By Enyichukwu Enemanna
A former Kenyan Minister of Tourism, Najib Balala who served under President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Cabinet has been arrested along with three other ex-officials from the ministry over corruption allegation.
He was arrested on Thursday by detectives from the anti-corruption agency, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC).
Those arrested along with him are, Leah Gwiyo (Former PS, Tourism), Joseph Odero (Managing Partner, West Consult Engineers) and Flora Ngina (Former ICT Manager, Tourism Fund).
Their arrest is not unconnected with alleged procurement fraud and irregular payment of $119m (£94m) in the construction of the proposed Ronald Ngala Utalii College in Vipingo.
The commission told local media that 12 more suspects in the probe will soon be apprehended.
They include Allan Wafula (Former Tourism Fund CEO), Joseph Rotich (ex-Tourism Fund CEO), Morris Njue (Baseline Architects Limited Director), Dominic Motanya (Baseline Architects MD).
Others are Rebman Malala (Ujenzi Consultant Director), James Mwangi (Amitech Consulting Engineers Director), Eden Odhiambo (Former Strategy and Resources director at Tourism Fund), Ruth Sande (Former Standard Development Manager at Tourism Fund) and former Tourism Fund procurement manager Joseph Ndungu.
George Njoroge, the former Senior Levy Inspector at Tourism Fund, former Tourism Fund Procurement manager Norah Mukuna and Former Head of Legal at Tourism Fund Nancy Siboe have also been mentioned.
The arrested suspects are set to be charged with three offences among them, which includes willful failure to comply with the laws relating to procurement, unlawful acquisition of public property and abuse of office.
According to EACC spokesperson Eric Ngumbi, the suspects will be transferred to the anti-corruption court in Malindi for further action.
“We direct the 12 to immediately report to EACC headquarters or the nearest EACC Regional Office,” it stated.