BY NT CORRESPONDENT.
A former MCA who accompanied Busia Governor Ojaamong Sospeter Odeke to a trip in Germany four years ago ,told a Nairobi court that a waste management deal between the County and a private company was signed in Berlin.
Former Buhayo East Ward MCA Charles Wakhungu Wasike in Nambale constituency said he was among the five-member trip that travelled to Germany on April 1, 2014.
He testified that other members who traveled were former county executive Bernard Yaite, former assembly majority leader Josephat Wandera, Mr Timon Otieno, a former chief officer who has since died and Governor Ojaamong.
He said they arrived in Bremen and were received in a hotel by their host- Ms Renish Achieng and Mr Sebastian Hallensleben and were taken to a tour of a waste management factory and landfill the following day.
They were also taken to more factories in Berlin the following day before the County and their hosts through a company called Madam R Enterprises, signed a memorandum of understanding for a feasibility study worth Sh8 million.
According to the witness, he was for the deal because it was to help “create employment in the county”.
He said all was well in the County until a few months later when some people complained to the County Assembly that they had not been paid for collecting waste.
“That is when as the Assembly we summoned the concerned chief executive. It was then that we learnt that the amount paid to the company had not been budgeted for,” he said.
When being cross-examined by lawyer James Orengo for Mr Ojaamong, the witness admitted that the project never went beyond phase 1 although waste management had been captured in the Busia County Integrated Development Plan.
In the case, Ojaamong, Yaite, Allan Ekweny, Samuel Ombui, Leonard Wanda and Edna Adhiambo have denied charges of conspiracy to commit an economic crime, abuse of office and engaging in a project without proper planning.
Chief Magistrate Douglas Ogoti had earlier ruled that the charges against Ms Achieng and MHallensleben would be suspended because they were out of the country.
It is alleged that the Busia Governor and the officials engaged a company known as Madam R Enterprise to conduct a feasibility study on waste management, yet it had not been budgeted for it.
They faced other charges including wilful failure to comply with the law relating to management of public funds and fraudulent acquisition of public property.