By Peter Ouma Muga
Dear Your excellency,
I believe you will not mind my scant courtesy. It is due to the sense of urgency with which I am writing this letter, to express the very growing concern over the abuse of power and corruption in the County Government of Homa Bay.
With the advent of devolution other counties have realised and forged efficient and effective structures with Homa Bay being an exception.
The County Government has failed to manage its affairs. We continue to note with concern, how the privilege given to some individuals to manage the affairs of this county is being misused, and abused. It is blatantly clear, that the abuse often trusted power for private gain is corroding the County.
Since its’ inception, the County Government of Homa Bay, has received close on 33 Billion from the central government. And yet, various credible surveys and reports continue to highlight the challenges faced by the County mired as it is inefficiencies, poor performance, low productivity, inflated costs and corruption.
Mr. President, it’s known publicly that this is your last term in office, and what you truly need and desire is a “Legacy.” As much as we support the Big Four Agenda, in your impending Homa Bay County visit, we trust that you will be already informed that much of the work done by the County Government has been about sod turning and ribbon cutting, than attending to the more profound questions of building sustainable infrastructure projects and service delivery processes that improve quality of life in the County.
We welcome you to the County, and trust that, if your visit includes a Project launch, it will not mire your legacy, by adding the launch to the litany of projects launched by the County Government with pomp and festivity, but which now are still born or non-existent. Because, and notably, the County Government has this unique distinction, as it’s’ performance [or lack of it] which continues to be questioned repeatedly.
Audit reports by the Auditor –General, for instance, have raised concerns whether public money in the County has been applied lawfully and in an effective way. And particularly, the most recent Auditor Generals’ Report for the year ended 30th June 2017, suggests an incremental non-compliance by the County Government.
It is instructive, and as sure a sign of impunity, Your Excellency, that the County Government has failed / declined to respond to audit questions raised in the previous audits of 2015 -2016 accounts – this is a worrying trend. This also raised serious issues of non-compliance.
The audit reports, are an agonising read, and cite blatant procurement irregularities, payments for non-existent projects, unexplained transfer of funds, improper use / loss of funds etc. Irregularities which seem to suggest corruption in the County’s Institutions is fast approaching endemic levels.
In all this, various attempts to get the attention of the authorities mandated to investigate [i.e. Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission] and prosecute, have not pulled their weight on the various allegations of impropriety – and some are glaring – continues to look the other way as these events fly in the face of County residents. The effort, by these institutions, appears to be more of window dressing, and is not in keeping with your agenda against corruption.
These thoughts burden us in Homa Bay County.
Upshot – Project Launch against Corruption in Homa Bay
Karibu – But we trust that you will walk into Homa Bay County with your eyes open Mr. President. And more importantly, you would ensure your legacy in the eyes of Homa Bay County residents, and Kenyans in general, if the fight against corruption could take root in Homa Bay County.
For a County suffering “Project Launch Fatigue,” I’m certain however, that your legacy would be better served, in Homa Bay County, if you launched a concerted effort [with clear deliverables] against corruption, in Homa Bay County – “Operation Clean Audit by 2019”.
This battle against corruption is about the soul of the Kenyan democratic dream, built on constitutional values of strong, independent institutions and honest, capable government based on honor and integrity, for all. What better legacy? And this we must win it!
We shall continue supporting you to the fullest, and writing back to you, informing and guiding you as well. Thank you, Mr. President.
Karibu Homa Bay County Your Excellency.
Peter Ouma Muga
Political Advisor – Bunge la Wenyeinchi
Homa Bay County