Ukulima and Stima Sacco are today on the radar after the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) initiated investigations on the accounts held by one Alphanus Mokaya Osoro, who is alleged to have fraudulently acquired public funds through conflict of interest and abuse of office at the County Government of Kisii. Mr Osoro’s accounts held at the two Sacco’s hold Ksh. 29,554,540.00 through Sacco A/C Number 0110919 ( Stima Sacco Society Limited) and Ksh. 7,000,000.00 in A/C Number 0018603 in Ukulima Sacco Society Limited
The government’s concerted efforts to close all the gaps that would allow corrupt people to use Sacco’s to launder ill-gotten money appear to have come to a standstill. The law on money laundering is clear, and Sacco’s management had been put on notice by former Treasurer CS Henry Rotich, who categorically stated that Sacco was liable to a monetary penalty not exceeding Ksh. 25 million if they fail to detect or report cases of money laundering.
Ukulima and Stima Sacco are today on the radar after the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) initiated investigations on the accounts held by one Alphanus Mokaya Osoro, who is alleged to have fraudulently acquired public funds through conflict of interest and abuse of office at the County Government of Kisii. Preliminary investigations reveal that Mr Osoro had pocketed huge amounts of money as kickbacks by awarding fictitious or irregular contracts to six companies, namely Sopit Investments Company Ltd., Mocha Farm Investment Ltd., Milimo Investment Company Ltd., Jomok Holdings Ltd., Jemmy Farm Ltd., and Jeduwa Company Ltd. without following procurement laws, and in turn receiving benefits in monetary terms from these contracts through his accounts.
Through Misc. Application No. E002 of 2023, the Court issued orders dated January 20, 2023, prohibiting Mr Osoro, his agents, servants, or any other persons from withdrawing, transferring, granting as security, offering as collateral, disposing, or in any other way the funds in Mr Osoro’s accounts held at the two Sacco’s holds Ksh. 29,554,540.00 through Sacco A/C Number 0110919 ( Stima Sacco Society Limited) and Ksh. 7,000,000.00 in A/C Number 0018603 in Ukulima Sacco Society Limited. EACC alleges that Mr Osoro used his position at Kisii County government to award various tenders in his department to various firms for a cumulative sum of Ksh. 150,000,000.00.
Mr Osoro, however, defended himself through an affidavit dated February 22, 2023, where he stated that he is a veterinary surgeon by profession and that, to date, he practices as a consultant under the name and style of Dr Mokaya, A.O. Veterinary Consultancy and Services. He was employed as Chief Officer by the County Government of Kisii between December 14th, 2017 and December 14th, 2022, in the Department of Fisheries, Livestock, and Veterinary Services.
But EACC, in a quick rejoinder, filed an affidavit sworn on March 10, 2023, by David Naibei Sangula, in which he asserts that Osoro was employed as a veterinary officer by the Ministry of Livestock Development and posted to Masaba South in Nyanza Province; vide a letter dated March 15, 2011. Thereafter, he was absorbed into the Kisii County Government in 2014. In January 2016, Osoro was appointed to act as Director of Veterinary Services before becoming the Chief Officer in the Fisheries, Livestock, and Veterinary Service Department.
He therefore drew a table to show when Osoro joined the Saccos as well as the approximate sum of deposits in the four Saccos since inception. He stated that the total deposits in the Sacco’s under investigation are over Ksh. 100,000,000 and EACC was still gathering information and documents, which could vary the amount upwards when all his assets are taken into account.
He revealed that the amount indicated in the table appearing in respect of his Ukulima Sacco Account is exclusive of the salary paid to him. Preliminary investigations indicate that Osoro was trading with the county through his close relatives and friends and gaining a benefit through monies being deposited into his Sacco accounts.
A ruling by Judge Patricia Gichohi dated July 19, 2023, gave EACC authority to conduct further investigations. The ruling reads “There is nothing that would stop the respondent (EACC) from continuing with its investigations if it so desires, even without the prohibition orders herein, as the outcomes of such investigations are not limited to freeing orders”.