The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) on Friday, August 18, released a report, giving details on the state of corruption in counties.
“In the last 10 years, EACC has received and processed 10,543 reports of corruption and unethical conduct relating to county governments,” read part of the EACC statement.
The EACC noted that upon analysis, 7,310 reports were found to be within the mandate of the Commission and were taken up for investigation.
The reports outside the Commission’s mandate were referred to other agencies to take action.
Since devolved units were established 10 years ago, the commission has received 2994 cases relating to misappropriation of public funds, 1130 cases relating to Public Procurement irregularities, 840 cases relating to abuse of office, and 578 cases of bribery from all 47 counties.
EACC pointed out that non-remittance of statutory deductions is a form of corruption in almost all counties.
“EACC is in receipt of information that to date, county governments have, cumulatively, not remitted over KSh80 billion pension deductions made from employees’ salaries partly due to misappropriation and embezzlement,” the commission reported.
The commission reported that upon receipt of money for salaries from the National Government, in gross, some counties pay the net salaries but do not remit the statutory deductions to the relevant agencies such as NHIF, NSSF, and banks in settlement of employees’ loans.
According to the report, 9 former and serving governors have been taken to court for criminal and civil proceedings related to the theft of public funds.
Governor Daniel Waithaka (Nyandarua) and Governor Onesmus Muthomi Njuki (Tharaka Nithi) are facing procurement fraud charges, while Governor Ferdinand Waititu (Kiambu) and Governor Moses Lenolkulal (Samburu) are facing charges relating to embezzlement of public funds.
Other governors including Okoth Obado (Migori), Governor Evans Kidero (Nairobi), Mike Sonko (Nairobi), Sospeter Ojaamong (Busia), and Mwangi wa Iria (Murang’a) are also facing charges relating to embezzlement of public funds.
“In the last 5 years, EACC has successfully recovered stolen public assets from officials in both national and county governments cumulatively worth KSh23.74 billion and returned the same for public benefit,” stated EACC.
At the same time, the commission revealed that most counties are struggling with huge workforces and wage bills. Huge amounts of public funds are going to payment of salaries (recurrent expenditure) at the expense of development and service delivery.
The matter of ghost workers was also raised by the commission, noting that some counties have non-existent employees who exist only on paper.