Garissa Governor, denies graft and having Sh5.3bn in bank

Garissa Governor Nathif Jama on Sunday came out guns blazing to defend himself against accusations of corruption levelled against him and reports that he has Sh5.3 billion in his account.

Last week, a bank statement purported to be Jama’s surfaced on social media. The eight-page statement bore his three official names. Yesterday, the Sunday Nation reported that the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission had successfully asked a court to freeze Jama’s Sh5.3 billion account at First Community Bank.

According to the court filings, EACC believes the money, which is held in Jama’s account in Nairobi’s South C branch, was fraudulently transferred from the Garissa government.

Justice Lydia Achode ordered the account frozen for six months as investigations continue. The matter will be heard on July 30. First Community was served with the order on Friday afternoon through its Wabera Street branch.

But yesterday, Jama termed the report “slanderous”.

He spoke to hundreds of his supporters at Garissa Primary School when he officially launched his manifesto. The governor was with his Kitui counterpart Julius Malombe.

“I don’t know where they got that bank statement because it is not mine. I personally don’t have such an amount of money. I will share my bank statement with everybody tomorrow for everybody to see. This is politics of witch-hunt,” Jama said.

The visibly angry governor questioned how EACC took a decision on a fake statement.

“I have today morning spoken with the chief executive of First Community Bank and he told me that they were equally shocked by the development. Nobody has contacted them on the same,” Jama said.

“It shocks me that EACC can stoop too low and accept fabricated information of that type. It is very shameful for a government institution to be used to propagate false information. It is obvious that EACC has taken a side in the politics of Garissa county.”

Jama said that he will seek legal advice on the matter today, adding that rivals are trying to frustrate him because he has a large support base and they have sensed defeat.

“These people have realised that they don’t have any chance of beating me in the ballot because the numbers are not adding up for them. That is why they are looking at any other possible way to frustrate me, including through 35 court cases,” he said.

Jama said it was “too late too little”, as elections are won through popularity, peace, integrity and justice.

According to the Nation, EACC chief executive officer Halakhe Waqo said the commission obtained genuine documents from the bank and confirmed the transactions took place in the integrated financial management system, the automated system that handles all financial transactions in the national and the county governments.

Waqo said Jama’s case should not be perceived as a political witch-hunt.

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