BendAburu Moments ...... County Capture is the systemic political corruption, involving the use of power by government officials and/or their network
BendAburu Moments ……
County Capture is the systemic political corruption, involving the use of power by government officials and/or their network contacts for illegitimate private gain. Private interests which are then used to significantly influence decision-making processes in Homa-Bay County government to their own personal and economic advantage.
“Jo chol mapoya momako et nyathi”
[Inexperienced midwives who tag on the newborns ear during birth]
This is the greatest tragedy of history confronting devolution in Homa-Bay today, involving the plunder of public resources by government officials who are getting mysteriously wealthy in collusion with well-established business persons – #HomaBayMosquitoCartel. To create a social and political structure that undermines institution building and the rule of law in Homa-Bay County.
While more substantial and solid transfer of both political and economic powers from the national to lower levels of governance was diagnosed correctly as the key challanges hence the need for devolution. The agenda for eradication of poverty at the county has evolved into a crisis of corrupt parasitic patronage networks who took over Homa-Bay County [County Capture] and as a result, the rich in the county are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer.
County Capture and the Homa-Bay Cartel
County Capture Cartel is the collective label used to describe the efforts of this clique of public servants and businessmen who have mysteriously [non transparently and quickly] amassed huge wealth in Homa-Bay county since the advent of devolution in 2013.
The County Capture Cartel as individuals and collectively reportedly control significant Public [and Personal] resources gained while holding public office in the Homa-Bay county, which they continue to use to shape the rules of the development game in the county to their advantage through illicit, non-transparent provision of private gain to themselves, fellow public officials and prefered businessmen.
Resources which continue to be used to adversely influence county politics, the allocation and use of public resources in their favour [and that of family and friends]. And have reportedly continued under the patronage of the Governor to appropriate county government decision making in order to strengthen their own economic positions.
Examples of such behaviour include the private purchase of legislative votes, financing turmoil in the legislature, executive decrees, court decisions and illicit political candidates funding during elections.
County Capture is linked to the problem of corruption with vested economic, social and political interests – which in turn form key obstacles to economic development in Homa-Bay county.
The County Capture Cartel which has grown over the two-terms under the careful watch and patronage of Governor Cyprian Awiti, who has not only done nothing to intervene despite the huge public outcry and evident inconsistencies of his two terms apart from reshuffling when complaints of improperity arise has also not been seen in public for over six months and more.
The County Capture Cartel consists of:
- Deputy Governor Hamilton Orata;
- County Secretary, Isaiah Ogwe;
- Finance CEC, Nicholas Koriko;
- Auditor Otie Polo;
- Chief Officer Infrastructure Chris Agong;
- Chief Officer Finance Noah Otieno;
- Chief of Protocol John Apollo;
- Head of Accounts Dan Lieta
- Officer without portfolio in office of Governor Eliud Otieno Ochieng;
- County Clerk Bob Kephas and;
- Evans Ochieng Abeka AND MORE
….Way forward ….
County Capture, if not prevented [and stopped altogether], threatens the collapse of county governance structures. Institutions are being destroyed and it will cause people in Homa-Bay County to be poorer because resources will continue to be diverted to favour the few at the expense of the majority of the populace.
The emergence of County Capture Cartel whose agenda is to get rich quickly using shortest routes is a cause for concern. The dream of “a county of choice” with broad-based-economic empowerment still remains a pipe dream that will never see full implementation because the County Capture Cartel have a serious appetite to gather all county tenders and opportunities for themselves and for their families alone.
These public servants [and political] mafias are moving at a more accelerated pace to capture more, to an extent that even the media previously viewed as the fourth arm of the state, with a formidable role to not only educate and inform the public, but also to review undistorted truth to the people and expose corrupt activities through investigative journalism, is now also being captured, and when the media is totally captured who will speak for the poor?
Perhaps people will have to understand that it is now high time to not rely on some of these institutions such as media as their mouth piece but to speak for themselves and propel the liberation from County Capture.
…County legislature missing in action..
The irony is people who are elected and appointed into positions of responsibility are tasked through the will of the people to not only prevent County Capture but also stop it wherever it occurs, however, elected leaders from The Senator, who heads the Public Accounts and Investment Committee manadated to provide oversignt over is quiet, to the members or parliament, and women Representative and MCAs, have not inspired us with the confidence that they are doing what it takes to halt the current County Capture.
The fight against County Capture is not only the responsibility of government and political leaders, but all other leaders in the church, community, student movement, traditional leaders and professionals who ought to join hands to defeat this phenomenon
In order to avoid bail out of the current looting of county resources. Democracy entails that the voices of all the people matter rather than the voice of only a few families in a county of more than four hundred and eighty thousand people.
In, conclusion, it is critical that the problem of County Capture as identified and clipped in the bud before it reaches pinnacle stage. The fight against County Capture is not a responsibility of government and political leaders only, but all other leaders in the church, community, student movement, traditional leaders and professionals who ought to join hands to defeat this phenomenon.
Leaders in the civil society should help foster basic civic education in the county thereby creating an active citizenry that will participate in the development of the county.
Surely when all what is proposed above happen successfully then the predicament of County Capture can be a thing of the past in Homa-Bay County.
With a County system that is so rotten, Rees Homabay Movement may be the ultimate solution.