Kakamega Mayor, Council Treasurer and Clerk ousted from office over alleged corruption
Written by John Kabaka
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Kakamega Municipal Council Mayor Mathias Shichele in his office during the interview. He has vowed to remain in office even after irate councilors wanted him to step aside to pave way for investigation following alleged corruption in the council involving over Kshs 90 million. [PHOTO | John Kabaka | West Fm]
Kakamega Mayor Mathias Shichele, Town Clerk Newton Mukabue and Treasurer Joseph Amenya have been asked to vacate their offices by irate councilors over alleged corruption at the Kakamega Municipal Council.
Eleven out of the thirteen councilors at the local authority converged at the chamber Monday morning for a special full council meeting that resolved to replace the mayor with his deputy and changed the signatories to the council's bank accounts accusing Mukabue and Amenya of swindling the council.
The meeting was not attended by the trios who have been replaced in acting capacity by the town engineer Maurice Marango who becomes clerk and deputy treasurer Catherine Naliaka who was picked as treasurer.
Commotion and tempers flared after a section of the councilors attempted to forcefully drag Amenya from his office into the chamber to be part of the meeting.
The meeting also censored a council advocate Edwin Wafula Wawire accusing him of colluding with the council chiefs in corruption at the council.
“As we talk to you, details of this corruption have been filed with the Ethics and Anti-corruption commission, the advocate’s complaints committee (LSK) and the ministry of local government. “
The meeting was chaired by the deputy mayor Wellington Khakabo, finance and general purpose committee chairman George Barasa, committee chairmen Joseph Serenge, Christopher Likolokoli, Jamila Anjere and Mathias Litali. The rest were Peter Luttah, Joseph Mukanda, Roberet Ponyochi, Vincent Anjeche and Bibiana Andabwa.
According to a copy detailing the extend of corruption at the council, the authority paid out a total of Sh2,375,000 to a firm Excel Consultant services in six cheques between November last year and May this year for unsupported claims.
Details show Excel was paid Sh. 800,000 vide two cheque leaves 000429 and 000430 on May 19th this year. On November 26th was paid Sh450,000 vide cheque No.000350, a further Sh.500,000 vide cheque No. 001268 on March 9th and sh.300,000 through cheque No.001679 and Sh.325,000 through cheque No.000647 on January this year.
The report also reveals that advocate Wafula was paid a total of Sh1, 313,000 in the past two years for unstated work. This year alone he was paid Sh.300,00 vide cheque No.001800, Sh.100,000 vide cheque No.001462 on April 25th, Sh50,000 vide cheque No.001583 on April 4th, Sh.30,000 through cheque No.001314 and Sh.80,000 through cheque No.001067 on February 13th.
In November 19 last year, the lawyer earned Sh.150, 000 through cheque 000956 before he returned to pick Sh100, 000 vide cheque leaf 000957. On November1st last year, he was paid Sh.28, 000. On October 14 the same year, he was reportedly paid 50,000 through a cheque 00686 and a further Sh.325, 000 paid on January1, 2011 vide cheque No.000647.
EAGAD, a staff training firm contracted by the council was reportedly paid Sh.600, 000 on May 11th and May 22nd this year. The treasurer however explains that the second cheque was a replace for the first cheque.
The council chief has also been accused of fiddling with land transactions and rate payment. The report relates that Sh.2 million paid out by the council for purchase of 0.95 hectares of land in Maraba was held up by a a bank on instruction from the council.
Evidence available show that the council wrote three cheques between May 3rd and June 21st this year but the land vendor James Bulimo Kupalo has to-date not received a cent for his land.
Similarly, the councilors claims that a family of J.W.W Mwale, which owes the council Sh.11,960,670 in arrears in land rates has been cleared after paying only Sh.3 million. The funds were reportedly wired to the advocate.
Amenya however, denies that Mwale is cleared adding that the councillors had hatched a smear campaign to malign his name. Reached for comment, Mayor Shichele dismissed the ouster plot and declared he would remain in office.