The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has arrested four top Bungoma County officials in a Thursday raid at the devolved unit’s offices.
Those arrested include Bungoma Deputy County Secretary Isaack Mukenya, Director of finance Bernard Lumba Muchanga, Director of procurement Alex Odanga, and finance officer Kizito Nyongesa.
An EACC officer told Nation.Africa that the four were arrested over irregular imprest earnings.
The anti-graft agency is accusing them of failure to account for imprests worth a total Sh3.275 million. The county officials, it says, appeared to have received the imprests twice.
And while they accounted for and surrendered the remaining amount in the first instance, the second set of imprests was neither surrendered nor accounted for.
“When you ask for the other imprest you are given details of the one that was surrendered but nobody knows what happened to the second one and we are now looking for documents for it,” the EACC official told Nation.Africa
Kenyan law defines an imprest as a form of cash advance which an accounting officer may be issued in the course of duty when required to make payments which cannot conveniently be made through the cash office or bank account of a government entity.
Government officers who get imprests are required to account for their use or surrender them within seven days after returning to their duty stations, in case of a temporary imprest. Failure to do this usually means a deduction from the salary of the defaulting officer.
EACC sleuths are now combing through documents before presenting a case to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) who will decide their fate. The four officials are still being held at EACC’s Bungoma office.
The Wycliffe Wangamati-led county government has faced a myriad of corruption allegations, and with 14 months to the General Election, is under pressure to account for funds received from the national government, as well as those collected by the devolved unit.