The Ethics And Anticorruption Commission has filed a suit in High Court to recover Ksh36 million allegedly embezzled by officials of the county Assembly of Homabay County in collusion with a private contractor. The amount was paid by the County Assembly of Homabay to Hartland Enterprises Limited, a private contractor, for work not done.
Justice Daniel Ogembo of the High Court granted orders for the freezing of Ksh13.5 million that belonged to Hartland Enterprises Limited and that EACC tracked at the Cooperative Bank yesterday, August 29, 2022. The orders to freeze assets will be in effect until the case is heard and decided.
With regard to tender number HBCA/T/W6/2018-2019 for the construction of Homa Bay County Assembly Office Block for a total of Ksh348,927,840, an unauthorized payment of Ksh36,270,032.68 as an excess amount was made, according to EACC.
The Commission seeks to recover the said sum of money jointly from Hartland Enterprises Limited which received the payment and County Assembly and National Government officials who facilitated the irregular payments.
The County Assembly, the National Government, and Hartland Enterprises Limited, who received the payment, are the targets of the Commission’s cooperative effort to recover the aforementioned quantity of money.
The parties involved include;
- Odhiambo Daniel Kaudo – Former Clerk of Homa Bay County Assembly and the Accounting Officer
- James Mumali Oyukah – Director Hartland Enterprises Limited
- Mary Pauline Oduor – Director Hartland Enterprises Limited
- Faith Adhiambo Apuko – Clerk of Homa Bay County Assembly and the Accounting Officer
- Patrick Tonui – Project Quantity Surveyor, Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure Housing, Urban Development and Public Works
The EACC suit is a culmination of an investigation into allegations of embezzlement and/or misappropriation of public funds, conflict of interest and abuse of office by some public officials at the County Assembly of Homa Bay on account of an award of tender for the construction of Homa Bay MCAs’ offices under tender No. HBCA/T/W6/2018-2019 for a sum of Ksh348,927,840
EACC noted that on July 10, 2019, M/s Hartland Enterprises Limited entered into a contract with the Homa Bay County Assembly Service Board for the construction of MCAs’ offices for consideration of Ksh348,927,840. The Contractor received payment in two tranches; Ksh35,117,320 on June 25, 2020, and Ksh31,597,605.14 on June 30, 2021, totaling to Ksh66,714,925.14.
Upon assessment and evaluation of the project, the commission established that the gross value of the work done and materials on site was only Ksh30,444,892.46 whereas the gross amount paid to the contractor was Ksh66,714,925.14. Therefore, the Contractor was irregularly paid Ksh36,270,032.68.
The commission is seeking an order for a liquidated sum of Ksh36,270,032.68 and interest thereon being irregular payments made to Hartland Enterprises Limited by Homa Bay County Assembly for works not done.
EACC is also seeking another order of forfeiture of Ksh13, 511,262.03 held in Cooperative Bank in the name of Hartland Enterprises Limited.
The case will be mentioned on September 27, 2022.
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