Nandi Governor Cleophas Lagat is among three other County chiefs who risk being locked out from this year’s General Election due to corruption-related court cases.
This is after an Eldoret based human rights group petitioned the Ethics Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) to lock out the four North Rift region Governors from contesting in the polls.
This follows public outcry from residents that the county chiefs are unable to explain how they have spent billions of shillings allocated to their counties.
The other three Governors include; Jackson Mandago (Uasin Gishu), Alex Tolgos (Elgeyo Marakwet) and Patrick Khaemba (Trans Nzoia).
The Deputy Director at the Eldoret based Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (CHRD), Kipkorir Ng’etich confirmed that the organization had received petitions from residents of the affected counties to EACC asking them to intervene and ensure that the mentioned Governors are barred from contesting.
“So we are asking the Ethics Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) to launch an immediate probe into this latest development.
And if any case, any Governor or any County staff will be implicated with graft, they should be denied clearance during the party nominations because if given a second chance they will come to continue with corruption through looting public resources,” Mr Ng’etich told journalists in his office.
Early this month, the anti-graft body said it was compiling a list of the affected Governors who have been implicated in corruption-related cases those who are already facing charges and those under investigation and intends to refuse them clearance.
“So as to stop the misuse and rampant wastage of billions of shillings given to counties, we will go for those who have enriched themselves using taxpayers resources. They will be taken to court and those hoping to vie barred from getting clearance for nomination,” Mr Michael Mubea, the chief executive of operations at EACC, said in an interview.
Two years ago, a section of Nandi residents threatened to go to court over alleged reports of massive corruption in the County Government.
This is after the County Government dominated the headlines over the construction of the controversial multi-million gate at Mlango near Uasin – Gishu, a proposal that attracted public criticism on how the county governments are mismanaging funds.
The residents demanded reports of status of development projects and spending from the county government to ensure accountability and transparency in resources utilization.
They also suspected that the ten million shillings allocated for the renovation of the Nandi Rock Tourist attraction site was embezzled by top ranking county officials.
The ten million shillings allocated in the 2014-2015 financial year was to cater for the gravelling of Kimaren – Nandi Rock road, erection of ladders, walk ways, fences and toilets on the site so as to make it more appealing to tourists.
In 2015, Governor Lagat appeared before the Senate Legal Affairs Committee, to answer to audit queries, raised by the auditor general about county spending.
Lagat was grilled over alleged dubious hiring of graders for 7 million shillings, tree planting for 5 million shillings, and illegally paying some MCAs 10 million shillings, among other queries.
The Senate Legal Affairs and Human Rights committee, which was chaired by Nominated Senator Fatuma Dullo, demanded answers from the Governor over the alleged flawed distribution of bursary funds and Procurement irregularities by his administration.
Governor Lagat admitted that there might have been some flaws in the procurement process for the construction of roads since the tendering process was done hastily in order to beat time.
The Senate Committee also queried the Ksh 8,134,476 bursary payments which the County Government promised to provide evidence of the procedure and criteria used to identify the needy students.
The actual allocation for the bursary funds was Ksh 7,200,000 but the county government disbursed an excess of Ksh 934,476 without being supported by any authority.
The EACC, the Kenya Revenue Authority and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations are mandated to clear all aspirants before they present their certificates to the electoral commission.