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EACC to probe possible loss of millions during Mt Kenya Mountain Run in Meru

A Human Rights Activist has directed the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) to commence investigations into alleged mismanagement and looting of funds collected during the Mt Kenya Mountain Run event that was hosted by the Meru County Government in February this year.

Mt Kenya mountain run was initiated in 2020 to promote tourism and raise money for cancer care in Meru. However, this year’s Mountain Run has left the Meru County government on the spot after a revelation that out of Sh13.7 million raised during the event only Sh562, 500 was left for use in cancer treatment, an issue that made the Meru governor Kawira Mwangaza declare the Mountain run even a sham.

Expenses that the governor poked holes in included Sh626,000 for route preparation, Sh890,000 for the officials’ team, Sh819,000 for the officials’ accommodation, Sh2.4 million for branding, and Sh2.3 million for publicity.

The damning revelations were made by Mr Jediel Muturia, a county official in charge of finances for the race, who was at pains to explain to the governor why all the donations were eaten up by expenses.

Governor Mwangaza’s government is now on the spot over the use of the Mt Kenya Mountain Run funds.

Meru renowned activist Salesio Mutuma Thuranira has directed that the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) begin investigations into the misuse of the said funds.

Meru Human Rights Activist Salesio Mutuma

“The Governor, Meru County, CECM for Finance, Economic Planning & ICT, and the organizing committee of the Mount Kenya Mountain Run, 2023 have contravened the public finance management Act 2012 and Ethics and Anticorruption Act 2012, Laws of Kenya.

Mutuma says his decision to seek EACC intervention was informed after a report on the Mt Kenya Mountain Run tabled in the County Assembly of Meru caused the MCAs to make dissatisfactory remarks.

According to Mutuma, it is unimaginable how Sh 625,000 were spent on field preparation since the number of Kilometers involved was not mentioned in the report to warrant that amount.

Mutuma further told EACC that the report failed to indicate the number of vehicles fueled. He additionally argued that the report failed to indicate the names of media houses that were used for publicity to warrant the use of Sh. 2,319,898.

In his letter, Mutuma questions why Sh 819,400 was used in offering hospitality services an amount he says was unreasonable to use while intending to raise funds.

He also tells EACC that the report did not reveal the amount used to purchase the medals and did not reveal the promoter of the event and the service he or she rendered.

Mutuma further alleges the organizers of withdrawing Sh2.9 Million that was in the Account before the Mount Kenya Mountain Run stating that they could not account for the amount.

The activist further informed EACC that Sh100,000 donated by Safaricom ahead of the event was not included in the report, arguing that this raises the question of how many other contributors to the fund were not included in the report.

According to the activist the Meru Governor, CECM for Finance, Economic Planning & ICT, and the organizing committee of the Mount Kenya Mountain Run, 2023 have violated, infringed, and threatened the constitutional rights of the purpose of the Mt Kenya Mountain Run, 2023 funds, which is illegal and fraud that is punishable under the law.

Mutuma has called the EACC to summon the Meru governor, the finance executive and the mountain run organizers over the mentioned allegations.

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