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Deep-pocketed man at the centre of Obado’s troubles

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Before October 2018 when the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission came up with corruption allegations at the Migori County, not much was known about Jared Peter Odoyo Oluoch Kwaga.

The man could pass off as any other businessman, but beneath the secret life was a man EACC claims was the mastermind of the alleged theft at the county government which landed governor Okoth Obado in trouble.

When he was charged last week with five members of his family, all focus was on Obado and his four children. Everybody forgot about the man behind the establishment of several companies the anti-graft commission claims were used as conduits of embezzled public funds.

Co-accused

Kwaga faced the charges with his wife Christine Akinyi Ochola, mother Penina Auma, brothers Joram Opala Otieno and Patroba Ochanda Otieno and sister-in-law Carolyne Anyango Ochola.

Also not spared were their companies Misoft Ltd, Tarchdog Printers Ltd, Kajulu Business Ltd, Victorious Investments Ltd and Deltrack ICT Services Ltd which the prosecution claimed were the conduits used to siphon more than Sh300 million from the County Government of Migori.

“Their bank accounts were dormant until November 2016 with nil balances, which is a characteristic of a briefcase company. But in a span of three years, the newly registered companies transacted a total of Sh1,971,179,180 from Migori County, which amount is unexplained,” claims EACC.

Seeing Kwaga in the dock could hoodwink anyone he is a subdued man, but the depth of his pockets was soon felt when he and his family forked out Sh26.7 million cash bail they had been granted by the court within a record two hours.

He faced the severest of the charges from his family; being implicated in 10 out of the 28 counts and got the highest cash bail of Sh8.2 million.

Interestingly, Information Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru on February 8, 2019, honoured Kwaga by appointing him to the Kenya Institute of Mass Communication (KIMC) board for a three-year term ending on February 7, 2022.

He got the appointment courtesy of his Pasha Centre in Migori, which is part of a digital village project by the ICT Authority aimed at providing internet access to entrepreneurs seeking training and communication in rural areas.

Kwaga’s Pasha Centre is among over 40 others spread across the country which are privately owned and managed but get support from the ICT Authority.

According to documents filed in court by EACC, Kwaga and his family members allegedly received close to Sh2 billion from Obado’s county government, with a portion of the loot finding its way back to the governor’s account as kickbacks.

EACC blames Kwaga as the mastermind of the scandal, being the director of all the 16 companies that allegedly received a total of Sh1,978,592,467 from the County Government of Migori for services not rendered and goods not delivered.

“We established that Kwaga and his family worked in collusion with county government officials holding positions of influence to embezzle public funds through fictitious procurement contracts and accumulated illicit wealth at the expense of the public,” said EACC.

In one of the instance, EACC said the county government paid over Sh800 million to Kwaga’s seven non-existent companies given that they were registered and became operational almost two years after the money had been credited to their accounts.

Kwaga is alleged to have incorporated his wife, mother, brothers and sister-in-law is the 16 companies identified as Macropharm Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Soul Media Services Ltd, Misoft Ltd, Dankey Press Ltd, Atinus Services Ltd, and Deltrack ICT Services Ltd.

Others are Tarchdog Printers Ltd, Mactebac Contractors Ltd, Seletrack Consultants Ltd, Joyush Business Ltd, Kajulu Business Ltd, Pesulus Suppliers Ltd, Victorious Investments and Duotech Technology.

According to EACC, Kwaga’s Misoft Ltd was paid Sh461 million for branding of Obado’s offices and supply of an integrated health services while Seletrack Consultants Ltd got Sh158 million for assessment of ICT applications in public health hospitals.

According to EACC, eight of the companies received close to Sh1 billion in their accounts when there is no records of them rendering any service to the county government.

But Kwaga and his family have defended their businesses with the county government stating that their multi-million shillings properties spread across Nairobi, Kisumu and Migori were legally acquired.

According to the businessman, the suit by EACC seeking to have them forfeit their properties to the State was an abuse of the court process meant to stop them from enjoying the fruits of their hard work.

By Standardmedia.co.ke

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Entertainment

A very pregnant Grace Msalame and daughters show off their dancing skills in new catchy video

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Grace Msalame might be in her 39th week of pregnancy but don’t be fooled. This particular lady can dance better than most slay queens parading their half danced bodies on social media.

Well, we found out about Msalame’s dancing skills through a video shared on her page. The lady who is seen rocking quite a huge baby bump went on to shake her body; and what made the video more cute is the fact that she was joined by her twin daughters.

Judging from how the girls moved, it’s obvious to see that the dancing skills run in the family; and the fact that they also look everything like their mummy – gave fans another reason to talk!

39 weeks and still strong

From how sexy the pregnant mama looks, one wouldn’t tell that she is just a few days from popping! This comes as a big surprise considering the fact that most pregnant women tend to be lazy days before having the baby.

Well, Grace Msalame is definitely not one of them and the video says it all!

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Lifestyle

VIDEO: Take a look at the secrets to conquering The Enemy Called Average, it was Live from the Garden of Joy

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Have a look at the secrets to conquering The Enemy Called Average, it was Live from the Garden of Joy.

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LIKE, Subscribe SHARE and comment as well.

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Lifestyle

Agony of man walking with 3 bullets lodged in his shinbone

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On February 27, 1994, Peter Wamkota then aged 39 left his home in Nalongo village, Bungoma county, for a political meeting before proceeding to his shop, which was a few metres on his way home.

The meeting was to sensitise locals on the need to identify themselves with a newly formed political party that was to drive the region’s development agenda.

His task was simple — mobilise locals into drumming support for a two-year-old party known as Forum for Restoration of Democracy (FORD) in his capacity as the region’s chairman.

He was in perfect health and nothing appeared out of the ordinary as he attended to buyers in his wholesale shop. While he was preparing to close late in the night something strange happened.

“Three armed people in police uniform walked in, approached me and began shooting me without saying a word. Three shots were directed on my thighs, one on my chest and the other three on my legs, the gunmen walked away after accomplishing their mission,’’ he says.

After the shooting, the former (FORD) Bungoma chairman was left at his shop writhing in pain, lying in a pool of blood with seven bullets in his body. He was helped by neighbours, who rushed him to Bungoma District Hospital for treatment.

Though he doesn’t like to talk of the ordeal, pain from the bullet wounds is a constant reminder of the tragedy that visited him that day. With every passing day, the polygamous man wishes things were different.

The incident shook the quiet village of Nalongo and locals staged several protests demanding the arrest and prosecution of officers who had shot Wamkota.

After nine months at the health facility, Wamkota was out of danger but he was referred for specialised treatment at St Luke’s Hospital in Eldoret. He had three bullets still lodged in his shinbone.

Wamkota says his family, through the sale of a two-acre parcel of land, managed to raise money for his treatment. However, doctors at the facility failed to remove the metals in his body saying their removal could cause the breakage of his bones.

‘’X-ray pictures showed the bullets were inside a bone and that the only way of removal was to be transferred to hospitals outside the country, which has never been possible,’’ he says.

After he was discharged from the hospital in 1995, Wamukota was arrested and locked up at Nzoia Police Station for 13 days without trial. During the period of his incarceration, his family was barred from seeing him.

“It was very tough. Imagine you are not fully recovered and still on medication but the police are bent on torturing you. My prayer then was never to end at Kamiti Prison,” he adds.

It did not take long before he was transferred to Webuye Police Station where he spent five more days without being charged in court.

However, things got worse for Wamkoto when he was later moved to Kamiti Maximum Prison.

‘’I remained in detention for six months where I was thoroughly beaten and molested. I was tortured as a way to make me confess I was planning to overthrow the Government. My fellow prisoners died due to this harassment and beatings,’’ he notes.

In 1996, Wamukota was released and went back home to seek medication after a recommendation by prison officers who noticed his deteriorating health.

For more than two decades, the three metals in his body have been a thorn in his flesh and not even pain killers can quell the sting.

Staring at the puckered scars on his thighs, the events of that fateful day remain engraved in his mind, as pictures of those who shot him cloud his sight. As Wamukota limps out of his house each day, prodding his way to his shop in crutches in order to make a living, the 64-year-old laments his political friends deserted him at the hour of need.

“Since the shooting incident, none visited or cared to know of my health despite the massive contribution I made to the party.

“I have learnt people are only close to you in your good days. In my worst moments, my family was literarily reduced to beggars,” he laments.

Life to the father of 16 has never been the same. From struggling to do basic things like walking on his own, to meeting basic needs for his family. He has exhausted his finances and at one point turned into a beggar. Wamkota biggest regret is getting involved in the murky waters of politics.

By Standard.co.ke

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