The National Government has been implementing the Cash Transfer Fund for the elderly in a number of Counties, West Pokot County included. The elderly people are recruited into the programme after a given period of time. The county administration leaders are charged with the responsibility of recruiting these elderly people whenever there are more slots to benefit the elderly.
One such occasion arose in Mnagei Location and the area Assistant Chief took charge in selecting the beneficiaries. The recruitment exercise proceeded without any hitch until the time when the elders were to receive their money. On the 31st of September 2015, a complaint was lodged in the system that the Assistant Chief was demanding Kenya shillings 5,000 from six elderly people alleging he was the one who helped them to be in the “payroll” for the elderly.
This complaint was referred to the County Commissioner’s office where a follow up was made on the matter. The matter was handled internally by the County Commissioner’s office where by investigations to ascertain the validity of the complaint were conducted. Following conclusive investigations it was established this was as a result of poor information sharing and non-inclusion of community members in the projects in Mnagei location.
In order to resolve this issue it was agreed that a public baraza be held in the location to engage the Chief and the community members in sorting out the issues surrounding participation and information provision about projects. The Assistant Chief convened a baraza with the said elders, other community members and leaders. They deliberated on the reported bribery incident and the Assistant Chief had to clarify the allegations.
According to the minutes of the meeting, the Assistant Chief apologized on any wrong doing and asked the community members for positive criticism and support in carrying forward development in the area. Though he did not openly accept receiving the said bribes, he undertook not to interfere in the cash transfers. The community appreciated the efforts of TI-Kenya in addressing corruption issues in the community with other stakeholders promptly.