Serving governor arrested for corruption

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Busia Governor Sospeter Ojaamong

A county governor in Kenya has been arrested on corruption charges, an official at the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) told newsmen on Wednesday.

Kenya’s top prosecutor, Noordin Haji on Tuesday ordered that Sospeter Ojaamong, the governor of Busia County, face charges including abuse of office and conspiracy to steal public funds, the latest move in the country’s anti-graft campaign.

Haji said evidence presented by the national anti-corruption agency was enough to prosecute Ojaamong.

He said the governor and nine other officials allegedly stole millions of Kenyan shillings in public funds.

As with some other scandals involving alleged corruption by government officials, the case is based on evidence of suspicious procurement practices for a public works project that was never completed.

The project in Busia involved a solid waste management system.

Ojaamong and his accomplices are to be charged with conspiracy to commit economic crime, engaging in a project without proper planning, abuse of office, and wilful failure to comply with the law relating to management of funds.

The government led by President Uhuru Kenyatta, who was re-elected in 2017, has said it is undertaking a renewed push to tackle graft.

The charging of dozens of civil servants and business people over the past two months suggested an attempt to fight corruption through prosecution, but the country’s track record on that front is poor.

Kenyan media have reported on more than a dozen corruption scandals involving state agencies and officials since Kenyatta took power, but there have been no convictions of high profile figures, according to a Reuters review of the cases.