"We aren't interested in which house you sleep!" - EACC slams Governor Mwangaza's husband for trivialising its work
The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has launched a scathing attack on Meru Governor Kawira Mwangaza's husband, Murega Baicu, accusing him of trivialising its mandate in the country.
Baicu had on Friday, October 28 accused Meru MCAs and the EACC of harassing him, to an extend that they had "barred" him from residing in official residence of the governor, who happens to be his wife.
"When the governor was elected she was given an official residence. That is similar to a state house. It was decided that because I am not elected and not a county official, I am not supposed to sleep in the residence. I have resorted to sleeping in a wooden house we had built. I have seen the EACC letter and I would like them to clarify what my boundaries are," Baichu told journalists outside Milimani Law Courts in Nairobi.
But in a rejoinder few hours later, EACC clarified that it has neither raised any issue touching on Baicu's personal life, nor were the issues of where he resides or sleeps part of the contents of its letter to Governor Mwangaza.
EACC claps back
"The Commission clarifies that its subject letter to the Governor dated 19th October 2022 was strictly limited to allegations of conflict of interest, nepotism and abuse of office against her. The strange issues raised in the press... are not matters that concern the Commission," EACC says in a statement.
The anti-graft agency further says that while executing its mandates, it is guided by the law and does not venture into personal or family affairs.
The Mbadi Twalib-led agency added that it had sent similar letters and advisories to other governors and state officers who have responded to the commission "without the theatrics witnessed in this particular matter."
"The Commission urges the public to ignore such allegations which are clearly calculated to trivialise and politicise the Commission's work," added the commission.
Why Governor Mwangaza is in trouble
EACC says that it has received a total of four complaints against Governor Mwangaza, touching on allegations of conflict of interest, failure to protect public resources, nepotism and irregular recruitments.
On grounds of conflict of interest, it is alleged that the governor has directed county employees to furthering the interests of Baite TV, a media station owned by her husband Baicu.
With regards to failure to protect public resources, Governor Kawira is alleged to have directed the Meru Teaching and Referral Hospital to spend all income at source, contrary to Article 207 of the Constitution and Section 109(2) of the Public Finance Management (PFM) Act 2012.
The appointment of her husband as the county's 'youth patron and hustlers' ambassador' has also landed the governor in trouble.
There are claims that Baicu has been attending official county meetings and issuing directives to county employees yet it's not clear whether he is a public officer.
Further, it is reported that the governor has appointed two of her sisters to public office, one as her personal assistant and the other as one of her security personnel.
Lastly, the governor has come under scrutiny for allegedly appointing the Acting Director of Communication, Hillary Mutuma Sandi, without following laid down public service recruitment regulations.
It is also reported that Governor Mwangaza employed county cleaners through a roadside declaration, in contravention of the law and recruitment guidelines.
The commission notes that these allegations constitute serious ethical issues and if true would amount to a serious breach of the integrity and ethical requirements governing the conduct of the state officers as spelled out under Chapter Six of the Constitution, the Leadership and Integrity Act 2012, and the Public Officer Ethics Act, 2003," added the EACC.
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