Return bonding trip money or face legal action, Kisumu MCAs told

Kisumu MCAs who pocketed Sh260,000 and failed to attend a bonding retreat in Tanzania have been told to return the money or face legal action.

Residents said more than 10 of the 49 ward representatives took the money but did not attend the three-day conference in Arusha.

Audi Ogada, Kisumu City Residents Voice Association chairman, issued a seven-day ultimatum for the MCAs to return the money or face the wrath of the public.

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Ogada demanded explanations, saying they will take court action for the MCAs to voluntarily return the money.

“Some of them were only in Kisumu and Nairobi for personal activities. We are aware some went to the border to have their passports stamped and returned,” he said.

“We are planning demonstrations against them. We must deal with them at the ballot in the August 8 general election.”

Noting the incident amounted to “pure theft and abuse of office and the rule of law”, the chairman said ward representatives found guilty must be punished.

He further noted that the matter touched on integrity and that members of the public no longer trust their leaders.

Ogada said Governor Jack Ranguma and County Speaker Ann Adul must come clean regarding the trip.

He said Ranguma should not remain silent after public uproar despite the autonomy between the assembly and executive.

The chairman said the county should not “compete” with the government when it comes to the administration that is more corrupt.

“We cannot continue to accuse the national government of graft while in our own county we are busy looting public resources,” he said.

He asked the EACC to investigate the matter and charge those responsible.

“Those MCAs must face audit queries and reimburse the money,” he said.

Ranguma said he had nothing to do with the Sh15 million trip by Kisumu MCAs to Tanzania amid voter registration campaigns.

He gave his explanation on Wednesday saying he had received complaints from members of the public.

The Governor said the county assembly was an independent institution whose decisions are not made by the executive.

“Its decisions are made by the county assembly service board,” he said in a statement after spot checks at several voter registration centres in the county.

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