A Siaya Member of County Assembly has confessed receiving a bribe from the county executive to vote in favour of the County's Appropriation Bill for the 2020/2021 Financial Year.
Speaking to Radio Ramogi on Wednesday, August 25, the West Asembo MCA, Ambrose Akuno, confessed to receiving a Ksh150,000 bribe from the executive.
He said the bribe, received from the Governor’s office, was to motivate him to vote against an inquiry into an alleged Ksh600 million graft in the county.
Akuno narrated that at the time, he was admitted in hospital when a delegation paid him a visit and gave him the money without offering an explanation. In his confessions, he said that he thought the money was from his colleagues to help him settle the ballooning medical bill.Siaya Governor Cornell Rasanga and his Finance Director Daniel Nyonje respond to audit queries at Parliament on August 6, 2018.The Standard
In his confessions, he said that he only became aware of what was happening after a list of MCAs who allegedly received bribes of up to Ksh290,000 surfaced online.
"I didn't know that the money was a bribe until a list started circulating accusing us of pocketing it to shield the county executive in the graft probe," the MCA told Radio Ramogi.
Akuno added that the money, including the amount he received, was meant to silence those who were perceived as vocal about corruption in the county.
Asked on whether he would return the money, the MCA said that he did not know where to deposit the same.
"I would have returned the money long ago, but I don't know where to deposit it," said the MCA.
The Members of the County Assembly, according to Akuno, learnt that bursaries worth Ksh77 million had not been released and that no money was paid to the Project Management Committee (PMC) as per the controversial appropriation bill.
Moreover, statutory deductions including payments of Ksh90 million to the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) were not made. In addition, a handful of county staff members reported that over Ksh300 million of the Lapfund, NHIF and National Security Social Fund (NSSF) could not be accounted for.
On August 15, The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the National Assembly led by Opiyo Wandayi called upon the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) to look into the possible and criminal misappropriation of the Ksh600 million.
Nonetheless, the Siaya County Assembly Speaker, George Okode, denied receiving bribes from the governor’s office to influence the vote.
In 2019, Okodo defended 41 Siaya MCAs who were probed by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) over a trip to Uganda. They were accused of pocketing Ksh200,000 each despite some of them not making it for the trip.Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) Offices at Integrity Centre in Nairobi. Monday, 18 November 2019.Simon KiraguKenyans.co.kecriminal explosion corruption probe illegal explosion
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