𝐓𝐮𝐞𝐬𝐝𝐚𝐲, 𝟎𝟏 𝐀𝐮𝐠𝐮𝐬𝐭 𝟐𝟎𝟐𝟑
The Senate Standing Committee on Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries chaired by Kirinyaga Senator James Kamau Murango, MP, met today to consider the response from the Cabinet Secretary Water, Sanitation
and Irrigation, Hon. Alice Wahome regarding the Petition on Ethics and Anti-Corruption (EACC) Graft Investigation on the West Kano Irrigation Scheme.
The Petitioners prayed that the Committee should –
a) Carry out a thorough financial inspection of the scheme between 2007 and 2021;
b) Carry out institutional audit of the scheme since inception;
c) Carry out forensic (in-depth) audit of all officials involved in the management of the scheme between 2007 and 2021;
d) Introduce an act of Parliament to regulate autonomy of EACC branches/regional offices and create a once centralised management system as EACC current management system has failed to reduce corruption;
e) Notify EACC Kisumu regional office and ombudsman’s regional office Kisumu to carry out their responsibilities according to the Constitution;
f) Table an Act of Parliament to establish Kenya National Farmers
Commission to champion for the rights of farmers in Kenya; and
g) Set up a team of experts to identify, establish gaps in the current scheme management system, and recommend the best management system and practices to curb excessive mismanagement.
The response, which was read to the committee, the CS stated that the Nations Irrigation Authority (NIA) coordinated the provision of seeds, fertilizers ploughing and offered operation and maintenance (O&M services which included, water, electricity, puddling, transplanting and harvesting cash advances. The response further stated that though the support had been given as grant, the Board recommended that this support be recovered at the end of the growing season and be converted into a revolving fund that will be used to ensure sustainability of scheme production and operation activities. All the records have been provided to the EACC as requested.
“The West Kano revolving fund was formed by farmers to manage the funds, and an account opened in 2010. The model of establishing and running a revolving fund collapsed as farmers resisted to pay back due to lack of a binding obligation to recover and contribute to the revolving fund. the petitioner moved ahead to report the matter to the EACC Western Region, and upon the invitation by the investigators, all the required documentation to support the position of the fund was provided.There was no misappropriation of the fund as alleged by the petitioner All records were presented to the EACC.” The response stated.
The Committee found the response submitted by the CS inadequate and resolved to invite the CEO, National Irrigation Authority, and the Manager of West Kano Irrigation Scheme.
Other Senators who were present during the meeting were Sen. Alexander Munyi Mundigi, Sen. Wamatinga Wahome, Sen. Allan Kiprotich Chesang, Sen. Daniel Kitonga Maanzo, Sen. Enoch Kiio Wambua, Sen. Beth Kalunda Syengo and Sen. David Wafula Wakoli.