Kilifi leaders want EACC to stop payment of Sh1.1bn legal fees by county

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A section of Kilifi leaders has asked the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) to stop any attempt by the county government to offset Sh1.1 billion legal charges allegedly owed to lawyers.

They want the EACC to stop the payment until a new government assumes office.

The leaders led by the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM)  governor candidate Gideon Mung’aro, Senator Stewart Madzayo and Kaloleni MP Paul Katana said they were aware that EACC has already questioned the pending payments for the same.

“We are aware that EACC has written to the Kilifi County government seeking an explanation for the pending payment of more than Sh1 billion legal charges to several lawyers purported to have offered the legal services. Now we want EACC not to question the payments but stop them altogether until after the August Elections,” said Mung’aro.

The former devolution CAS claimed Governor Amason Kingi’s administration was out to siphon the cash and use it to campaign for the Pamoja African Alliance (PAA) party.

“We know there is an elaborate plan by the current government to siphon this money through the claims of paying lawyers. Indeed, we know that the purported beneficiaries of these funds are already busy campaigning for governor positions and need more cash to fund their campaign. What we are asking the EACC is to make sure that no payment is effected because that is a pure theft of public funds,” he said.

Mung’aro said the Sh1.1 billion can be used to end the water problems in the entire Kaloleni constituency but because of greed, only a few people are out to benefit at the expense of poor Kilifi electorates.

“They emptied the county government funds, sweeping everything clean and even as they prepare to leave office, they want to steal more cash,” he said.

“This is inhumane. Now we want an audit done after the election so that we know who are these lawyers and what kind of services they offered,” he said.

Madzayo said that he had practised for many years as a lawyer and that there are no services at the devolved government that can demand such a payment.

“I worked as a lawyer and later on a High Court judge. I have never come across such a huge sum of money as legal fees. For what services can gobble such kind of money. It is impossible,” said Madzayo.

He told the EACC CEO Twalib Mubarak to stop any further processing of the funds until an audit is done after the August Election.

“I want to tell my brother Mubarak. We know he is a son of Kilifi and since he wants the best for the county, he should stop any payment until a new government assumes office. To me, that money is huge and there are no legal fees that can attract such kind of cash,” he said.

Katana also asked EACC to immediately stop the Sh1.1 billion that the county wants to pay for legal services, saying that it is illegal.

“We want not just an explanation but the EACC must stop this planned theft by the Kingi administration. Their time is up and because of this reality, they have decided to make sure that the county funds are cleaned dry. We will not allow this daylight theft of funds through the purported legal fees,” said Mr Katana.

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