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Revealed: How governors channel public funds to secret CoG account

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Governors have been funding a secret account operated at their Council of Governors headquarters to hire choppers that have seen some adopt the lives of kings.

To beat the stringent procurement rules that would have exposed them, the county bosses remit excess money to the Council of Governors (CoG), part of which is channelledtowards paying for choppers and funding other excesses.

Out of the Sh250 million that has been under the microscope of auditors and investigators, at least Sh150 million was used to hire choppers.

This is what has enabled the county bosses to crisscross the country like kings in choppers paid for by the taxpayer but shielded from accounting.

At the CoG, which is funded by the taxpayer, the chairman is the only one with the privilege of using choppers while on official duties. The chairman has to log in every trip as official to legally get a chopper at the doorstep.

But governors who also wanted to enjoy the privilege decided to make extra contributions on top of the amount required from them and the difference is wired to the operational accountfrom where they hire choppers.

Cannot be tracked

“At CoG, only the chairman has the privilege of using a chopper while on official duties. This must be logged in as official to be legal. However, governors have been using choppers but the payments cannot be tracked back to their counties,” a source familiar with the operations said.

READ ALSO:   EACC officers arrest former MP Danson Mungatana

Another source within CoG said the Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission (EACC) has been investigating the scam and interrogated officers and this has scared the council from commenting before the report is released.

It is not yet clear why the EACC has taken too long to conclude the investigations which should have been a straight forward affair.

“An internal auditor who raised the matter was fired and some of the external ones as well as the EACC officers were compromised,” the source said.

Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya admitted that the CoGhas indeed been booking choppers for governors but maintained that there should be nothing to worry about if the process was followed as required. He said it costs about Sh170,000 (1700 dollars) per hour to hire the choppers and counties factor this in their travel budgets.

“To get the chopper, you send an email to the CEO of the Council of Governors who picks for you the chopper from the list of the prequalified companies and will generate an invoice to be settled by debiting the county account,” Mr Oparanya said.

He however acknowledged that if any of his colleagues has been doing it below the radar, then they were breaking the law.

Mr Oparanya admitted that he has used the service twice and even to attend the funeral of former Nyeri GovernorWahome Gakuru. “We would be called and advised on the costs and a number of governors shared a chopper. There is nothing illegal,” Oparanya said.

READ ALSO:   Police: Abducted Cubans had expressed fear for their safety

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Kenyans ask for Wetangula’s whereabouts as things get ugly, messy and noisy for him

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Ford Kenya leader Moses Wetangula has not been seen in public since information allegedly directly linking him to the latest fake gold scam leaked. His Twitter handle has also gone silent. Some media reports have however indicated that he has travelled out of the country.

In 2010, when he was the Foreign Affairs minister in the grand coalition government of 2008-2013, Moses Masika Wetang’ula, 63, led diplomatic efforts that resolved a visa standoff between Kenya and the United Arab Emirates.

The diplomatic tiff arose after UAE decreed that Kenyans going to or passing through Dubai (United Arab Emirates) would need a degree certificate to get a visa into the Arab country.

This was deemed to be in retaliation to the inadvertent deportation of a member of the royal family from Kenya.

In one of his finest diplomatic moments, Mr Wetang’ula led a delegation to Dubai where they had the requirement rescinded, only two weeks after it was imposed.

Perhaps it was during this meeting where Mr Wetang’ula was introduced to the high and mighty of the Emirati kingdom connections.

GOLD SCAM

This week, Mr Wetang’ula hit the news headlines again in relation to the UAE ruling family — but this time it was for the wrong reason.

READ ALSO:   Police: Abducted Cubans had expressed fear for their safety

The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) said that the Bungoma Senator was being investigated for his role in a gold scandal that saw the Dubai royal family lose Sh400 million.

A leaked audio in which a man purported to be Mr Wetang’ula is dropping the names of President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition leader Raila Odinga to assure someone presumed to be a member of the royal family that all is well and that the gold consignment would be delivered, has thrust him to the centre of the scandal.

But even as the scandal unravels, Mr Wetang’ula has maintained a studious silence and did not respond to the Sunday Nation’s enquiries on Saturday.

Some of his aides have also claimed, off the record, that the voice on the leaked tape is not the senator’s and that the whole matter has been politicised to tarnish his image ahead of the 2022 general election.

BAT SCANDAL

The incident is just the most recent of several occasions on which Mr Wetang’ula has been mentioned adversely in controversial scandals throughout his lengthy political career.

In 2015, a BBC investigation claimed Mr Wetang’ula was among senior public officials and MPs from Kenya who were compromised by British American Tobacco Company to do business that favoured the tobacco manufacturer.

READ ALSO:   EACC officers arrest former MP Danson Mungatana

The investigations claimed Mr Wetang’ula had received an air ticket and money to facilitate his travel to London from BAT while he was Trade minister in order to interfere with the country’s anti-smoking laws.

The Senator refuted the claims and went ahead to institute defamatory proceedings against the broadcaster.

In 2012, after widespread speculation and controversy, he admitted that his previous law firm was involved in the Sh800 million sale of oil blocks in Turkana. He, however, said he had left the law firm by the time.

FUNDS MISUSE

Before that, in 2010, Mr Wetang’ula was forced to step aside as Foreign minister amid a growing scandal involving the alleged misuse of his ministry’s funds for several land deals abroad.

While serving as the Foreign Affairs minister, Mr Wetang’ula is remembered for summoning two ambassadors in 2009 whom he thought had disrespected Kenya in one way or another.

He summoned the US Ambassador Michael Ranneberger and asked him to explain the last-minute cancellation of new Delta Air Lines flights to US via Dakar on security fears in Nairobi.

A year before that, he also summoned the United Kingdom ambassador to Kenya, Mr Adam Wood, seeking clarification over a remark made in the House of Commons that they did not recognise former President Mwai Kibaki as the Head of State.

READ ALSO:   EACC officers arrest former MP Danson Mungatana

The Senator’s political career dates back to 1992 when he was nominated by Kanu as MP up to to 1997.

CAREER

He was later elected the MP Sirisia constituency, and since then Mr Wetang’ula has never lost in any political election up to his current senatorial position.

In 2014, the senator claimed that there was an attempt on his life after unknown people shot at his car on Mbagathi Way in Nairobi. The police discounted his version of events.

“If anyone wants a divorce it will be noisy, messy and unhelpful, and it will have causalities,” declared Mr Wetang’ula in March last year when ODM engineered to have him removed as the Senate Minority Leader.

A year down the line, things have turned noisy, messy for the Senator as a result of the alleged gold deal that has led to some arrests with the DCI naming him as a person of interest. All eyes are now on the senator, who remains tight-lipped.

Source: Nation.co.ke

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VIDEO: I failed and didn’t even make it to High School but look at me now, says media mogul SK Macharia

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Royal Media Services Chairman Samuel Kamau Macharia (SK) has disclosed that he did not do well in Primary School hence couldn’t make the cut to join High School.

Speaking during a prize-giving ceremony at Kahuhia Girls High School on Saturday, the billionaire businessman told the students that they can achieve anything if they put their mind to it.

Ha also disclosed that he worked as sweeper in the US in a bid to raise college tuition. Watch:

Samuel Kamau Macharia (born 1942, also known as S. K. Macharia) is the Kenyan Founder and Chairman of Royal Media Services, arguably the largest private radio and television network in Eastern Africa. Its flagship outlets are Citizen TV and Radio Citizen. In 2012, he was on a top 10 list by Forbes magazine of African millionaires to watch. Macharia was on the 2013 Africa Report of the 50 most influential Africans. He was honoured with the 2015 Eastern Africa Ernst and YoungEntrepreneur Lifetime Achievement Award.

Macharia joined Standard 1 in 1954 at Ndakaini Primary School. He was thereafter admitted at Gituru Intermediate School where he sat for the Kenya African Preliminary Examination (KAPE) in 1958. He taught as an untrained primary school teacher at Makomboki Primary School for a year before joining Kahuhia Teachers Training College. A two-year course at the college would see him qualify as a trained teacher (P3) and he was subsequently posted to Gituru Primary School in 1961.

READ ALSO:   EACC officers arrest former MP Danson Mungatana

He applied for the Kennedy Airlifts and was accepted in the 1962 group. His family could not however raise the 4,000 shillings required for the plane ticket to the United States. He could only raise 1,200 shillings and had to travel for nearly 2 months by road from Kenya to Benghazi, Libya, where he took a ship to England and then a flight to the USA.

On arrival, he enrolled in Seattle Technical College and completed his high school education two years later. Macharia would later a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Seattle Pacific University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from the University of Washington. He would then complete a Master of Science in Accounting/Finance, a Master of Arts in Accounting and was certified as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

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VIDEO: Arnold Schwarzenegger assaulted in South Africa

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BY BMJ MURIITHI

Movie star and former governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger has been assaulted by an unknown person in South Africa.

A Video which has gone viral shows Mr Schwarzenegger standing and filming children at a sporting event in Johannesburg when a man makes a flying kick into his back, causing the actor to stumble forward.

The man is quickly grabbed and whisked away by security.  It was not immediately clear why the man, who was heard shouting; “Help Me…Help Me!” attacked the famous actor.

Schwarzenegger later posted on Twitter: “Thanks for your concerns, but there is nothing to worry about. I thought I was just jostled by the crowd, which happens a lot. I only realized I was kicked when I saw the video like all of you. I’m just glad the idiot didn’t interrupt my Snapchat.”

The 71 year old Schwarzenegger was attending his Arnold Classic Africa event, which features young people engaging in various sports and fitness activities.

He later tweeted:


Watch:

READ ALSO:   EACC officers arrest former MP Danson Mungatana

 

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