Bungoma County once again is on the spotlight not for the good reasons but as usual the wrong reasons. At the height of COVID-19, the counties are rushing to prepare the ground for any eventuality that might arise. Some counties like Mombasa have spent over sh.100m, Nyeri county sh. 150m and Nakuru over sh. 80m in preparation to combat the pandemic.
County 039 under Governor Wycliffe Wangamati projects to spent around sh. 100m on the same. The governor said during yesterday’s presser that he has already received sh. 50m from the treasury but that’s not the issue in question. Kenyans and moreso Bungoma residents are questioning how the said sh. 7m borrowed from the Bungoma Hospital was spent. It was alleged that 20litre jerricans were procured at sh.10, 000 each. The county CEO dismissed the allegations terming them manufactured out of malice but failed to state how the money was spent. “The Jerricans are 120 litres not 20 litres and we received from a well-wisher,” the Governor said. Now on the same talking point, residents especially on social media are questioning how simple it is for the Governor to name the donors on the famously known as “mitungis”.
The corona emergency committee that was formed a couple of weeks ago made a budget of which each commodity was scaled up to over 600%. Members of the committee are; Richard Sabwami, Antony Walela, Carolyne Buyela,Vincent Kongani, Samuel Odoso among others. They met on March 23rd, 2020 when the proposals were made. The Governors advisor on special Programs Ms Carolyne Buyela was at the center for branding and distributing courtesy of her docket. The lady who’s the Director of Carolyne Buyela Foundation has gotten herself in a difficult situation especially when it comes to expenditure within her foundation with regard to county affairs. The jerricans brought in webuye east were branded courtesy of her foundation. She has been on the spotlight for sometime now as residents outside Webuye East claiming that she only focus in one constituency where it’s believed she’s eyeing parliamentary seat.
The Governor’s presser on 11th April 2020 has caused more harm than good. Governor Wangamati contradicted himself forgetting the information had given earlier on a local radio station. He had said that he was alive to the sh. 7m scandal and even urged the county assembly to take up the matter. But yesterday he dismissed the same altogether giving a chance to his opponents and concerned members of the public to create gaps in the entire matter. According to analysts the Governor could have salvaged himself by sending home all those concerned instead of playing PR. This could damage his reputation not forgetting that Bungoma senator had invited the EACC earlier this year to investigate the county executive especially the ministry of Roads where tenders are awarded to close relatives of the Governor, his deputy and the minister himself.
The prices of sanitization items approved by the emergency committee are as follows:
|ITEM||COUNTY PRICE(KSH)|| MARKET PRICE
The procurement procedures were faulted if information provided on the mainstream media is to go by. The prices of commodities should not go beyond 100% increment in normal procurement. Therefore the Governor and his team should be put on task on how they arrived at those hiked prices. The Governor, who has performed better than his predecessor so far, has only one opportunity to salvage himself; should suspend all those mentioned.