Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji has approved prosecution of Busia Governor Sospeter Ojaamong’ and eight other county officials over a dodgy tender award.
Mr Ojaamong and his co-accused, who are on the verge of being arrested anytime from Tuesday, will face charges of abuse of office and flouting procurement procedures.
The other officials and entities are Mr Timon Otieno Mboga, Mr Bernard Krade Yaite, Mr Lenard Wanda Obimbira, Mr Samuel Osieko Ombui and Mr Allan Okweny Omachari.
Others are Madam R Enterprises Ltd, Ms Edna Adhiambo Odoyo, Mr Renish Achieng Omullo, and Mr Sebastian Hallensleben.
Mr Haji says he is satisfied there is sufficient evidence to charge the nine county officials and the firm with conspiracy to commit economic crime.
He also wants them to answer to charges of engaging in a project without proper planning, abuse of office, and wilful failure to comply with the law relating to management of funds.
“Upon independent review of the file, I am satisfied that there is sufficient evidence to warrant prosecution…,” reads the communication from the DPP.
It is alleged that Mr Ojaamong’ unilaterally signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) Madam R Enterprises (MRE), leading to a Sh8 million loss.
The charges emanate from investigations by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, which started in 2016.
EACC investigations revealed that two different firms existed, using the same name — Madam R Limited and Madam R Enterprises (MRE).
Mr Ojaamong’ travelled to Germany where he signed an MoU with Madam R Limited, obligating the county to pay Sh8 million in two instalments toward the waste management.
“The first instalment of Sh4 million was made to Madam R Enterprises, and the second of Sh4 million to MRE Ltd, which by then had been registered,” Mr Haji says.
MRE Ltd terminated the contract citing unfavourable political climate in Kenya, and their inability to obtain international donor funds immediately after payment of the second instalment.
The project executed by MRE Ltd had not been provided for in the procurement plan for financial year 2013/2014, the EACC says.
Mr Haji’s approval of the charges is a major win for EACC, which has been struggling to justify its ability to arrest runaway corruption in Kenya.