Taita Taveta County Assembly Clerk’s arraignment deferred to April

Taita Taveta County Assembly Clerk’s arraignment deferred to April

13:03:2024: An Anti-Corruption Court in Mombasa has deferred to 8th April the plea taking of the Clerk to the County Assembly of Taita Taveta, Mr. Gadiel Mnyambo Maganga after defense counsel in the matter successfully argued that the accused was indisposed and admitted at a hospital in Mombasa.

Mr. Maganga was to be arraigned yesterday after his Voi High Court anticipatory bail lapsed. He is charged alongside the Deputy Speaker of the County Assembly of Taita Taveta, Mr. Anselm Mwadime Chao for, among others, abuse of office, uttering false documents, false accounting by a public officer, willful failure to comply with the law, regulations and guidelines relating to procurement, and financial misconduct.

The allegations relate to corruption and misappropriation of public funds amounting to Kes17 million at Taita Taveta County Assembly regarding travel to Zanzibar by 30 officials for a bonding trip in the 2022/2023 FY.

EACC’s Lower Coast Regional Office, Mombasa, received a complaint through media on 28th November 2022 of an allegation of embezzlement of public funds at the Taita Taveta County Assembly. This was as a result of imprest advanced to the Speaker, Clerk, 21 Members of the County Assembly and four other officers for a bonding trip to Zanzibar.

Investigations revealed, among others, that one, the purported education trip to Zanzibar was meant for members of a Liaison Committee of the County Assembly. Two, that Kes17 million was utilized on the trip out of which Kes9 million was paid to World Scout Parliamentary Union Kenya for training, conference and travel arrangements, and Kes8 million as imprest advance to 30 officers that were meant to attend the training.

Gadiel Maganga, Clerk, County Assembly of Taita Taveta

It was also revealed that of the 30 officers who were paid imprest to travel, 25 travelled and spent 5 nights instead of six in Zanzibar and one night locally resulting into a loss of Kes1,033,288. Four officials did not travel at all while one traveled for only three nights in Zanzibar together occasioning a loss of Kes1,182,263.

Anselm Chao, Deputy Speaker, County Assembly of Taita Taveta

The officers delegated for the training, investigations also established, were paid full daily subsistence allowance for five nights yet Bonfire Adventures through WSPUK had paid their accommodation at Marijani Beach Resourt and Spa Hotel at USD132 per night. This resulted in a loss of Kes3,965,889.

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions concurred with the proposed charges against the Clerk and the Deputy Speaker. The Commission has also been able to recover Kes5.6 million of the Kes6.2 million daily subsistence allowances irregularly paid to the officials.

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