Kilifi CS Arnold Mkare released

Arnold MkareKilifi County Secretary Arnold Mkare displaying a letter from EACC in his office after his release

Kilifi county officers arrested on Wednesday over financial irregularities will be released on bond.

Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission upper coast regional manager Ignatius Wekesa said the officers will be released on a Ksh 100, 000 bond.

On Wednesday, EACC sleuths arrested Kilifi county Secretary Arnold Mkare, Public health chief officer Alio Ibrahim, Medical services chief officer Bilal Mazoya, Finance Chief officer Benjamin Kai and County attorney Michelle Bibi Fondo.

Mkare has already been released. The officers are currently pursuing the head of supply chain management Riziki Matano.

The officers were arrested for failing to give information on the Kilifi medical Complex.

Speaking in his office after his release, Mkare said his arrest was unwarranted.

Mkare said he received a letter from the EACC with various demands on Tuesday and officers from the health department were working on the demands.

“I received the letter yesterday around mid-day and I acted on it by asking the relevant chief officers to avail the required documents to the EACC detectives. I was shocked this morning when EACC officers stormed our offices and started arresting us. I do not keep files in my office,” said Mkare

For weeks now EACC has been probing the alleged irregular contract and tender awarded to a company, Pharmaken Limited.

The first phase of the complex is worth Sh493million, while the second phase was estimated at Sh398million.

EACC lower coast regional manager, Mutembei Nyaga said they had widened their investigations to ensure all suspects are arrested.

“We are processing details and all those implicated in the deal will have charges pressed against them, depending on how investigations commence,” said Nyaga.

EACC had wrote to the Kilifi county secretary on April 14th this year, requesting to be furnished with original documents into the alleged irregular award of a service tender issued to Pharmaken Limited.

The tender was also for the repair and maintenance of equipment in Kilifi county hospitals as part of measures to address the Covid-19 pandemic.

Also Read: Kilifi CS Arnold Mkare arrested by EACC

The letter was signed by the upper Coast EACC regional boss, Ignatius Wekesa, on behalf of EACC chief executive officer, and addressed to the Kilifi county secretary, Mkare Anold Jefwa.

Mkare confirmed to have received the letter and furnished the commission with the required information.

In a report, EACC said they were investigating the irregular procurement for the construction of the Kilifi Covid-19 complex.

“The commission received a complaint that even though the complex was commissioned recently, it was shrewd with a myriad of irregularities in the manner in which the procurement process was handled,” said Nyaga.

There were suspicions that the contract prices could have been irregularly varied, with questionable procurement of the ventilators, ward beds and ICU beds.

The multi-million complex was commissioned last week by Kilifi County Governor Amason Kingi.

EACC commenced investigations on Monday, in which the organization sought original procurement, contractual and payment documents, adverts, bid documents, tender registers, evaluation allocations, standard tender documents, minutes of all meetings in regards to the tender, award letters, contract documents, site visit reports, all payment documents.

Nyaga said the documents will help EACC to establish whether prior planning and budgeting was done, and interrogate the procurement process.

“How the award and contracting was handled, to ascertain whether there was conflict of interest, bid rigging, contract price and the payment made to establish value for money, quality of workmanship, whether it was in tandem with the bills of quantities and whether there was any variations into the contract,” Nyaga added.

The commission will investigate the contract for the ward beds, the ICU beds, and the ventilators.

“Also to be looked into are the issues to do with bidding rigging, conflict of interest and abuse of office in the process,” he said.

About the Author

Moses Okitae
Moses Okitae Writes about Science stories, food security and human interest stories.

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