Bribe demands highest in Wajir County for the third year running, EACC report says
NAIROBI—A new report by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has put Wajir County at the top of the corruption index for the third year since 2017.
In the “NATIONAL ETHICS AND CORRUPTION SURVEY, 2018” report released on Tuesday, officials at Wajir County openly asked service seekers to pay up bribe without beating about the bush.
“Bribe demands were highest in Wajir County for the third year running where 71.7 percent of the service seekers reported to have been explicitly asked to pay followed by those in Kitui (43.4%), Kiambu (38%) and Kwale (36.6%),” the report said.
The damning report comes at the backdrop of renewed pressure by the County senator who want Governor Mohamed Abdi to explain how millions of aid money remains unaccounted for, or else provide financial records for audit.
The fund in question was provided by the Royal Danish Embassy as health aid by Royal Danish Embassy. The aid goes through the national government systems and the IFMIS to all gazzeted level 2 and 3 health facilities in selected counties for operations and maintenance activities. The fund was established in 2014.
Senator Abdullahi Ali said delayed audit report could lead to cancellation of the aid funds meant to support the public healthcare service and infustructural projects.
Wajir County is among the few counties flagged for late and mostly incomplete information to auditors.
In a letter to the Council of Governors (CoG) dated October 23, the Danish International Development Agency (Danida) said an audit by Ernest &Young found the county provided insufficient information.
Danida has since transferred Sh468,750,000 to the National Treasury for the first half of 2019-20 allocation, which is awaiting transfer to counties. However, Henrik Larsen, Deputy Head of Danish Mission stated that the transfers to the counties are conditional upon adequate utilisation of funds from previous financial years.
“We count upon your support to urgently follow up so as to ensure these counties can continue to benefit from Danida funds for 2019-20 and beyond,” Larsen said in a letter to the CoG’s Chief Executive Jacqueline Mogeni.
Senator Abdullahi said the action by the Wajir county officials is “unacceptable because the funds which was [meant for] helping the poor people seeking services from level 2 and 3 health facilities are at risk of being scrapped because of the inept and sheer incompetence of the county officials.”
He urge the County Assembly of Wajir to look into the mattter through its Public Accounts committee.
“We can’t tolerate misuse of public funds in this era of economic difficulties and budgetary cuts,” the senator added.
Abdullahi called on people of Wajir County to join him in his quest to demand for accountability.
“Kindly join me in my quest for accountability and good governance. You deserve nothing less,” he urged.