Kenyan-German Entrepreneurs at the Heart of Busia Governor’s Corruption Scandal

The Governor of Busia, Sospeter Ojaamong’ and three of his county executives (Bernard Yaite, Allan Omachari and Samuel Ombui) in court on Friday.

Well, Kenyans in Germany are increasingly being involved in the new corruption scandals unveiling in Kenya currently. The newest is the team of Kenyan-German entrepreneurs from Berlin, who are alleged to be involved in Busia County’s Governor, Sospeter Ojaamong’s, latest corruption scandal.

This week saw Busia County’s Governor, Sospeter Ojaamong’, become the first sitting Governor in Kenya get arrested by theEthics and Anti-Corruption Commission on corruption charges that include abuse of office, engaging in a project without proper planning and wilful failure to comply with the law relating to management of funds.

(READ: From Asylheim in Brandenburg to the NYS Scandal)

These charges emanated from an Sh8 million dodgy tender awarded to the Kenyan-German company, Madam R Entreprises (MRE). Director of Public Prosecutions, Noordin Haji, from the EACC investigations believes that the directors of MRE (Ms Edna Adhiambo Odoyo, Ms Renish Achieng Omullo, and Mr Sebastian Hallensleben), Governor Ojaamong’ and nine of the Busia county officials (Mr Timon Otieno Mboga, Mr Bernard Krade Yaite, Mr Lenard Wanda Obimbira, Mr Samuel Osieko Ombui and Mr Allan Okweny Omachari) conspired to commit economic crime.

Ms. Renish Achieng’ Omullo at a past event speaking on her company, MRE, and its involvement with waste management in the counties.

EACC investigations revealed the involvement of two different firms using the same name — Madam R Limited and Madam R Enterprises (MRE).

Mr. Ojaamong’ travelled to Berlin on 7th April 2014, where he signed an MoU with Madam R Limited, obligating the county to pay Sh8 million in two instalments toward the waste management.

“The first instalment of Sh4 million was made to Madam R Enterprises, and the second of Sh4 million to MRE Ltd, which by then had been registered,” Mr Haji says.

MRE Ltd terminated the contract citing an unfavourable political climate in Kenya, and their inability to obtain international donor funds immediately after payment of the second instalment.

The project executed by MRE Ltd had not been provided for in the procurement plan for financial year 2013/2014, the EACC says.

A delegation of MPs and MCAs from Kisumu county with Ms. Omullo (in white pants) in Berlin, Germany in 2014.

On Friday, Mr. Ojaamong’ and three of the county officials, Bernard Yaite, Allan Omachari and Samuel Ombui, were in court where they denied the charges  and were freed on a cash bail of Sh1 million each. An arrest warrant was issued by the court for the MRE directors: Ms Edna Adhiambo Odoyo, Ms Renish Achieng Omullo, and Mr Sebastian Hallensleben.

Moreover, this is not the first controversy MRE and its director Ms. Omullo have been involved in. Before the contract with the county of Kisumu came into effect, Erick Okeyo, a businessman in the county went to court claiming that MRE did not have the expertise to manage waste and had only been awarded the contract due to family relations working in the county. In addition to Busia, MRE also had a contract with Nyeri and Kisumu. The contract with Kisumu was to run for 15 years at a cost of Sh. 1.2 billion a year.

(READ: Kenyan Entrepreneur in Germany Wins Contract to Manage Kisumu County Waste)

Furthermore, in a 2016 article resulting from a call between the Kenyan newspaper, the Star and Ms. Omullo, it was alleged that Ms. Omullo was named as Southern Sudan’s Special Envoy to Germany. A claim refuted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and an arrest warrant issued for Ms. Omullo.

(READ: Berlin Based Kenyan Entrepreneur Appointed Southern Sudan’s Special Envoy to Germany )

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