Councilors, residents demonstrate over alleged corruption at Teso County Council
Written by Carren Papai
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Business came to a standstill on Monday at the Teso County Council after councilors and residents sealed off the main entrance complaining of massive corruption at the council.
The councilors and the residents said that over Ksh.15 million was embezzled by top council officials.
Led by the council’s Public Officer Pascal Okiru, the demonstrators blocked the council clerk Mr. James Mugweru, Treasurer Mr. Nelson King’oro and Works officer Mr. James Etyang from accessing their respective offices.
They vowed to lock them out until Local Government Minister Fred Gumo addresses the issue.
“We are declaring the three persona non grata in this council over their role in fleecing the council of millions of money,” said Okiru.
More drama ensued when they started shouting and blaming their woes on Permanent Secretary in the ministry of Local Government Karega Mutahi (pictured) whom they said has a hand in the matter saying the clerk normally operates from Nairobi and he is seen rarely in his Amagoro office.
The enraged councilors and residents lamented on tendering where they cited favoritism when contracts are issued a factor they said has resulted to shoddy work in the construction projects in various wards in the districts.
‘’We demand to know where our money has gone now, our children are learning in risky classes that might any time fall due to fake iron sheets that were used by a contactor that was given the whole job to work on,’’ lamented a disgruntled parent
They further complained of unfinished projects where they claimed that contractors are issued money without certificates of completion and councilors are given money in hand an issue they said has enhanced misappropriation of money and lack of accountability.
Among the pending projects is the construction of classrooms at Kamarinyang Primary school in Amukura Central Ward where the project was allocated Ksh500, 000 and no classroom has been constructed so far and amount spent is Ksh200, 000 and nothing has been on the ground according to the task force sent to check on the project a week ago.
The residents asked the councilors to account for the excess funds of Sh5 million of which Sh3million was from Mumias Sugar Company and Sh2 million from British American Tobacco (BAT).
According to the rowdy residents nothing has been done saying that roads are now impassable.
The task force revealed that the roads contractor was given only Sh2.1 million and the remaining money still remains a mystery on how it was spent.
They called upon the Ministry of local government to move in first and reign in on the suspects and make them accountable for misappropriation of the funds.
The public officer vowed never to open the door till Hon Fred Gumo would move in and take action.