Four Kilifi County officers detained for embezzlement of Coronavirus funds

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The anti-graft agency detectives have arrested four senior Kilifi County officials over an alleged irregular tender deal worth millions that was meant for the Covid-19 pandemic fight in the region.

The officers included; County Secretary Arnold Jefwa Mkare, Finance Chief Officer Benjamin Kai, Chief Officer for Medical Alio Ibrahim, and Chief Officer of Health Bilali Mazoya.

Four of them were arrested for an irregular procurement of a tender for the construction of the Kilifi County Covid-19 Complex Center. They were also faulted for failing to provide information about the complex.

The arrest comes after weeks of investigation by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) over a supposed irregular tender and contract awarded to the Pharmaken Limited Company.

Phase one of the complex is valued at Ksh493 million, while the second phase is approximated at Ksh398 million.

The anti-graft agency boss, Mr. Mutembei Nyaga, confirmed the arrest of the four Kilifi county officials, adding that their net had been widened to ensure that all suspects are arrested and charged.

“We are processing details, and everyone implicated in the deal will be charged depending on how the investigations end,” said Nyaga.

The said tender was for the renovation and maintenance of the Kilifi county hospitals’ equipment in a move to address the Coronavirus pandemic and control its spread.

In a letter dated 14 April 2020, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission Coast Upper North region boss Mr. Ignatius Wekesa addressed the Kilifi County Secretary Arnold Jefwa.

Kilifi County is reported to have submitted the procurement plan, approval, and requisition of procurement.

They are now required to provide a prequalified list of medical suppliers, budgetary allocation, tender advertisement, and a detailed scope of work.

Nyaga stated that the County head of supply chain management, Mr. Matano Riziki Chota, chief officer executive Amina Nassor, and the County attorney, Michele Bibi Fondo, were still being pursued over the case.

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