Ministries want Sh148m extra to continue Shakahola probe

Tuesday, June 11th, 2024 07:30 | By
Chief Government Pathologist Dr Johansen Oduor responds to questions from members of the Health Committee in the National Assembly. PHOTO/Kenna Claude
Chief Government Pathologist Dr Johansen Oduor responds to questions from members of the Health Committee in the National Assembly. PHOTO/Kenna Claude

Health and Interior ministries require an additional Sh148 million to continue with the Shakahola investigations.

While the Interior ministry has requested for Sh48 million to deal with new evidence, the Health docket says it requires Sh100 million to cover new areas.

Medical Services Principal Secretary Harry Kimtai while appearing before the National Assembly’s committee on health said the pathology department had requested for the said monies to cover new grounds.

Government pathologist Johansen Oduor said they need more money as dealing with Shakahola menace has been challenging. He said they need money to sustain pathologists, drivers, doctors as well as to buy a number of equipment such as body bags.

 He said: “We are unable to say when the probe will come to an end because the Director Criminal Investigations says they have found new graves.

 He added: “The Shakahola probe has been ongoing since April last year. Initially we had thought we would exhume two bodies but ended up exhuming 429 bodies. The process of identification through DNA has not been very fast as we had only managed to get DNA from 34 people due to budget constraints. We have been asking for more money as so far we have spent more than Sh30 million on DNA.”

Facilitate investigations

Inspector General of Police Japhet Koome told MPs who sit in the departmental committee on Administration and National Security that the National Police Service (NPS) requires Sh48 million to facilitate investigations into the Shakahola massacre.

 He disclosed that dealing with the Shakahola massacre was a very expensive affair for the police and thus needed more funding.

He explained that NPS was forced to send a huge team to Malindi to carry out the operation that drained their finances.

 He said: “The investigations have been ongoing for the last one year since March 2023 and expected to go on till the end of year 2024.  This exercise had not been budgeted for in the current financial year and has drained security operations funds meant for other operations.

Dispatch team

 “He added: “This was very expensive to NPS. We had to dispatch a huge team from Headquarters to Malindi and to sustain them it was not easy. We also need the money because there are other areas of Shakahola that need to be opened.

 In his submissions before MPS, Koome regretted that the Sh48million is actually an understatement as they require more money to sustain and maintain officers.

 He gave examples that to sustain 50 officers undertaking such a task taking into consideration that their per diem amounts to Sh10,000, translating to Sh15 million per month and Sh180million per year.

 He said:” These resources were provided by the IG and the DCI and were sourced from normal operations and this ate into our funding. “

 The move comes just days after death toll of people discovered from graves in Shakahola hit 436 after seven more bodies were exhumed during the fifth phase of the ongoing recovery exercise.

 Oduor disclosed that the bodies were discovered in four graves—one mass grave containing four bodies and three individual graves.

 He said approximately 50 other graves had been identified in the forest.

 He said: “One grave had four bodies, while the three others had one body each, which makes a total of seven bodies exhumed today. As per what I know, we have about 50 graves identified which we are going to work on until we finish up.”

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