By The Weekly Vision
The behind-the-scenes political war between Homa Bay Governor Gladys Wanga and her predecessor Cyprian Awiti has now come out into play in public. Mr Awiti served as Homa Bay Governor for two terms and in the run-up to the 2022 elections, he was not keen on supporting Gladys Wanga who was ODM party’s candidate of choice. Those who followed political events in Homa Bay as they unfolded at the time confirmed that Mr Awiti had a soft spot for the former Nairobi Governor Dr. Evans Kidero.
He had to later bow to pressure from ODM leader Raila Odinga to support Wanga whom sources say she supported during the day but campaigned for Mr Kidero during the night. Wanga is now said to be on a fishing expedition, exposing the ills and the wrongs committed during Mr Awiti’s reign. At one time Wanga lamented that she will take the first year correcting the wrongs committed by Awiti and that will start serious work in her second year. Early in the year, Wanga is said to have claimed that Awiti’s administration was involved in the non-remittance of payroll deductions.
Investigations now reveal that the governor has unearthed a syndicate where statutory deductions were made on staff salaries but never remitted. It has been discovered that Awiti’s administration made deductions in respect of Pay as You Earn (PAYE) totalling Ksh. 528,142,572. However, a review of the bank account funds transfers records and Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) payment slips revealed that only an amount of Ksh. 223,460,774 was remitted, leaving a balance of Ksh. 304,681,798 or 58% not surrendered.
Further, the Management made deductions in respect of the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) totalling Ksh. 63,437,950. However, an amount of Ksh. 10,800,250 was remitted, leaving a balance of Ksh. 52,637,700 or 83%. In addition, Management made deductions in respect of the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) totalling Ksh. 9,824,657. However, an amount of Ksh. 2,506,400 was remitted, leaving a balance of Ksh. 7,318,257 or 74%.
Further, Management made pension deductions totalling Ksh. 166,512,645, comprising the Local Authority Pension Fund (LAPF) of Ksh. 124,480,651 and Local Authority Trust Fund (LAPTRUST) of Ksh. 42,031,993. However, an amount of Ksh. 27,108,954 was remitted, leaving a balance of Ksh. 139,403,691 or 84% comprising LAPF – Ksh. 104,123,962 and LAPTRUST- Ksh. 35,279,729.
In the circumstances, Mr Awiti’s administration was in breach of the law and the County Executive risks incurring avoidable costs in the form of penalties and interest. Gladys Wanga has also unearthed a scam where 13 employees were acting or had delegated functions without the requisite appointment letters.