procurement laws when purchasing blinds.

In 2020, the EACC successfully argued for the forfeiture of Mr Kiamba’s assets worth Sh317 million related to graft. They include money in various accounts and a house in Runda worth Sh35 million.

The former finance chief was accused of amassing a total of Sh1.3 billion in about five years while he was at City Hall. He has appealed the decision.

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