Governor Buys Jerricans at Ksh10K Each Sparking Outrage

  • From left; Bungoma Governor Wycliffe Wangamati, Senator Moses Wetangula, Amani National Congress leader Musalia Mudavadi and Alfred Agoi in Bungoma in 2018
    From left; Bungoma Governor Wycliffe Wangamati, Senator Moses Wetangula, Amani National Congress leader Musalia Mudavadi and Alfred Agoi in Bungoma in 2018
    File
  • Bungoma Senator Moses Wetangula called upon relevant bodies to investigate the purchase of 600 20-litre jerricans by Bungoma County Government, under Governor Wycliffe Wangamati.

    A report by the Daily Nation on Friday, April 10, detailing the purchase of the jerricans raised questions on how the county had utilised Ksh 11 million given to the coronavirus response team.

    Bungoma MCAs launched the complaints against the county, stating that the jerricans were purchased for handwashing purposes in the county. 

    Bungoma Senator Moses Wetangula addresses a gathering in Busia in 2018
    Bungoma Senator Moses Wetangula addresses a gathering in Busia in 2018
    Daily Nation

    “I have received reports of a possibility of misuse of public funds. We are aware the fight against coronavirus requires funds. However, we demand transparency and accountability in the manner the Bungoma county government is using the money,” Wetangula stated while addressing the media in Nairobi on Thursday, April 9.

    The senator further argued that a 20-litre jerrycan traded at Ksh 1,000 in Nairobi and Ksh 1,500 in Bungoma County.

    "Without a doubt, this is the misuse of public funds. I call on the relevant authorities, including the county budget allocation committee, the Treasury as well as the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate this matter swiftly," Wetangula proclaimed.

    The MCAs, while addressing the media in Bungoma alleged that the money had been embezzled yet it was meant for Bungoma County and Webuye Referral Hospitals in the fight against Coronavirus.

    Acting Finance Chief Officer Jonathan Namulala reportedly borrowed the Ksh11 million from the two hospitals. 

    Governor Wangamati confirmed that the MCAs had poked holes at the purchase. 

    “It is true that questions have been raised on how the Covid-19 funds were spent but once the assembly completes the investigations, we will take action,” he declared.

    It is not the first time Bungoma County is in the spotlight over an outrageous purchase. In July 2015, seven individuals were jailed for over one year after the county purchased nine wheelbarrows at Ksh 109, 320 each. The scandal occurred during the reign of current Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka, who was the governor. 

    A vendor filling 20-litre jerricans with water
    A vendor filling 20-litre jerricans with water
    File