By Yahya Ahmed
Lamu County Governor Fahim Twaha has revealed that the previous county government may have embezzled Kshs 477 million, money meant for proposed projects within the county.
Governor Twaha claims that though the projects were fully paid for none of them can be traced.
He accused the former county chief Issa Timamy’s administration for not being able to account for the monies allocated for the projects.
Speaking to The Coast Newspaper in an exclusive interview at his Lamu offices, Twaha said according to an Auditor General’s report it is evident that there are gaping holes in terms of accountability of funds meant for the public projects.
Fahim now wants the National government to hold the former governor accountable and pay back all the monies he is suspected to have misappropriated during his tenure in office.
He said his administration will not provide amnesty for county officials who may have been involved in awarding contracts to unscrupulous individuals pointing out that those found culpable will be arrested and face the law once conclusive investigations are done.
“The law is very clear that for individuals who have embezzled county funds, will face prosecution,” the governor stated.
“Initially we noticed that there was a Kshs 250 million loss in terms of funding for projects that could not be accounted for by the Timamy administration, yet on further investigation by the Auditor General’s office, no projects that were not done at all” Twaha stated.
The governor said that the previous administration had failed to account for unfinished projects which had also been paid for in full.
“These accountability issues have affected our operations in terms of funding stalled projects with some contractors refusing to account for monies paid for non-completion of projects,” the visibly agitated Twaha stated.
He added that the health sector had mostly been affected by the previous administration’s embezzlement of funds which he said had a number of projects that are yet to be completed.
“Some clinics especially in Lamu East had been shoddily done despite heavy funding from the county government,” the governor lamented.
Efforts to reach Timmamy on the said allegations leveled against him were rendered futile as he is said to not reside in Lamu have changed residence and more so his phone calls went unanswered.
Tamamy’s personal assistant popularly known as Mbwana said his boss cannot comment on the issue.
However in an earlier interview with Timamy he always maintained that they spend 40 percent of their annual county budget on health care provision and service delivery.
Speaking separately over the issue of accountability of county funds, County Executive Committee Health Raphael Munyua said he will be carrying out a separate audit and tour of all the county government health facilities to ascertain their status.
“In case a clinic has been fully paid for and the contractor has failed to finish the project, we will consider asking the national government to prosecute,” Munyua said.
Timamy lost his seat in the August polls to Twaha in a hotly contested elections.