Puzzle of Bungoma's Ksh10K Covid-19 Jerrycans 

  • Bungoma Governor Wycliffe Wangamati addresses members of the public on August 28, 2017.
    Bungoma Governor Wycliffe Wangamati addresses members of the public on August 28, 2017.
    Daily Nation
  • An investigation by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) that began on Monday, April 13 has revealed new details in the controversial Ksh10,000  jerrycan scandal in the County of Bungoma.

    When the allegations were first brought up by Bungoma Senator Moses Wetangula, Bungoma Governor Wycliffe Wangamati dismissed the accusations and dared anyone with evidence to take it to the EACC.

    A report published by the Daily Nation on Tuesday, April 14 highlighted that the investigative body had flagged suspect withdrawals from the county bank accounts on March 18 amounting to Ksh6.9 million. 

    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

    According to the Commission's investigation, nine identified people withdrew Ksh 776, 223 from the county government's bank accounts in a single day.

    “The big withdrawals are very suspect and are in violation of public procurement law. Anything above Sh10,000 requires tendering and we don’t withdraw cash to pay suppliers. The money should be wired," stated the manager at the EACC Bungoma office.

    Sources in the county government offices revealed that the Ksh10,000 jerrycans were bought in Nairobi at a fraction of the cost that was in contention.

    “The supplier was paid Sh1,400 per jerrycan and we just don’t understand how the containers cost Sh10,000,” provided the source.

    The supplier of the 600 contested jerrycans was allegedly under immense pressure from the Bungoma County Executive to concede that the transaction had been a donation.

    Speaking to KTN News on Tuesday, April 13, the manager in the office of the Bungoma County Senator, Moses Wetangula noted that claims that the goods were donated could not be verified. 

    "When the executive claims that these drums were donated, up to today the donors have not been seen. It is only after Moses Wetangula raised it that the executive stated that these were donations," asserted the manager.

    He clarified that the contrary to Governor Wangamati's assertions, the accusations brought forth by Wetangula were not politically fueled.

    "We want to diffuse any notion that this is a personal vendetta," he stated, adding, "The people of Bungoma want answers."

    A source at the Bungoma Governor's office who spoke to Kenyans.co.ke maintained that the accusations were politically motivated.

    "That is propaganda, 2022 politics," he stated.

    He asserted that the Ksh10,000 figure had been arrived at through faulty calculations around the Ksh6.9 million in question maintaining that the money was not only for jerrycans but was utilised in other projects as well.

    Photo of Bungoma Senator Moses Wetangula gesturing while addressing a political rally in 2013
    Bungoma Senator Moses Wetangula gestures while addressing a political rally in 2013
    Daily Nation

    "Let me tell you how they arrived at Ksh10,000 they took 6 million and divided by 600 jerrycans," the source asserted.

    The EACC is also investigating other suspicious use of funds by the county.

    These include the purchase of mattresses retailing at Ksh3,000 for Ksh10,000 as well as a box of gloves going for Ksh2,500 bought at Ksh10,000.