Were it not for the over eight hours Nairobi county Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko spent with the EACC over the award of garbage collection tenders then everyone would assume that everything is right with the city Governor.
His trouble began with whistleblowers who exposed how Governor Sonko was allegedly looting upto 70% from the county coffers. What followed were threats, arrests and harrasments.
After getting summon letters from EACC over claims of corruption in the award of the tenders for 2017-18 and 2018-19, Governor Sonko reacted by blocking the MCAs who flagged the suspicious Sh350 million garbage collection tender from setting foot in his office. The furious Governor is said to have instructed his aides to block the MCAs in the committee that exposed the rot.
On Tuesday, Governor Sonko spent more than eight hours at the Integrity Centre where he was grilled by Ethics and) Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC detectives over the questionable award of the tender to some 13 firms. Some of the companies awarded controversial tenders include; Yiro Enterprises, Hardi Enterprises, Jackoy Enterprises, Flexilease Ltd, Accacia Equipment (K) Ltd and Aende Group Ltd.
According to EACC detectives, Governor Sonko awarded garbage collection tenders to his proxies with clear instructions to wire back a certain percentage. Detectives have also established the complex money trail; after receipt of payment from the Nairobi County Government, some of the firms would wire part of the cash to bank accounts associated with Anthony Otieno Ombok, commonly known as Jamal who is one of the closest buddies of Governor Sonko. He would then send the money to Sonko’s bank accounts.
“It’s alleged that the companies that won the garbage collection tenders after receipt of payments from Nairobi City County Government through proxies and sister companies made payments of over Sh20 million to Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko—through his bank accounts,” EACC document read in part.
The kickbacks were not paid directly instead used his proxies and sister companies in what detectives believe was a calculated move meant to avoid raising suspicions. The payments were allegedly inflated and the procuderes marred with fraud and conflict of interests. No procurement procedures were followed.
After the grilling, Governor Sonko insisted that he was not being investigated.
Governor Sonko is also set to explain failure to remit his county’s Sh4.5 billion in tax arrears that results from Value Added Tax (VAT); income tax on profits; where some service providers are paid huge sums of money by Nairobi county but fail to declare them for tax purposes; tax due from payments made to county service providers and contractors; and finally the tax deducted and which was never remitted by the Nairobi county government.