Leaders and residents of Nyamira county have put investigation agencies on the spot over a number of corruption cases that have been reported in both the county executive and the assembly, incidents which have eroded the county’s economy and by extension, bringing development in the region to a standstill.
While other counties are chest-thumping because of various strides they have made in terms of development, Nyamira county has not even one flagship project to justify the huge million of shillings it has been receiving from the national government except the cancer of corruption which has engulfed every department and individuals working in the county.
They have particularly taken issue with the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission which they said is sleeping on their job after being bought handsomely.
The residents claimed that since 2015, money meant for the development of projects has been embezzled, and some diverted into individual’s pockets under the watch of Governor John Nyagarama, and despite the outcry and attention brought to the attention of the desk of the detectives no action has been taken against those behind the vice.
Leaders from the county led by former senator Okongo Mongare, and the current senator Okong’o Omogeni, have also joined the public in raising their concern over rampant corruption which has been the order of the day but to the disappointment of many.
It is now emerging that the corrupt individuals have a pact with the investigators where they share the looted funds for protection every time an outcry is made or alarm raised.
Investigations carried out by this writer established that funds which were meant for the construction of Manga and Nyamaiya stadiums, the procurement and construction of Nyamira county assembly administration block, funds earmarked for the construction of the county administration block, the construction of the residence of the governor and that of the county assembly speaker cannot be traced.
More worrying, interestingly and surprising who are supposed and entrusted by law to bring the culprits to book are treating the whole scenario and complaints from members of the public and leaders as normal.
In a number of occasions, arrests are dramatically made but after a few hours or days the suspects are released and come out laughing and finally, the story and drama end without any suspect being arraigned in court.
In Nyamira county, it is now official that no services are being offered free but at a fee.
That is why in 2016 when the department of sports, gender, culture, and social services advertised 21 senior positions, the recruitment body that is the county assembly service board ended up employing 64.
The question many people in the county are asking is, was this move taken without the knowledge and consent of governor?
It is also alleged that those who seek employment opportunities pay dearly by bribing a sum of money ranging from Sh250,000 to Sh500,000.
It has also been established that once they get the jobs, they resort to stealing from the county government coffers so as to recover the money they used to bribe their way in.
The bitter residents have claimed that corruption in the county has turned to be a fortune and merry-making to the investigative agencies.
They now want officers who have served the region under EACC and DCI officers to be investigated claiming that some of them have become rich overnight after being compromised by the county government and the assembly members implicated in corruption deals.
One of the residents who talked to this writer lamented that despite adducing evidence linking members of the county executive and the assembly on corruption deals, the agencies have chosen to sit on the evidence. EACC last week released three former Nyamira county officers after arresting and detaining them for a day.
Former board chairman Peter Nyakundi, his vice Beatrice Siriba and former executive for gender Peter Ogwara were arrested by the detectives over issues an officer privy to the investigations who did not want to be quoted because of the commission’s strict policy said the trio were connected to alleged irregular employment of 63 staff in 2016.
The officer in charge of the South Nyanza regional office based in Kisii Gichangi Njiru confirmed the arrest of the three but declined to divulge more information regarding it.
“Yes, I can confirm the officers are in our custody but you will be able to get more information in due course,” Njiru said on phone