Meru University VC Odhiambo denies multi-million corruption claims under EACC probe

Meru University Vice Chancellor Dr. Romanus Odhiambo

By MN Reporter

Meru University Vice Chancellor Dr. Romanus Odhiambo, and husband to Migori Woman Representative Pamela, has denied multi-million corruption claims under investigation.

Odhiambo in an interview with Daily Nation said the alegations brought by Meru County activist Salesio Mutuma were meant to tarnish his good name.

Mutuma, in a three page document wanted the EACC to investigate the Vice Chancellor in a letter to commission’s Upper Eastern region office in Isiolo.

He wanted probe over the alleged irregular award of contracts running into millions and unfair recruitment of staff.

He singled out three companies recently awarded contracts for construction of a modern laboratory, library and administration/tuition block investigated, claiming they were not selected competitively.

But Odhiambo said companies that were among the lowest bidders were eliminated in the preliminary stages of tendering.

He said legal process was followed.

He said because of rampant corruption at the procurement department he made changes a year after taking over.

“I sacked seven officers at the procurement department in 2019 following serious corruption. They did not even move to court to challenge the decision because they were at the centre of the vice,” he said.

He added that all employment and transfers were done after approval of the board.

He further said the Sh13 million research money could not be used as learning institutions were closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and said it was intact against earlier claims.

But Mutuma said for laboratory work, the company with gave a company with highest quoted- Sh258 million, -was higher than the lowest bid, which he claimed was Sh98 million.

He further claimed that a company with a pending court case (Civil Case 501 of 2013 and Miscellaneous EL 32 of 2019) was awarded a tender at the institution contrary to procurement provisions.

“I pray that a thorough probe be undertaken so that the law takes its course against the culpable individuals involved in misuse of public funds and abuse of office at the university,” Mutuma said.

The EACC’s Upper Eastern region Deputy Director, George Ojowi, said they have launched a review of the allegations which he said will be handled expeditiously.