PLIGHT OF ISIOLO RESIDENTS TO ETHICS AND ANTI-CORRUPTION COMMISSION ON THE LEASE OF SHABA & BUFFALO SPRINGS GAME RESERVES BY ISIOLO COUNTY GOVERNMENT 

3rd June, 2016
The Chief Executive Officer,

Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission

Milimani/Valley Road Junction,

P. O. Box 305450-00100,

NAIROBI.

Tel 020-2717318, 020-310722,

Hotlines 020 2717468 / 0727-285663 / 0733-520641,

Email eacc@integrity.go.ke

         report@integrity.go.ke.
Dear Sir,
RE: GROSS VIOLATIONS OF PROCUREMENT LAWS & BREACH OF PUBLIC TRUST

We humbly convey a matter of grave concern to your esteemed office on matters pertaining to lease of public property (Game Reserves) which belongs to the people of Isiolo by the Executive organ of the County government. The Executive wing of Isiolo County government deliberately breached the Constitution of Kenya by leasing Buffalo Springs and Shaba game reserves which is a public asset without citizen participation in the whole process, usurping the County Assembly and stakeholders consultation. Mind you, any attempt to lease these reserves will have far-reaching ramifications which will absolutely erodes public confidence on current the leadership of the County government owing to the fact that the entire process is flawed.

Section 75 of the Wildlife Conservation and Management Act, 2013 advocates for recognition of the rights and privileges of communities living adjacent to conservation and protected areas in decision-making and determination on the matter of conservation and management of the wildlife resource; noting with concern that the County Government has called for Expression of Interest in leasing the games reserves without consulting local community, stakeholders and residents of Isiolo County; further noting with concern that such move tantamount to blatant breach of due process of the law.

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Moreover, the move by the County government contravenes Section 87 of the County Government Act, 2012 that calls for citizen participation in such affairs which is of monumental magnitude.

In this regard, a few days ago Isiolo County Government, ran a full page advertisement on Daily Nation of 24th May, 2016 with faulty and defective contacts. The county said it intends to engage a competent non-profit organization under the terms of management contracting of Buffalo Springs and Shaba game reserves which is the pride and heritage of Isiolo County since time immemorial. However, what surprised many were the fake telephone number and email address provided in the advert.

We tried to establish the express authenticity of the provided contacts which all proved to be fake and shadowy; the email read isiolocountygovernment@ and the phone number provided was 540-721-421-347. We have established beyond reasonable doubt that no such number exist anywhere in the world. Moreover, all Kenyan telephone number start with +254. Therefore, this boils down to another game of musical chairs by the willy nilly operatives at Isiolo county government. Whatever the intention, the full page advert that could cost upward of KSh. 450,000 may just be a waste of tax payers money because interested organizations may not get through with the fake address. Be that as it may, the advert was predetermined and more less it is just a public relation exercise because the County Government had already engaged AFRICAN PARKS NETWORK and therefore the tendering process was fundamentally flawed and single sourced. This means other interested actors and stakeholders have been deliberately locked out!

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The twist and turns of events about the the lease of game reserves saga has been considerably informed by the opaque process which out rightly violates Chapter 12, Article 227 of the Constitution and Public Procurement and Disposal Act, section 78 which provides that;
(1) The procuring entity shall prepare a notice inviting interested persons to submit expressions of interest.

(2) The notice inviting expressions of interest shall set out the following —

(a) The name and address of the procuring entity;

(b) A brief description of the services being procured and, if applicable, the goods being procured;

(c) The qualifications necessary to be invited to submit a proposal; and

(d) An explanation of where and when expressions of interest must be submitted.

(3) The procuring entity shall advertise the notice inviting expressions of interest in at least two daily newspapers of nation-wide circulation.

Pursuant to the provisions of the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act, 2003, A person is guilty of an offence if he/she uses his/her officer to improperly award a benefit to him/herself or another person.The public service is a public trust. Authority assigned to a public officer must be exercised in a manner that promotes integrity and the best interest of the people. Public service must also demonstrate respect for the people and bring dignity and honour to the public officer Members of the public expect public officer to render selfless service based solely on the public interest. This is demonstrated by honesty in the execution of public duties, accountability to the public in decision making, discipline and commitment in service to the people. Therefore, a public officer should do his or her best to discharge these duties in line with the Constitution. When a public officer does anything that is contrary to these expectations, he or she commits a breach of trust.

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Therefore, we kindly demand an immediate halt of the lease process of the reserves, discussions, negotiations, consultations and/or agreement in any matter whatsoever shall deemed as ultravires and against public interests.

We further aver that leasing of these game reserves will seriously prejudice national security interest, conservation and biodiversity interest, tourism and wildlife management interests and all that pertaining to public good and welfare of our County;

We humbly petition the Commission to look into this issue expeditiously for further review and nullify the whole process which can ultimately culminate into possible prosecution.

Attached is a copy of advert on Call for Expression of Interest.

Yours Truly,
Friends of Isiolo Game Reserves

Copied to;
Mr. Patrick Kiange,

Chairman, 

Public Procurement Oversight Authority,

1st Ngong Road, Ardhi House, 

P. O. Box 305450-00100,

NAIROBI.
The Chairman,

Commission on Administrative of Justice,

 Floor, West End Towers

Opposite Aga Khan High School off Waiyaki Way – Westlands

P.O. Box 20414 – 00200

NAIROBI.

Tel: +254-20-2270000/2303000/2603765/2441211/8030666

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