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Corruption hits Ahero Irrigation scheme

28 May 2013, 15:22 Oduor Omondi

Over KES 66 million allocated to Ahero Irrigation rice scheme by the Government under the Economic Stimulus Program (ESP) over the last five years cannot be accounted for by the outgoing farmers’ SACCO officials.

Ahero drying yard with the newly elected Chairman Moses Wayumba and Secretary Walter Angura poised to pursue the matter to its logical conclusion during Rice farmers Annual General Meeting (AGM) held at the National Irrigation Board (NIB).

Tempers flared at the AGM forum as the famers differed openly, with an overwhelming majority openly declaring their support for Wayumba and Angura’s group whom they recently entrusted with overseeing the management of the SACCO as former officials are accused of deep-rooted corruption.

The rice farmers had converged to launch their new certificate and unveil the new office bearers (Wayumba and Angura) who accused their predecessors of not remitting their financial report regarding the KES 66 million funding which was supposed to have been used as a revolving fund.

Wayumba and Angura further accused the team of failure to recover KES 22 876 558 from the group of 30 rice farmers drawn from 12 blocks within the Ahero Irrigation rice scheme.

Led by the Manager Laban Lang’at, the NIB declared that his office will recognize the new office bearers but only if the legal procedure is followed to the letter.

However, Langat’s view was met with strong resistance by the farmers who felt that he was trying to shield the former officials despite revelations that they had fleeced unsuspecting SACCO members who installed them into office five years ago.

However, Langat appealed for calm while assuring the agitated rice farmers that everything will soon be sorted out to facilitate smooth operations by the new SACCO officials, mandated to stamp out corruption and put the farmers on the path to realizing benefits from their sweat.

It has also been established that NIB owes the rice farmers KES 217million levied for the maintenance of road networks in Ahero Irrigation scheme.

Majority of the rice farmers could not stop asking aloud who will take up the responsibility of recovering the money and also push the NIB to pay them their rightful dues, unless the new team gets all the necessary support in the pursuit of the difficult challenge.

Even so, Wayumba called for peace to prevail while seeking to unite all the rice farmers in charting a new path guided by transparency and accountability which has eluded their predecessors, culminating in the team being unceremoniously kicked out of office.

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