Not just Oparanya, 21 former, current governors also under probe: EACC

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has refuted claims made by political leaders aligned with the Azimio Coalition that the recent arrest of former Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya and his three wives was politically motivated and influenced by the Government.

EACC dismissed the assertions as “unfounded, diversionary, and misleading.”

The Commission disclosed that, in addition to the former Kakamega Governor, it is presently investigating 21 other current and former Governors for corruption and economic crimes involving substantial amounts of public funds.

These investigations encompass a range of offences, including embezzlement of public funds, conflicts of interest, procurement fraud, payroll fraud involving ghost workers, fraudulent pending bills, and violations of financial management laws.

The commission declared that it remains committed to holding all individuals accountable for the misappropriation of public funds, regardless of their status or political affiliations.

Speaking during a Media Council of Kenya (MCK) workshop for Senior Government Communications in Mombasa, the Commission’s spokesperson, Eric Ngumbi, said the cases are in various stages of investigation.

Upon completion, the investigation files will be forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) with suitable recommendations. If deemed appropriate, civil proceedings will be initiated to recover any misappropriated public funds.

Former Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya and his three wives were interrogated at the EACC offices in Integrity on Wednesday, August 23, following a search operation in their homes.

According to EACC, Oparanya is being investigated for allegedly embezzling public funds exceeding Sh1.3 billion from Kakamega County during his tenure.

EACC says nine former and current Governors have already been brought to court on various corruption charges, with civil proceedings related to the misappropriation of billions of public funds.

Some of the county leaders facing hearings at different stages include former Governors Kiambu Ferdinand Waititu, Nairobi Mike Mbuvi Sonko, Evans Kidero, Migori Zachary Okoth Obado, Busia Sospeters Ojaamong Odeke, and Murang’a Mwangi wa Iria.

The EACC’s Quarterly Report, published in the Kenya Gazette on August 11, revealed that the commission had submitted files to the DPP recommending the prosecution of sitting Kakamega Governor Fernandes Barasa and former Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu on corruption charges.

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