• May 22, 2024
  • Last Update May 22, 2024 12:28 PM
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EACC Recovers Public Property Worth Sh 3.2 Billion

EACC Recovers Public Property Worth Sh 3.2 Billion

Uasin Gishu

Thursday May 16, 2024

KNA by Ekuwam Sylvester/Kevin Mwaura

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) is putting up mechanisms to curb corruption menace in the country.

The agency wants to recover public properties especially land taken away unlawfully by corrupt individuals.

Speaking in an interview with the media in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County during a joint workshop that brought together representatives from Kisumu, Vihiga and Elgeyo Marakwet County Assemblies and County Public Service Boards, EACC spokesperson, Mr. Eric Ngumbi indicated that the initiative is part of a programme to be implemented in all counties to tame the increasing challenge of theft of public funds and grabbing of public assets.

The commission met with stakeholders to discuss proper strategies to be adopted in line with managing the monster of corruption that is ruining the integrity of the public institutions.

He underscored that corruption remains a serious threat in the country hence affecting service delivery to the citizens.

In regard to the status of corruption in the North rift region, the EACC spokesperson revealed that the commission has recovered public property worth Sh 3.2 billion in Eldoret, which had been in the hands of grabbers.

“In Eldoret the EACC has been able to re-acquire land that was grabbed, the total sum of land re-acquired from grabbers sums to a total of Sh.3.2 billion. The grabbed land originally belonged to the Judiciary, Uasin Gishu County Referral hospital, County Fire Station and Administration Police of which is now reinstated to respective institutions,” he noted.

Ngumbi further alluded that the commission is currently undertaking investigations on 97 other properties worth Sh 7.4 billion currently in private hands in Eldoret Town for recovery and return to the public.

He noted that after concluding the investigation on the 97 pieces of land, they will serve the holders with notice to surrender the land voluntarily to the original institutions, failure to which will result to court action.

“There will be criminal proceedings in respect to the Department of Lands officials, who facilitated the acquisition of these parcels of land. Because even after land is re-acquired back to the government, they conspire to re-grab it,” he said.

Ngumbi issued a stern warning to such public officials conspiring with grabbers that strict action will be taken against them as he insisted that involvement in wrongdoing will not go unaccounted for.

He explained that, in addition to recommending suspects of land grabbing to the Director of Public Prosecution [DPP] for prosecution, EACC will recover public property acquired through corrupt means, unexplained wealth, and others.

In its efforts to tame corruption in North rift, the commission is monitoring the ongoing development of county budgets for the next financial year 2024/2025 due to increased cases where County Assemblies collude with officers on the County Executive for corruption, largely through allocation of budget for already existing projects or projects that are not intended for execution, as a mechanism for stealing public funds.

Additionally, On the ongoing floods, the authority is monitoring all public officials tasked with management of funds designated for containment of the current floods’ disaster in the country in order to ensure accountable and prudent use of the resources and at the same time Accounting Officers to be held personally liable for any mismanagement of the resources.

EACC has also undertaken Corruption Risk Assessment and examination of systems, policies, procedures and methods of work in Moi University and identified the systemic weaknesses and loopholes conducive to corruption and unethical conduct in the University.

The Commission has since handed over the Report to the University with reform recommendations for implementation. Notably, public universities are now hotbeds for corruption and unethical practices.

“We have been focusing on counties alone and forgetting that our institutions of higher learning, the public Universities, are now becoming hotbeds for corruption. We have conducted what is called corruption risk assessment in order to help our universities to fight corruption and to be able to identify loopholes that bring corruption and to see ways of closing the loopholes,” noted the EACC spokesperson.

“The report that we have given the university already has revealed a lot of loopholes and weaknesses that are systemic in nature that allow corruption and unethical conduct including the risk of the integrity in the examinations taking place but we are working with the university to assist them in sealing those loopholes,” he added.

EACC’s North rift Regional Manager, Charles Rasugu in his remarks decried the increasing trends of corruption and unethical practices adding that, the high level of land grabbing in Eldoret town threatens the proposed city status which requires adequate space for various facilities.

He decried the increasing trends of corruption and unethical practices that had permeated the higher education sector with the risk of destroying the foundation of the country’s present and future development as he called upon the participants to lead the way in combating and preventing issues of fake academic credentials, bribery, conflict of interest and examination malpractices.

Courtesy: KNA

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