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Former Tourism CS Balala arrested by EACC detectives, here's why

Balala who is in Nairobi will be flown to Mombasa before being arraigned in a Malindi court.

CS Najib Balala

The Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission (EACC) has arrested former Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala.

Balala is facing charges of fraudulently transferring Sh8.5 billion from the tourism fund for the construction of the Utalii College Coast Branch.

The former CS is facing the charges alongside three others, Leah Adda Gwiyo, the former Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, and Joseph Odero of West Consult Engineers.

EACC Spokesperson Eric Ngumbi stated that the investigation focused on the irregular payment of Sh8.5 billion by the Tourism Fund, with Sh4 billion going to Baseline Architects Ltd for consultancy services for the proposed Utalii College which would later be renamed Ronald Ngala College in Vipingo, Kilifi county.

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“The commission has been taking operation and this is after EACC received the concurrent from the Director of Public Prosecution to apprehend and arraign before the court the suspects in this Utalii case.

"This is a case where the suspects are alleged to have engaged in procurement fraud for the construction of Utalli College, Coast Branch," EACC spokesperson Eric Gumbi stated,” Ngumbi explained.

The EACC further said the cost of construction was inflated from Sh1.95 billion to Sh10.4 billion.

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EACC's probe revealed how some private consultants were contracted by the tourism fund to come up with architectural designs and drawings of the college and to supervise the main contractor.

The suspects are now facing ten counts of corruption and economic crimes, including charges of procurement fraud and misappropriation of Sh8.5 billion in public funds. They are currently being held at the Integrity Centre in Nairobi.

Balala who is in Nairobi will be flown to Mombasa before being arraigned in a Malindi court.

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