Monday, October 26, 2009



By Peter Orengo and Peter Opiyo

Fifty-three Special Programmes Ministry officials are under investigation over misuse of more than Sh100 million meant for the resettlement of internally displaced families.

Internal Security and Provincial Administration PS Francis Kimemia disclosed this on Sunday, saying the officials would be prosecuted and sacked if found culpable.

"The Government is using the Criminal Investigation Department and the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate the missing money and soon the culprits will be arraigned in court," the PS told The Standard.

He admitted resettling IDPs could have been faster except for the missing millions.

The new development comes almost a month after the Government detected a scam of more than Sh250 million meant for IDPs in Rift Valley Province.

Allocated last year to resettle those displaced in the province during post-election violence, the money was reportedly misappropriated, prompting an audit.

It was understood that senior officials at the Office of the President reportedly raised the red flag in April, prompting the move.

Former administrators in the province, now serving elsewhere after the recent shake-up, were allegedly implicated in the scandal.

Public land

Currently, the Government is battling with the resettlement of IDPs and already the Ministry of Lands has received Sh1.4 billion from Treasury to buy land to resettle the IDPs.

However, identification of land has proven difficult due to lack of public land bank.

Last month, President Kibaki directed the more than 6,000 IDPs be resettled in a fortnight, instructing the ministries of Finance, Lands, Internal Security, Agriculture and Special Programmes to liaise on the matter.

The Ministry of Special Programmes has been paying Sh25,000 to IDPs who did not go to camps, but were accommodated by their relatives. About 350,000 people were displaced in the post-election mayhem.

Early this month, three MPs called for an independent audit of another Sh2 billion that had been spent in resettlement of IDPs.

Roads Assistant Minister Lee Kinyanjui, Ndaragwa MP Jeremiah Kioni and Kinangop MP David Ngugi claimed some of the money might have been misappropriated.

They claimed the funds so far allocated by the Government towards the exercise may have been used to pay ghost IDPs and did not benefit intended beneficiaries.

The resettlement has been dogged by controversies since its launch in May last year, with reports that grand corruption and bureaucracy are slowing down the pace of