Last week at the County Assembly, the issues of the controversial security dogs came into public after Members raised huge concerns over the fate of four German Shepherd dogs that were purchased by the county government considering the high amount required to feed the four dogs. County government who was immensely criticized last week for buying expensive dogs with outrageous feeding cost now reacted to the claims of illegality and misuse of funds for buying the police trekker dogs. The governor came out straight and defined the claims as cheap politics being dished around by desperate politicians who have made themselves critics of his government. He went further to say that the media reports making this claim topical were organised by a handful of individuals out to ruin his reputation owing to the fact that the purchase of the dog came through after a huge security challenges or issues which was blown out of context.
Joshua Irungu further claims the procurement of the four expensive German dogs by the county government was only to boost the immune of security in the county as more vehicles will also be purchased to allow the security agents tackle security issues in the county.
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Based on the County Chief Officer in charge of Accounts, Administration and Public Management Mrs. Veronica Gakenga, the issues at hand were discouraging and called on top leaders to address the matter with utmost seriousness.
According to Gakenga, the four German dogs were purchased at Ksh 720, 000 but speaking of their feeding was not as much as what was claimed by a section of leaders.
He pointed out that the alleged security dogs had spent approximately Ksh 231,000 between February of and December in 2014 and that the county was still waiting for invoice for the months of January to March of this year which is expected to amount to something not less than Ksh 315,000 if the accounts are properly balanced.
The chief officer added that the dogs are ready and might be handed over to the Laikipia Security team next week. He then called on to people living in the county to remain calm and compose themselves as they await their arrival.
Meanwhile, Assembly members complained that the dogs had taken much time to be delivered to the county from Nakuru, where they were claimed to have undergone some training with Security Committee Chairman Dann Ndegwa claiming the county government had failed to procure fund to cover for their transport back to the county.
Additionally, the dogs were being trained at the Rift Valley Police Dogs Unit in Nakuru and were expected to graduate from their training in November last year. Now the big question is: Are there really dogs to be delivered? Nobody can say for sure if there is until we see them come back to Laikipia county.
Anyway, the names of the long-awaiting dogs based on what the committee heard are Techno, Twitter, Mobi and Shelby and were purchased for Ksh 720,000. They have so far cost the county Ksh 2 million and this really made Members angry to learn that the county was lavishing Ksh 100,000 every month just to feed dogs at a time when hundreds of thousands of county residents are faced with starvation due to a famine that has hit the area.
Whether or not they are ghost dogs we just hope they get to us anytime soon. Criticizing the cost of keeping the dogs and the amount spent for their purchase without getting to see the dogs in person is utterly unreasonable. We only can’t wait to see them, then and only then shall we join either the many critics or those who have embraced the idea.