Gachagua denies KES 61M embezzlement claims
13 August 2013, 16:26
Nyeri governor Nderitu Gachagua has dismissed reports that his office embezzled more than KES 61 Million for construction of his office.
Through his County Chief of staffs Duncan Maina Mathenge, he said that initial reports by Public Investment and Accounts Committee chairman Baragu Mutahi were amounting to intimidation.
He said the letters authored by Baragu who is a member of the county assembly were in breach of protocol since there are established channels of communication for acquiring any information from the governor’s office.
“The chairman has right to information but proper channels of communication have to be followed. At this juncture, we are questioning the level of understanding of the MCA member,” said Maina during a press conference at Advocates Plaza in Nyeri town.
He said that the KES 61 Million in question was disbursed to four areas where refurbishment of offices is ongoing.
Maina also disclosed that the Transition Authority issued an authority for improvement of infrastructure, renovation of offices and procurement of Hansard equipment for the county assembly.
“Karson Photo house was to be refurbished to accommodate some members of the County executive and Public service board. Nyeri town hall was to accommodate the office of the governor, his deputy and the county treasury. The parking and perimeter wall at Nyeri town hall compound was also to be renovated to enhance security,” Maina noted.
Prior to resorting to renting of offices from private buildings, Maina said they had sought space from the former Provincial headquarters but were told there was no space to accommodate the county executives.
“We approached the relevant authorities inquiring whether we could get space from the former Provincial Administration offices but we were told it was impossible since the offices were reserved for the national government officers not county officers,” said Maina.
He further denounced the payment vouchers said to have been used in paying some contractors saying the cheques are still in their custody and will be issued after completion of the work.
However, Maina was unable to explain how some cheques said to have been issued to a contractor reportedly had similar serial numbers and were paid twice to the contractor.
Reportedly, one of the contractors approved by the County Tendering Committee is a brother-in-law and a business associate of the governor.
Maina could not go without defending that allegation as he said the contractor is also in business and deserves to be given the job like any other person if he qualifies.
“The tendering committee resolved to procure the contractors through restrictive tendering process. In the process, 31 registered contractors participated and the lowest competitive bidder was picked,” said Maina.
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